Newark Teachers Association

Students First

NTA Negotiations Update #2 / June 6, 2019

NTA Negotiations Update #1 / May 10, 2019

Dear NTA Members and Newark Community:

We are ready!  Your NTA Negotiations team is strong and ready to provide the best service to our members at the table. 

Ms. Jessica Saavedra, Executive Director of Human Resources and Chief Negotiator for Newark Unified School District sent out an update that the NTA Negotiations team feels contains some misinformation that needs to be clarified.

On April 22nd, the first Monday of our Spring Break, the members of the NTA negotiations team we emailed concerning availability of meeting.

Good morning,
In effort to expedite and initiate our negotiation process , the District Team has come up with the next following day to meet:

-May 3
-May 17
-June 5
-June 6 (If needed)

Please let me know if there will be any problems with any of the dates.
Jessica Saavedra
Executive Director of Human Resources
(510) 818-4242
Newark Unified School District

Due to past practice, the NTA team considered this an inquiry of availability, not a direction to meet and certainly not a confirmation that the meeting will take place.  We have always operated in a collaborative spirit of deciding when to meet.  Once weíve come to an agreement of a date and time, we have always received a calendar invite.

I have a weekly meeting with HR and on Thursday, May 2nd I attempted to clarify our dilemma.  We still were confused whether or not we were going to meet with the NUSD Negotiating Team. I informed Ms. Saavedra that we had not received a calendar invite and that two of our members confirmed that they could not attend.  I was also concerned that due to the late hour, the teachers would not be able to get appropriate coverage. HR confirmed that they would make arrangements and send out a calendar invite.

These are the notes which Ms. Saavedra typed:

Negotiations Update: We will move things around for NTA members in order for them to be able to attend our first meeting tomorrow, May 3, 2019. We will have Laura Johnson send calendar invites to the NTA team.

We did not get a calendar invite. We did not get confirmation that our teachers and their students would be covered so that the remaining teachers could attend the first session. I informed Ms. Saavedra that it was not appropriate to meet if our entire team could not meet for the very first meeting to come up with ground rules and consensus when we would meet.

The Newark Teachers Association and the NTA Negotiations Team are committed to represent the teachers of Newark. We request that the NUSD Negotiating Team and Administration consider coming to the table with an open mind and collaborative spirit in reaching all relevant decisions, include meeting dates and times.

Members that would like to discuss this in more detail can reach out to me at

We will be holding our next NTA Representative Council on Monday at the office in Union City (3916 Smith St) at 4:00 pm.  Please stop by if you are curious about our next steps.

The NTA Negotiations Team has already met for several hours working on contract language and drafting our proposals.  Our sleeves are rolled up and we are more prepared and ready that ever.

Last year we had an agreement that all Negotiations Updates would be joint updates.  Obviously this year, we are going to have a different approach.


Thank you for your continued support.  Please join us at the next Board of Education meeting on May 16th.


Timothy Merritt
President, Newark Teachers Association

NTA Sunshine Proposal 2019-2020

March 7, 2019

To: Governing Board, NUSD

Superintendent Patrick Sanchez

NUSD Negotiations Team Members

From: Bryan Blattel

Bargaining Chair, Newark Teachers Association

RE: Formal Sunshine Proposal from NTA and Intent to Bargain

The Newark Teachers Association, acting on behalf of its members, fundamentally supports the District goals of recruiting, retaining, and training a highly-skilled, highly-motivated teaching workforce while providing competitive compensation.  We not only want to make ourselves a destination district, we want to make sure our current employees have reason to stay in Newark. NTA also values fiscal solvency within the District, while enhancing the notion that teachers are better able to serve all students in the classroom with resources and support necessary to provide a world-class education.

To that effect, the Newark Teachers Association formally presents the following sunshine proposals to open negotiations for the 2019-2020 school year:

Article 2 (Recognition)  It is the Associationís intent to expand recognition to include previously unrecognized classifications.

Article 3 (Association Rights)  It is the Associationís intent to align contract language with current law and association bylaws.

Article 6 (Work Year)  It is the Associationís intent to define the time that bargaining unit members work during the year.

Article 7 (Work Day)  It is the Associationís intent to restructure the workday for preK-12.

Article 8 (Class Size)  It is the Associationís intent to look at ways to effectively reduce the student to staff ratios at all grade levels and in all disciplines, with the core belief that students can learn better in smaller settings, and that this provides a more highly motivated teaching workforce.

Article 10 (Reassignment/Transfer)  It is the Associations intent to clarify and define Involuntary Transfers and Reassignments.

Article 11 (Leaves)  It is the Associationís intent to clarify language for types of leave and how they are accounted.

Article 13 (Compensation)  It is the Associationís intent to negotiate a fair compensation package in such a way that is consistent with other districts, with the core belief that a fairly and competitively compensated workforce is essential.

Article 14 (Safety)  It is the Associationís intent to move language to other parts of the collective bargaining agreement.

Article 16 (Intermediate Discipline)  It is the Associationís intent to review and rename this article to better align with the content of the article.

Article 18 (Peer Assistance and Review)  It is the Associationís intent to delete Article 18 (Peer Assistance and Review) because this process in embedded in Article 9 (Evaluation).

It is the Associationís intent to replace this article with one entitled Special Education.

In this new article, we intend to create language that will provide equity for all students and educators.

Article 21 (Term and Renegotiation)

Article 22 (Signatures)

It is the Associationís intent to create a new article on Technology.

In this new article, we intend to create language to structure and support the Districtís STEAM goals through the use of technology in a 21st century classroom.

The Newark Teachers Association values a positive working relationship with the administration and Governing Board of the Newark Unified School District and we look forward to a constructive round of negotiations to close the 2018-2019 Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Respectfully submitted,

Bryan Blattel, Bargaining Chair

Newark Teachers Association

Negotiations Team 2019-2020

 Bargaining Chair
Bryan Blattel - Specialists

Team Members
Sean Abruzzi - Secondary
Gretchen Cava - Elementary
Katherine Jones - Elementary / Educator Evaluations
Megan McMillin - Special Education
Cheri Villa - Elementary
David Hernandez - CTA
Timothy Merritt - Alternate

The NTA Negotiations Team consists of a variety of educators with experience from Pre-School to Secondary and include many years of combined experience in and out of the classroom.

We have worked together in various capacities and are committed to working hard for our members in achieving a fair contract.  Our first steps were to gather information about what our members want.  We also participated in coordinated bargaining sessions that included information about negotiations in the ALCOSTA region.  Many hours were put into reviewing our current contract and looking for areas that we needed clarification and enhanced language to better serve or members and most importantly our students.

It is our goal to send meaningful updates to our members and the community on a regular basis.

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