Friday, May 25, 2007

YCEA Featured in California Educator

Take a look on pages 24 & 25 of the print issue or read it online here:

Thursday, May 24, 2007

It's official, Hovey's packing his bags for Fullerton!

Here's the article in today's N-M.

We wish him well.

When Will Mesa View Open?

“In the best case environment, we could open up some time during the 2008/09 school year. If the timeline slips for any reason, then we may have to push back until the 2009/10 school year.”
Ted Alejandre, quoted in today's News-Mirror.

And how much will it cost?

Take a look at the article in the N-M to find out all the details.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Pics from our Recognition Event

Teachers' Choice Award - Linda S. from the Specialists

Teachers' Choice Award - Susan A from Wildwood

Teachers' Choice Award - Lori H from Meadow Creek

Teachers' Choice Award - Melody F from Calimesa

Teachers' Choice Award - Marilyn S. from Ridgeview

Retiree Donna H listens to praise from her friend Pat P

Retiree Linda C receives her plaque

Susan A talks about her friend, retiree April K

A great crowd, great location - we'll be back!

20 year service pins
Grete L, Gayle T, Kay P

10 year service pins

Retiree Kay P shares the moment with her friend Adrienne M

Retiree Lana S listens to her friend Chris K

Valley Elementary

Dunlap Elementary and Teachers' Choice - Jan M.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

A Visit With Some Old Friends

Friday night we held our annual recognition event, where we honor our retirees, give out the service pins, and (beginning this year) announce the teachers' choice awards. We held this year's event at the Mill Creek Cattle Company in Mentone, and it was very well attended. In our next post, we'll show some of our honorees, but we thought we'd share pics of some of our former colleagues who joined us for the festivities.

Chris K.

Bonnie M.

Norma W. and Jack B.

Ellen G. and Ann M.

Dave G.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Should the Blog Continue? Sound Off!

Now that YCEA has finally reached a fair settlement with the district, has this blog served its purpose? Should it fade away into the Twilight Zone of the internet or should it remain---a sort of "virtual teachers lounge" where we can share ideas freely?

What do YOU think? Post a comment and let us know.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Congratulations, John!

Photo courtesy of Mark Watkins.

Yucaipa High School teacher John Hawkins proudly displays his CTA Communications Award, presented to him at the San Gorgonio Service Center Council WHO (We Honor Ours) Awards Dinner. John received this award from the California Teachers Association for his informative, illustrated set of emails called "Postcards from Orlando" sent from the NEA Representative Assembly last summer. CTA bestows only a small number of Communications Awards, for newsletters, websites, and for this "special" category in which John was selected. We're very proud that one of our members has received this statewide honor.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Local Businesses to Thank

Let's start the list - we'll update it as you let us know who/what business to add.

Please write them letters, patronize their businesses, and thank them in person.

These business sported "WE SUPPORT YUCAIPA-CALIMESA TEACHERS" signs:

Las Fuentes
White Rabbit
Big John's Philly Steaks
Hair 'n' U
Farmer Boys
The Water Store
Skat Trak
Dr. Wise Orthodontics
Roadrunner Towing
La Mexicana
El Pollo Loco
Mr. Crum's Donuts
Dr. Jarrett (chiropractor)
Rosa's Beauty Shop
The Training Zone
Valero (Wildwood/California)

Who else?

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Presenting the People Who Brought You the Settlement:


What a heartwarming sight it was to walk out of the district office after 7 hours of sitting to see the hundreds of teachers, parents, and other supporters who came to the rally. Some of the negotiations team were moved to tears. It made us go back in there and continue to fight for a fair settlement.

We could never have done this without all of you.

This is the view we had out of the window after you finished your march around the district office. We found out later that the beginning of the line caught up with the end! How cool was that?!

Settlement Information - As Promised

You may view the settlement information here.

We hope you'll agree with us that this is indeed a great settlement!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Watch This Space!!!

On Saturday, after 5:00 pm, you'll be able to see all the settlement information right here! We decided to share it with you now, since we learned that we need to post the TA before the general meeting. This way, you get the information now, and have time to digest it and come to the meeting with your questions.

Thanks so much!!

T.A. Reached!

We've received word from the YCEA Negotiations Team that a T.A. was signed at approximately 2:15 A.M. this morning. We don't know any details about it yet but we're assured that all members will be presented with a complete explanation at a General Membership meeting next week.

638 Days to reach a
Tentative Settlement!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Huge Turn-out Today

Well over 450 teachers and supporters turned you think the school board got the message?
Here's a teaser picture (thanks MW) more to come...

Rally starts at 4:00

Let's hope that the Negotiations Team will be able to announce a settlement and that it will become a celebration instead of a protest.

637 Days Without a Settlement!

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Great Job On the Picket Lines!

Mail your pictures to and we'll post them here!

Dunlap Elementary had an AWESOME turnout:

See You On The Picket Lines This Morning!

Make sure that ALL of your staff is out there---show the parents, community, administration and BOARD that were are united and determined for a fair settlement.

Check back tonight for pictures.

636 Days Without a Settlement!

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

California Day of the Teacher - May 9

How will the Board recognize us for all that we do?

