DISTRICT AND NTA TO BEGIN NEGOTIATIONS FOR 2019-2020
First Scheduled Session Cancelled by NTA
This is Newark Unified School District’s (NUSD) first Negotiations Update for 2019-2020 contract negotiations between the District and the Newark Teachers Association (NTA). The District will distribute the Negotiations Update after meetings with NTA to inform our community on the progress of negotiations.
The District and NTA were scheduled to hold its first negotiations meeting for the 2019-2020 school year at 1:00 p.m. today. This session was cancelled by NTA, however, shortly before the session was scheduled to begin. The District Bargaining Chair sent the following email to the NTA President regarding this unexpected turn of events:
It is unfortunate that you formally cancelled our first scheduled negotiations today by email to me at 1:06 p.m. (the session was scheduled to begin at 1:00 p.m.). I emailed you and the entire NTA team including your CTA representative on April 22 specifying our negotiations dates and asked you to “Please let me know if there will be any problems with any of these dates.” You responded to me on April 22 that “The dates work for me.”
The next communication from you was at 11:04 a.m. this morning, in which you claimed there was “confusion” over today’s meeting date and that there were issues with all NTA team members attending. You emailed me again 12:17 p.m. stating that you were “calling off” negotiations. I responded at 12:26 p.m. that we were planning to move forward as scheduled and would not postpose the meeting, especially since we received confirmation this morning from most NTA negotiations team members that they were planning to attend.
This is troubling since I confirmed with you in person yesterday that the District team was prepared and ready to commence negotiations today as scheduled. In addition, the NTA Bargaining Chair emailed me yesterday afternoon to plan today’s agenda; it appears this email was copied to the entire NTA team. The NTA Bargaining Chair also asked about logistical support and the District responded that a printer would be available for today’s negotiations.
At 1:00 p.m., the entire District team, including legal counsel, was in the bargaining room ready to negotiate, but the NTA team was not. Then, at 1:06 p.m. you finally and formally cancelled the meeting.
I wish to reiterate the previously agreed to bargaining dates from my April 22 email: May 17 (1-5 p.m.), June 5 (9-4:30) and June 6 (9-5). I expect that the NTA team will keep these commitments. The District remains committed to the closing statement from its Initial Proposal to NTA for these negotiations:
“The District looks forward to candid and constructive dialog with the NTA negotiations team in furtherance of reaching an agreement that is fair and equitable to all parties.”
Next Steps: May 17 negotiations 1-5:00 p.m.