United Teachers of Richmond CTA/NEA

United Teachers of Richmond  CTA/NEA -

UTR Updates 2.17.17

 Dear UTR members,

One day left until break! Please read below, we have information about UTR elections, the day without immigrants national event, and some Professional Development opportunities for everyone.

UTR Professional Development

UTR is currently offering several opportunities for Professional Development for our members. We hope that everyone takes full advantage of them as we complete the 10 hours of self-directed professional development. 

1. We are continuing our Tech Professional Development opportunities with the wonderful Laurie Roberts. To sign up, read the descriptions of the PD’s, and dates please go to the WCCUSD website under Staff PD. Individuals may also choose to get paid for the hours if you have already completed your self-directed time. 

2. We are partnering with the Mindful Life Project to offer a fellowship program! For the description and information please download the flyer HERE. The fellow counts for all 10 hours of self-directed professional development and its a great opportunity to learn about classroom management skills while getting some peace of mind in a wonderful fellowship.

3. Catholic Charities are offering a set of free PD’s for educators and community around restorative justice practices. If you are interested, you may download the flyer HERE. The PD’s are free and can count toward your self-directed hours, unfortunately this PD cannot be time carded. 


UTR Elections, Alcosta Service Council/NEA/Rep Assembly begin February 17th

UTR is having elections starting today, February 17th 2017. The positions that are open for this election are the following:

Vice President
Area 1 Director
Area 2 Director
Area 3 Director
Elementary School Director
Middle School Director
High School Director
Special Services Director
1 CTA State Council Representative

 Declarations of Candidacy can be downloaded HERE. All declarations must be received in the UTR office, 700 Crestview Dr. Pinole, no later than 5:00 PM on Friday, March 3rd.

The elections timeline can be found HERE.

We will be using a Smart Voter system called “Big Pulse” to vote electronically. The system will be using your personal email to send you the ballot, you may use your smart phone or computer to vote. Big Pulse will be doing a trial email to everyone by March 10th. If you do not receive this email please call the office or email UTR staff so that it may be corrected.

If you would like to request a paper ballot the deadline to request paper ballots is March 6th. You may request a paper ballot by emailing membership@unitedteachersofrichmond.com or calling the UTR office at 510-222-5112.

A paper ballot will be mailed to your home address and it is your responsibility to bring to the UTR office. Members may also come and vote at the office. 

The election for the ALCOSTA Service Center Representative, and the NEA/RA assembly will also be at the same time as the UTR elections from March 1 through March 14th. Voting will be electronically.

We have three candidates from UTR running for NEA/RA Assembly. 

Robert Ellis

Demetrio Gonzalez

Terri Jackson

For any questions please email our elections chair Diana Ortega at: utrelections@gmail.com or membership@unitedteachersofrichmond.com

A Day Without Immigrants

As WCCUSD teachers we stand in Solidarity with those who participated in the Day Without Immigrants. 

We are worried and angry in the face of recent attacks on our immigrant students of all nationalities. Both the Muslim Ban and the recent escalation of deportations threatens the safety and stability of our students.

Many of us teach immigrant students or are immigrants and children of immigrants ourselves. This issue is both deeply personal and professional.

We support the actions being taken by parents, students, and workers across the United States. It is so important to use our collective power in these moments to challenge these escalating attacks.

There were hundreds of families that did not send their students to school and even though we advocate for students to be at school, we support the parents decision. According to attendance numbers some schools did not have between 80 to 200 students present. 

 Here are some of the pictures that were sent to UTR from WCCUSD Schools:

 Bayview Elementary School DeJean Middle School Dover Elementary Dover Elementary Lunch Lincoln Elementary School Lovonya DeJean Middle School Richmond High School

Dover Elementary School, Lovonya DeJean Middle School, Lincoln Elementary School, Dover Elementary School, Richmond High School, Bayview Elementary School, Dover Elementary School

I would like to wish everyone a relaxing President Week off. Thank you for all you do.

