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WCCUSD Union Busting Attack On Adult School Teachers United Leadership
by Labor Video Project
The WCCUSD school district terminated the president and vice president of the Adult School Teachers United in a union busting attack. The president Ken Ryan and vice president Kristen Pursley discuss their termination, the reason behind it and the attack on adult education and ESL by not only the District by the Democrats in the legislature and governor.
In a blatant union busting attack the West Contra Costa Unified School District human resources terminated the president and Vice President of the Adult School Teachers United union. Ken Ryan, the president and Kristen Pursley, the Vice President talk about their firing, the conditions of their members and the ongoing attacks on adult education and ESL by the district and state. The district was forced to rehire them days later saying that it had been a clerical mistake.They also discuss how FCMAT has been used to attack the conditions of teachers and public education.

This interview was done on 6/12/22

Additional media:
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No Excuses Schools: Bad Theory Created KIPP by Amateurs & Backed By SF Billionaire GAP A’s Fisher Family

STOP FCMAT Attack On Oakland Public Schools! OEA, Community & Pols Oppose $90 M In Cuts By Thurmond

Oakland ILWU & OEA, Students & Community Rally To Stop Privatization & Union Busting From The Port To The Schools!

NO Public Money To A's Billionaire Owner John Fisher For Stadium In Port Of Oakland

Additional info:
Adult School Teachers United

Production of Labor Video Project

Ken Ryan and I got our jobs back!

Thanks so much for your support around the district's attempt to dismiss me and Adult School Teachers United (ASTU) President Ken Ryan from our jobs at West Contra Costa Adult Education. Thanks, I am sure, to all the community support we got, both Ken and I have been reinstated. The district is characterizing the dismissal notice as a "mistake", but their story is not believable. Their actions still have all the earmarks of an unsuccessful attempt to bust our union.

Even though Ken and I have been restored to our positions, there are still many issues between ASTU and WCCUSD that need to be addressed. Even before Ken and I received dismissal notices, ASTU was planning a press conference to address these issues. A press conference and rally will take this coming Wednesday, June 15 at 4:30 PM at Lovonya DeJean Middle School, 3400 MacDonald Ave. The rally is timed to take place before the next school board meeting, which convenes at 5:30.

We need everyone to come to the rally, and, if possible, also sign up to speak at the school board meeting. Those who can attend the meeting in person will need to sign up in advance, as the audience is limited to 100 people due to COVID precautions. You can sign up here:
Attending / Viewing the Board Meetings:
In-person capacity is limited to 100 people. You will need to sign up if you mean to attend in person.
You can also attend the meeting on Zoom.
To speak in person, you need to sign a speakers form at the table by the door when your arrive.
Online attendees can also speak. In person speakers will be called on first. Then listen for the Board president to say that comment by online attendees will begin, and listen for when he says you may raise your hand. Then "raise your hand" with the reaction button on your zoom screen.

Among the issues we will raise at the press conference are:

1) We need a fair contract: ASTU was recognized as a union by the Public Employee Relations Board in 2017. Since 2018, we have been bargaining our first contract. We were making good progress for a while, but this year negotiations have slowed to a halt. The district keeps raising issue after issue and wanting to reopen agreements that were already settled. The district has even challenged the composition of our bargaining unit, though the district recognized our unit in 2017 with no challenges. The district also does not provide information we request to inform our bargaining. We need the district to bargain in good faith and get the contract done.

2) WCCUSD to desist from harassment of the ASTU negotiating team: ASTU president Ken Ryan and vice president Kristen Pursley are both members of the ASTU negotiating team. In addition to dismissing the union president and vice president, now fortunately rescinded, the district has reassigned a third member of the negotiating team from the online teaching position he had last year to an in-person position he cannot accept for health reasons. This reassignment was made over the objection of the teacher and his students. If this teacher cannot get an online assignment, he may be forced out.

3) English as a Second Language (ESL) Program --Cuts to classes and reassignments that adversely impact teachers' working conditions. The ESL program has been cut last year and again this year, causing teachers to lose hours and pay. This year, 1/3 of ESL teachers have been reassigned to positions they do not want, and some cannot accept the assignments they were given for health reasons. Classes have been changed from online to in-person or moved to different sites over the objections of teachers and students. Because the students have objected to the new locations because they are not convenient, teachers are likely to lose enrollment in their classes. Because classes can be canceled if attendance falls too low, these moves put teachers' jobs at risk. While moving classes to sites where attendance is likely to drop, WCCUSD is refusing to open a class at a site where 24 students have petitioned for a class.

4) COVID safety: Because adult education jobs tend to be part-time and are not even as well paid as K-12 teaching jobs, adult school teachers tend to be older. Many come to adult school teaching as a second career. Adult school teachers are thus more likely to have poor outcomes if they contract COVID. Adult school students are also adults, and many are old enough that they, too, risk poor outcomes for COVID. WCCUSD has refused to implement safety measures like social distancing in adult school classrooms, insisting that the adult school follow the same COVID policies as district policies for children, even though the needs of adults are different.

5) Older Adults program: ASTU is committed to advocating for the Older Adults program in the face of state cuts to Older Adults funding. Together with concerned community members, ASTU helped to locate some county money that might be able to fund these programs. The district promised to follow up on this possible funding, but so far ASTU has not heard anything about how attempts to secure the funding by WCCUSD are proceeding. Meanwhile, Older Adults programs are scheduled to end on June 30 if funding cannot be found.
Come support us at the June 15 rally, 4:30 PM!
§SF CCSF Has Also Attacked Adult Education Program
by Labor Video Project
The attack on the Adult Education program and ESL is also going on at CCSF where it was shutdown by the administration and Board of Trustees. The Democrats in San Francisco and the State refused to fund it to keep going.
§Kristen Pursley, Vice President of the Adult School Teachers United
by Labor Video Project
Kristen Pursley, the vice president of the Adult School Teachers United talked about her illegal termination and the union busting tactics of the principals and management.
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