Bargaining update #1

Click here to download the update – or read this post.

Thank all members who participated in our General Meeting on January 19, 2016 to discuss compensation comparisons (visit for the presentation). If you have any questions regarding the presentation, please contact Brenda Hensley at

Thank you also to all members who took our very first online bargaining survey! We saw a 13% increase in participation over last year (paper survey) and we are very pleased with the process. We are working on summarizing the data and working with our Executive Board to develop bargaining strategies for 16-17. Many of you took the time to make comments about things you were concerned about. Some of those concerns were not issues we can negotiate, but relevant comments will be forwarded to the appropriate VTA committee.

We plan to sunshine our contract at the March 3rd school board meeting. “Sunshining” is an official term for opening negotiations. We have not set any bargaining dates with the District at this time.

The VTA and VUSD teams (and a few others) met on February 4th and 5th, 2016 for two days of Interest-Based Bargaining Training.

VTA: Brenda Hensley, Kim Campbell, Gary Masterson, Todd Blanset, Lynne Grow, Moira McSweeney (President), Steve Savage (CTA Staff)

 VUSD: Randy Henry, Ed Santopadre, Cliff DeGraw, Manolo Garcia, Mark Frazier, Janet Dietrich, Deo Pernaud, Jane Shamieh (Superintendent), Nolan Sullivan (Board member), Shelly Dally (Board member).

 Here is a small excerpt about Interest-Based Bargaining (IBB):


Interest-based bargaining involves a good-faith effort by both sides to understand the other side’s needs, interests, and concerns. IBB provides a framework that loosens the rigidity of “positional bargaining” where each party comes to the table with a set of desired terms that it believes is the only way to satisfy its own interests. IBB requires that the parties look beyond specific demands and, through substantive discussion, brainstorm possible solutions. The parties negotiate with one another, instead of against one another. They consider problems to be matters of shared concern, where each has an interest in finding a solution satisfactory to both parties. Successful implementation of IBB does not call upon the parties to compromise principles or neglect the legitimate roles and needs they each have in the employer-employee relationship.

As we embark on this new process, VTA Bargaining Team members remain extremely committed to representing the membership in the best way possible and communicating with the membership regarding the bargaining process and our progress. We are looking to make our sessions more productive, improving our working relationships with VUSD representatives and achieving more win-win settlements for both VTA and VUSD.

Bargaining updates may, through this process, look very different. This process doesn’t necessarily involve trading paper proposals. Hence, initial proposals and counterproposals (since we might not actually have any!) may not appear in bargaining updates. You may also see joint communiqués from VUSD and VTA regarding bargaining progress.

We may also choose to do some of this year’s bargaining using IBB and some using traditional methods. This will be a very fluid situation and we will keep you updated as much as possible as we proceed.

As always, as we move through the negotiations process, please stay in contact with your VTA site rep and your VTA Director. There is always a Bargaining Report (verbal) at Rep Council and all members are welcome to attend those meetings.

Social Media Integration by Acurax Wordpress Developers