In solidarity,

Demetrio Gonzalez
President, United Teachers of Richmond CTA/NEA 

UTR Updates 2.13.17

Dear UTR members,

Happy Monday, we only have 5 days until Presidents week! There are a few updates that we would like to point out for this week.

Monday City Wide Rally

Today from 6:30 to 7:30 PM there will be a city wide solidarity Rally at Richmond City Hall in support of Immigrant and Muslim communities. The event is being hosted by a variety of community organizations including UTR.


Agenda: HERE
School Board Meeting
February 15th
Lovonya DeJean Middle School

This Wednesday, February 15th from 6:30 to 8:00 PM we will be coming to the WCCUSD School Board to share our opposition on continuing the contract with Richmond Charter Academy. Richmond Charter Academy has had many negative allegations when it comes to their disciplinary practices, parent involvement, and teacher expectations. If you know of anyone that has been a victim of RCA in the past please encourage them to come and speak at the Board meeting. We hope that the WCCUSD school board will vote No or at least create a mechanism of accountability to hold this school accountable with their past actions.

That night VOICES Charter School is reading their petition to open a TK-12 Charter School in WCCUSD. Their Dual Immersion Charter will open next year and will have an impact of over 500 students and over 4 million dollars by 2022. The WCCUSD School Board is currently making an investment in Dual Immersion and we believe they should absolutely vote no and ask the families to join WCCUSD efforts increase Dual Immersion in our current schools.

For the flyer for that night please download HERE.



1. We have a REP Council Meeting this Wednesday, February 15th from 4:00 to 5:30 at Pinole Middle School.

2. If you have not completed your site contact list please do so by our REP Council Meeting. Our goal is to have over 95% of our memberships contact information. This is to renew our system and so that everyone may vote online in our future UTR elections and tentative bargaining agreement.

Thank you everyone and I wish you a very relaxing and happy Presidents Week off. 

In solidarity,

Demetrio Gonzalez
President, United Teachers of Richmond CTA/NEA 

3 things to know – Board Meeting, Non-reelect, H.S. Schedule MOU’s

Dear UTR members,

There are three things you should be aware off that might impact you directly. 

1. We will be sending more information on Monday about why we are going to the next Board meeting on Wednesday, February 15th from 6:30 to 7:30. We will be sending you a flyer as well as information pertaining to the renewal of the contract between WCCUSD and Richmond Charter Academy. As mentioned before we are opposing the renewal of the contract. That night “Voices” is also presenting information about their dual immersion charter school petition as well as Caliber Beta Academy on their facilities request.

2. Attention Teachers Who Have Received a Non-Reelection Notice:

Teachers who have received a non-reelection notice from the WCCUSD should call the UTR office at 510-222-5112 as soon as possible to discuss options about what to do next.

3. High Schools should be having a discussion already around their schedules and possible MOU’s. The MOU guidelines as well as the voting guidelines for the schedules are attached HERE and HERE. Please review them as you revisit the schedules as a site. 

Thank you for all you do. Please forward to fellow staff members who don’t get our newsletters.

In solidarity,

Demetrio Gonzalez
President, United Teachers of Richmond CTA/NEA 

2016/17 ED Fund Teachers of the year!

Dear UTR Members,

The Ed Fund’s five 2017 Teaching Excellence Awardees were announced on Friday during surprise visits to the winners’ classrooms by administrators, colleagues, trustees, parents, and family members who presented them with banners and flowers in front of their students. Congratulations to Spanish Teacher Paula Raj at De Anza High School, Third Grade Teacher Tiffany Okubo Chieudjui at Grant Elementary, Dance Teacher Jessy Kronenberg at El Cerrito High School, and Seventh Grade English Teacher Sarah La Due at Korematsu Middle School.

You may read more about their well deserved recognition HERE and HERE.

Congratulations again to our 4 winners representing all of UTR and WCCUSD.

Jessy Kronenberg Paula Raj Sarah Ladou Tiffany Chieudjui

UTR Updates February 6th

Dear UTR members, 

Happy Monday and happy February, only 10 days left until Presidents Week! From January 27th through January 29th our wonderful State Council Members Doug Marques, Robert Ellis, Eric Swabeck, and Jacob Gran represented us in LA. Below are their reports, please read at your earliest convenience. 