Will they offer us a fair salary settlement?

Will they have the courage to stop by school sites and talk with teachers to find out what they could do to make things better?

Or...will they send out a cheap, Xeroxed proclamation and try to ignore us?

635 Days Without a Settlement!

Monday, May 7, 2007

Let's have a GREAT turn out Wednesday morning!

Remind your colleagues! Picketing BEFORE school at your respective school site Wednesday morning. Check with your site crisis captain about what time your site will start and end.

Let's put an end to the crisis THIS WEEK!

634 Days Without a Settlement!

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Lessons Learned from Colton

Our school board members should read this!!!!

In Saturday's Sun, Colton school board member Marge Mendoza-Ware discussed the lessons she learned from the crisis in Colton. We are impressed. Her words should be required reading for all school board members, especially ours.

Here's her letter:

If we learn from our mistakes, then our mistakes may very well be worth the pain. If we share with others the lessons we learn and they take heed of those lessons, then we can see the fruit of our labor.

As a school board member for the Colton Joint Unified School District, I recently made some mistakes. It is my hope that school board members and administrators in other school districts will benefit from what I have learned..

• Lesson No. 1: Play fair. Do not insult your teachers by making a ridiculously low first offer.

• Lesson No. 2: Listen to your teachers. They are not trying to break the bank–they understand that if the bank is broken, they won't have a job.

• Lesson No. 3: Listen to your parents. Parents in the CJUSD wanted the district to dig deep and compensate the teachers with as much as we could.

• Lesson No. 4: Communicate openly, honestly and frequently with all stakeholders: teachers, parents, administrators and classified staff. Above all, be absolutely sure you are making your best possible offer.

• Lesson No. 5: Broken relationships are much harder to mend than those that remained honest and respectful. Do not let negotiations become a battle of us vs. them. If you do, your students will lose.

• Lesson No. 6: Your students are aware, and they are watching. They love their teachers and want the to be in the classroom, undistracted and ready to teach.

• Lesson No. 7: Visit your schools as frequently as possible.

• Lesson No 8: Remember your job is to facilitate the best possible education for your students. Having happy, well-compensated teachers and classified staff who feel you support their efforst is the quickest way to happy, well-educated students.

County Schools Superintendent Herb Fischer once told me about a time in his career when he thought he was absolutely correct in a position he had taken until one day he heard another side of the issue he had not considered. The argument was so compelling that he changed his position. I have always respected him for sharing that story.

I hope somewhere in my lesson you, too, will listen with an open mind, and if you have heard a compelling argument, you will change your position.

Jim, Patty, Sue, and Joyella - SHE'S SPEAKING TO YOU!!!!

Visit the Parent Site

arents In Support of Teachers have their own blog...visit it at:
be sure and leave a comment or two to show them that everybody in the Yucaipa-Calimesa community appreciates their hard work in helping to retain quality teachers in the YCJUSD.

633 Days Without a Settlement!

Friday, May 4, 2007

Let my people go!

Friday afternoon, YCEA was informed that the District has filed yet another unfair labor practice charge; this time, it concerns our notification that we intend to terminate the contract this month. Apparently they argue that we have no right to exit a contract even though we entered into it voluntarily. In fact, they seem to contend that our current contract will last, day to day, forever!

What will it take to make our Superintendent and the board change their minds? How about a horde of locust, frogs falling from the sky, a plague, or …

460 really frustrated teachers outside the District Office on May 10?

As promised...more pictures!

631 Days Without a Settlement!

Thursday, May 3, 2007

"I know we hid it around here somewhere!"

School board members, under the direction of Superintendent Mitch Hovey go on a treasure hunt, looking for all the taxpayer dollars that they have hidden away.

630 Days Without a Settlement!

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Your Tax Dollars at Work

So, do you really believe the District when it tells you “Mesa View Middle School didn't cost local taxpayers?” Hmmm. Where do YOUR taxes go? Arizona?

For your information, take a look at these numbers:

In addition to the approximately $31 million dollars of taxpayer money from the state,

- $1,000,000 transferred out of the CFD (Community Facilities District)* to the General Fund “for construction of Mesa View Middle School gymnasium.”
- $391,153 out of the CFD to pay for environmental consulting and traffic studies for MVMS.
- $15,000 out of the CFD to pay for inspection services for the road.
- $35,670 out of Maintenance and Operations to pay for asphalt for MVMS.
- $5,283 per month, plus benefits, out of the General Fund, for a full-time custodian and groundskeeper to take care of an empty school.

* For our readers who don’t know what a CFD is: It’s a “Special Tax” paid by local property owners to finance public improvements and services. In this case, the CFD was established by YCJUSD, and the local property owners have a “Special Tax Lien” placed against their property.

Source: YCJUSD School Board Minutes for 6/29/04, 9/13/05, 2/7/06, 3/21/06, 5/2/06, 8/8/06, 11/7/06

629 Days Without a Settlement!

We're on YouTube!

629 Days Without a Settlement!

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Great Turnout!

Let's hope that this sign of unity shows the Board we're serious about fighting!

Watch the blog for more pictures.

628 Days Without a Settlement!