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April 9, 2008 > Teachers in New Haven School District agree on contract

Teachers in New Haven School District agree on contract

Submitted By Rick LaPlante

The New Haven Unified School District (NHUSD) and the New Haven Teachers Association (NHTA) announced today that a tentative agreement has been reached on a three-year contract, through June 2011.

District Superintendent Dr. Pat Jaurequi and NHTA President Charmaine Kawaguchi jointly announced the agreement, which was reached after only five days of bargaining, a sharp contrast from the previous round of negotiations. In 2005, the two sides narrowly averted a strike.

"The District and NHTA have been very intentional for the past three years about re-establishing trust and working together for the good of the children of New Haven, and I think that's reflected in this agreement," Jaurequi said.

"Even though bargaining is a difficult process, it was clear from the start that both sides were committed to reaching a fair and equitable settlement, and to doing it expeditiously so that we all could get back to what's most important to us, the education of our children," said Kawaguchi.

NHTA leadership will meet today with site representatives to share contract details, which the representatives will then make available at their schools, Kawaguchi said, and the teachers will vote on the contract on Wednesday, April 9. Assistant Superintendent for Personnel Services Derek McNamara, lead negotiator for the District, said the District agreed to wait until after teachers had seen the contract before releasing details.

Jaurequi thanked the members of both the District and NHTA bargaining teams "and especially Derek and Charmaine," she said. "The two of them have worked very hard for the past three years to create the kind of honest, trustworthy relationship it takes to reach a fair and equitable contract, even in a year when the state has made it so difficult for us financially," Jaurequi added.

Massive cuts to the state education budget, as proposed by Governor Schwarzenegger, mean New Haven must plan for a $7 million reduction in funding for 2008-09. "That made it more difficult, obviously," McNamara said, "and both sides bargained hard. But both sides were reasonable, both sides were committed to reaching an agreement, and both sides realized how important it was to get this done, for the sake of our students."

McNamara thanked his partners on the District bargaining team: Chief Business Officer Carol Gregorich, Executive Director for Elementary Education Glynn Thompson, Coordinator for Personnel Services Vicki Ballard and principals Don Montoya of James Logan High School, Yvonne Hull of Alvarado Middle School and John Mattos of Eastin Elementary School.

Kawaguchi, a classroom teacher at James Logan, thanked the other members of the NHTA bargaining team: counselor Mara Loth from Alvarado Middle and teachers Pace Lash from Logan, Jennifer Nemecek from Alvarado Middle, Colleen Conley and Rodana Breen from Hillview Crest Elementary and Seth Horwitt from Kitayama Elementary.

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