Doug Marques

Eric Swabeck

Jacob Gran 

I would like to thank our State Council Representatives for doing an incredible job and speaking on UTR’s behalf. 


1. The Loan Forgiveness Training was POSTPONED for April.

2. If you are a TTL, VAPA, academic subcommittee lead, or Department Chair and were not paid your full stipend due to missing the monthly district lead meetings please contact us as soon as possible. 

3. School Board Meeting – February 15th at Lovonya DeJean Middle School, UTR is speaking against the continuation of Richmond Charter Academy. We are opposing it due to its terrible disciplinary practices and harm to our children as well as to their educators. Please join us to unite against the approval of their contract that will keep them open until 2021. 


Reminder to please send updated contact lists to the UTR office at your earliest convenience. Sites/departments with 100% participation will get a prize from UTR!  

In solidarity,

Demetrio Gonzalez
President, United Teachers of Richmond CTA/NEA

UTR Updates and News 2.2.17

Dear UTR member, 

First of all, I would like to thank everyone that came to the UTR Rally Yesterday. We had a great turn out and I really appreciated those who came and spoke to the School Board about LCAP and our Bargaining Re-opener. We had several community members and organizations there supporting us like the Richmond Progressive Alliance.

I have some highlights and information about the last few days and our last rep council meeting, please read below.

School Board Meeting
February 1st, 2017

You may find the agenda of the meeting HERE. 

1. LCAP – Superintendent Duffy proposed to the WCCUSD School Board a set of priorities which align really well with UTR’s Priorities (You may find HERE). I would like to appreciate Superintendent Duffy for taking our input and feedback on the priorities presented. His top three priorities are; 1 Hiring more teachers in the secondary level in order to reduce class sizes; 2 Hiring more Assistant Principals (10) for our high need elementary schools; 3 Hiring more Counselors to support our students and educators in all levels. 

UTR presented on our priorities and commended the priorities of the district. The Board and superintendent Duffy really advocated for our educators to get the right support and tools to succeed last night. 

 2. The Board had a long discussion about Dual Immersion and the benefits/issues of adding Dual Immersion Mandarin. Some of the concerns were the displacement of Wilson. The Board expressed discontent by making the Wilson family wait on their facility therefore the Board decided to take the old Portola building off the table as an option for location so that the construction of Wilson may begin. The board instructed Superintendent Duffy to look for other options including the Serra Adult School building.

3. WCCUSD Staff presented on their 2017 bargaining proposal with UTR. The District has decided to open article 22 – Calendar.

4. President Gonzalez presented on UTR’s 2017 bargaining proposal with WCCUSD. UTR has decided to open article 23 – Salary. President Gonzalez presented on our current place in the Bay area when it comes to salary and benefits and an overall goal for why our educators should be paid more.

5. There was a resolution to adopt African American History Month.

6. There was a Resolution to Recognize Fred T. Korematsu Day.

REP Council Meeting
January 25th, 2017

REPS, please make sure you are doing your 10 minute Union Meetings to update our members.  

1. You may read the President’s Report HERE. President Gonzalez reported on the following items: UTR’s week of Action, District Benchmarks – opt out option, LCAP, High School Class Sizes, Involvement in committees, and Site Visits for elementary Schools.

2. You may read the Human Rights Report HERE. Human Rights committee is having their next meeting Tuesday, February 7th from 4:00 to 5:30 at the UTR office (700 Crestview Dr, Pinole).

3. Grievance Committee presented on the grievance process and encouraging everyone to please speak to their REP if there are any contractual issues. REPS are there to help.  You may find the Grievance Form HERE or in the UTR website. You may also reach out to the grievance committee for any questions to: grieve@unitedteachersofrichmond.com

4. Elections Committee reported on the elections challenge. The challenge was reviewed by the elections committee and a recommendation went to the Executive Board. The Executive Board reviewed the challenge and the recommendation and voted to unanimously not accept the challenge therefore the election is valid. The decision has been appealed to CTA.

