Urgency looms for teacher contracts

first_imgWHITTIER – For school districts that haven’t managed to settle their teacher contracts by spring, the month of April can be a backbreaker, state education officials say. There’s the extreme example taking place at the Hayward Unified School District in Northern California, where teachers decided to go on strike April 5 because of a salary dispute. There, teachers are asking for a 16 percent pay increase over two years – similar to the raise given to administrators – while the district has countered with a one-time, 3 percent bonus for the current year. But locally, teachers say, talk of a strike hasn’t made its way around three districts that now find themselves in the thick of labor strife. They are the Lowell Joint, Whittier City and El Rancho Unified school districts, where teachers have been working without a contract since July – and they have all gotten stuck on salary issues for a new three-year contract. “April is the time when districts will have either settled their contracts, or the situation starts to get really serious,” said Barbara Kerr, president of the behemoth California Teachers Association that represents about 340,000 teachers statewide. “Every district has its unique problems. For some, it’s declining enrollment, for some it’s \ special education,” Kerr said during an interview last week in Whittier. “But ultimately, school districts have to find a way to pay teachers what they deserve.” At the Lowell Joint School District, an impasse in contract talks has already been declared, triggering the involvement of a state mediator who will try to bring both sides to a fair compromise. Their first mediation session is in the beginning of May, said Lowell Joint Education Association Co-President Margaret Palmer. “I strongly feel that the district is backing us into a corner,” Palmer said. “We just want the district to do what is fair.” Lowell Joint teachers are asking for a 5.92percent pay raise but the district is offering a one-time, 1 percent salary bonus for the current school year only. Superintendent Patricia Howell says it is not in a position to offer more because it has been under the scrutiny of the Los Angeles County Office of Education, which flagged Lowell Joint’s budget two years ago when its spending exceeded its revenue. “While we have to focus on what’s best for students, we also have to make fiscally sound decisions so we don’t end up with a negative balance like last year,” Howell said. At the Whittier City School District, teachers’ union President Martha Winans said last week that both sides are close to reaching agreement on a new contract. That’s welcome news for the district and teachers, considering they overwhelmingly rejected a proposed contract offer from the district a month ago that offered a 3 percent pay hike retroactive to Feb. 1. “The district was very surprised when it wasn’t ratified,” Winans said, “and they’ve been most cooperative since.” That’s not the case at the El Rancho Unified School District, where teachers are asking for a guaranteed cost-of-living increase in their new contract. They showed up in force at a recent board meeting to express their displeasure over stalled negotiations, said El Rancho Federation of Teachers President Marsha Hall. But so far, nothing has come of it – and if the district doesn’t have a written contract proposal at its bargaining session next week, Hall said teachers plan to declare an impasse. “It’s just very frustrating,” Hall said. “We want the three years of a guaranteed COLA and the right to go back \ for anything else, and we have not progressed beyond that. “It’s really nerve-wracking,” she added. “I don’t want to see teachers fill out their papers and leave the district like they’ve said they will.” tracy.garcia@sgvn.com (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3051 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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Last Cabinet Meeting Drones too expensive says Independent Candidate

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, TCI, December 6, 2016 – Tomorrow December 7 is the final meeting of Cabinet until after the 2016 General Elections and in the previous sitting; much was discussed including testing for drone surveillance.‘The War Room’ host and independent candidate running at large, Jasmin Walkin said the cost of introducing drones is underestimated by the Premier.“These are numbers that I’ve found on several websites regarding surveillance and border control drones. Those drones can cause from twenty-five hundred to thirty-five hundred per flight, what do I mean by that, that’s not the cost of the purchasing of the drones, that is the operational cost per hour. An average of a few thousand dollars per flight hour, and we’re asking for 24 hours surveillance. The daily operational cost of one drone, could be seventy-two thousand dollars, by twelve hours per day, we’re looking at thirty-six thousand dollars. The total cost of one operational surveillance drone, will be twenty-six million, two hundred and eighty thousand dollars.”Tonight, most of the independent candidates appear on Digicel Network Ch2 in a national debate moderated by Kenrick Walters and Sabrina Parker. #MagneticMediaNews Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppcenter_img Related Items:last_img read more

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Tesla Model 3 finally gets Qi wireless charging

first_img More From Roadshow Tesla Model 3 barrels through the snow in Track Mode 1 2020 BMW M340i review: A dash of M makes everything better 50 Photos If you’re a Model 3 owner who’s been lamenting the sad state of charging in your car, having to go through the positively draconian process of plugging your car in to juice it up while driving, we have good news for you: Tesla has finally released a wireless upgrade for the Model 3. As noted over at Engadget and Electrek, the new component recently appeared on Tesla’s site. Interestingly, this isn’t the first wireless charger from Tesla. The company also sells a standalone Qi-enabled pad and power pack — but that one isn’t designed to integrate into its cars.  This new one is. It’s a $125 accessory that slots in the center console of the Model 3 and can charge two Qi-enabled phones, such as the new iPhone XR or the Galaxy S10, at the same time. The price tag makes it roughly two times as expensive as some third-party wireless charging pads that have hit the market since the Model 3’s release. This one on Amazon can also charge two phones at once:Bordan Model 3 wireless chargerThere’s still no word on when or if you’ll actually be able to wirelessly charge your Tesla itself, so for now you’re going to have to stick with the aftermarket.  Share your voice Tags Comment 2020 Hyundai Palisade review: Posh enough to make Genesis jealous 2020 Kia Telluride review: Kia’s new SUV has big style and bigger value Tesla Auto Tech Electric Carslast_img read more

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