I wrote and copied the October Message before the fire. It was clear when I returned to the
office that the original message needed to be changed. For more than a week, we waited
and watched as the fire raged on. School was cancelled due to our unhealthy air and
members were evacuated from their homes. Four of our members lost their homes. Even in
this natural disaster, PFT Members volunteered at evacuation centers as well as
participated in fund raising activities. Thank you to all who help the community during this
time. I am proud to have you as a colleague.
Please accept my sympathies if you or a family member suffered a loss during the fire.
Know we are all here to support you and help whenever possible. If you were evacuated
from your home and used a personal necessity day due to the evacuation, call or email me .
I am working with the District to find ways to help our affected members. This is a time we
should be able to find common ground with the District.
The California Federation of Teachers contacted me immediately after the fire with an offer
of support for our members. In addition, the American Federation of Teachers will be
offering their support as well. i was impressed at their immediate concern and action. I am
so proud to be a member of an organization that is as carrying as CFT and AFT.
Below are sections from the original President's Message
After almost two years of work, our Negotiations Team reached an agreement with the
District. The highlights of the agreement are:
2 % salary increase retroactive to July 1 , 2016
1.5 % salary increase retroactive to July 1, 2017
$500 one time bonus
186 day work year with no change in pay
Willie Brown ( reduced work load ) will be offered for 18-19
Agreement to discuss a possible retirement incentive for those retiring next year, meaning
this will be your last year worked
Members will have the equivalent of two workdays to prepare for the year/semester
The Federation will have all labor rights allowed by law
Committees will be established to look at Health Benefits, Professional Responsibilities, and
This Tentative Agreement must be ratified by our membership. The election is happening as
you read this. Tuesday , October 24 is the last day to vote. Please see your site rep and
vote. Election results will be communicated via email.
Finally, a huge thank you to our Negotiations Team. It was an honor to work with them. Our
members and the students they serve were always their guiding principle. Suzanne Garcia
did an amazing job as our Chief Negotiator. Todd Siders, Matt Beaton, Elyse Vosberg, Matt
Caamano, Erinn VanderMeer, and Andrew Aja served on the team.
A union is defined as an organized association of workers formed to protect and further their
rights and interests. In our case, beginning at the national level educator unions were
formed to protect not only educators but more importantly students. On a national level, we
are affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers. They work to influence federal laws,
policies and regulations. At the state level we are affiliated with the California Federation
Teachers. They not only offer a great deal of support to our local, they work at the state
level to elect pro education candidates, get laws passed and overall improve the education
of California's students.
We do the same work in Petaluma but on a local level. We have a strong and dedicated
negotiations team that worked for almost two years to get our members the best possible
contract. We have officers and site reps that will come to the aid of their coworkers. We
have a grievance team that will hold the District accountable every time they choose to
violate our contract. We have an active political group (COPE) that will be working on state
and local elections. But most importantly, we have incredible members. We have 439
members this year. We have over a 99% participation rate !
We are strong! We came together last year in an amazing way. We attended school board
meetings, general membership meetings and socials. We leafleted parents and the
community. We had over a 90% participation in a Work to Rule Week and a one day Unfair
Labor Practice Strike. We are making a positive change for the educators and students of
Petaluma City Schools. We can and will affect change. We all need to continue to be active.
Most of all, we must stand with our fellow educators to demand the best from the State,
District, and Federal Government.