12 December 2016

Good evening, President Konigar-Macklin, Board members, Superintendent Martinez, Cabinet members, CSEA and APT sisters and brothers and all those present this evening.

Last night was my first opportunity to attend the Pomona Christmas Parade. It was very impressive and successful. I was pleased to see how many parade entries were from various groups from PUSD. The community was able to witness that indeed we are Proud to be PUSD. Seeing this made me think about how great it would be for our youth and the community to see the Associated Pomona Teachers participating in the parade as well. I will definitely recommend that for next year to our APT leadership.

Last week, our Service Center One, the regional branch of CTA held our annual School Board dinner. Thank you President Konigar-Macklin, Dr. Perlman and Mr. Guzman for attending.

As you know, our Interest Based bargaining team, comprised of both PUSD administration and APT members concluded bargaining and reached a tentative agreement after months of long, hard work. We are very proud of the innovative approach that we came up with to address challenges that we are facing with attracting and retaining quality educators to this district. We believe that this tentative agreement will have a positive impact in attracting and retaining quality educators. Our APT election results had the highest participation rate in years. Nearly 1,100 of our members voted, with a large majority voting YES on the tentative agreement. It is our hope that this Board will approve the tentative agreement.

There is so much work to be done in our collaboration efforts, but the work that we have done thus far has proven to be beneficial to PUSD. We continue to deepen our labor-management work through additional training. This week, APT officers and PUSD district administration is being trained together using the trainer of trainer model, which will enable us to lead this transformative work, independent of outside consultants. Additionally, we have several school teams of principals and site reps from our Phase 1 and Phase 2 Collaboration Schools that are being trained later this week as well as over the next couple of months.

As you may know, the visionary who inspired both PUSD administration and APT leadership to consider this work was Dr. Pat Dolan, from the Teacher Union Reform Network. He passed away a few weeks ago. It is my belief that as an external partner, Dr. Dolan has had the greatest impact on APT, of any single individual in decades. What he has challenges both the District administration and APT leadership to do is to change our thinking. Change our thinking, from the role of the union to be much more than an industrial union, but rather to function, and be regarded as a professional association. This is what our members have wanted all along. For their voices to be heard…to be listened to.

For those of us that had the privilege to listen to and learn from Patrick Dolan, he will continue to live in our hearts and our minds. While he left his work as a Jesuit theologian decades ago, he continued to minister, converting management and labor in how we engage with one another.

Lastly, on behalf of all my sisters and brothers in APT, we wish you Happy Holidays and a very Happy New Year.

Good evening.