5. Organizing! – REPS have to go back to the sites and get all UTR members updated information. It is incredibly important that we have updated personal information. Even if you have given your information to UTR in the past, we are updated our server. This is so that you may vote on the tentative agreement once negotiations end as well as in future UTR elections. PLEASE make sure you get everyone at your school to provide this information to your site REP. We have a goal of 95% of our members information will be obtained by end of February. REPS please send the information to the UTR office.

Future UTR Trainings

1. Legal Training – You may find the flyer HERE. February 2nd, 4:00 to 6:00 PM at Helms Middle School.

2. The Loan Forgiveness Training has been CANCELLED and will be rescheduled for April. We apologize for the last minute cancellation but our NEA presenters will not able to make it. 

3. UTR still has our technology trainings. They have been incredibly successful with over 40 people attending each time! You may find the dates and locations at the WCCUSD PD Calendar under “UTR Trainings”.

DeVos News

From NEA:

The final vote could happen as soon as Saturday, and every call counts. Your senator could cast the deciding vote to block DeVos.

Call now: 1-855-882-6229

Miranda Green Tweet
We only need one more Republican senator to commit to voting no on this completely unqualified nominee. And look at this:

Pick up the phone right now. 1-855-882-6229

In solidarity,

Demetrio Gonzalez
President, United Teachers of Richmond CTA/NEA

UTR Trainings and Rally!

Hello UTR members,

There are two UTR trainings and an event that we would like to highlight! Both events are open to anyone from the community and are free. Both trainings count towards your 10 hours of self-directed professional development. 

1. UTR is hosting a “Legal Training” on February 2nd from 4:00 to 6:00 PM at Helms Middle School (Library) 2500 Rd 20, San Pablo, CA 94806. You may download the flyer HERE.

Screen Shot 2017-01-26 at 9.26.31 PM
2. UTR is hosting a “Loan Forgiveness training” on February 6th from 4:00 to 6:00 PM at Helms Middles School (Cafeteria) 2500 Rd 20, San Pablo, CA 94806. You may download the flyer HERE.Description: Session will support educators understand their legal rights in WCCUSD and in California. Session is led by one of our very talented CTA lawyers. 

Screen Shot 2017-01-26 at 9.27.01 PM

Description: Do you have student loans? Are you struggling to pay all your loans and your everyday bills with a teacher salary? Come to this training where NEA specialists will tell you about loan forgiveness programs, grants, and other options to reduce or eliminate your loans! 

We will be having a rally at the next Board Meeting occurring February 1st from 6:30 to 7:30 at DeJean Middle School.

3400 Macdonald Ave, Richmond, CA 94805

It is crucial that we have members come and represent UTR. We are speaking on three items and we would appreciate having people come and share their stories during public comment. You can also come with signs to support the speakers! The three items are:

                 1st item: Petition of renewal for Richmond Charter Academy. Richmond Charter Academy is a charter school in WCCUSD that has terrible disciplinary practices, parent rules about engaging students and being part of the site, and treat their teachers really poorly.  We are  FULLY opposing their renewal.

                 2nd item: Sunshine document. We are presenting our reopening article (article 23 – salary) to the School Board. Please come speak on why we should get an increase in salary this year! Your story is powerful. We NEED YOU to come and speak on your struggles, successes, and need.

                3rd item: LCAP priorities. The School Board will be looking at the priorities for the 2017/18 school year. We are providing UTR’s and educators priorities to the board that night. The priorities that we are presenting are: Lowering class sizes, increasing teacher pay, more assistant principals for elementary schools, more FTE’s and site allocations, increase in Counselors, and more grad tutors at sites. Please come and speak on one of the priorities and why they are important that through the LCAP they get funded. Are class sizes important to you? Without your voice and your story the school board doesn’t get our perspective. Please join us and spread the word.  

We will have UTR shirts for people who come, pizza, and signs!!! Please join us and bring 2-3 educators from your site!

Please wear UTR BLUE!!!

In solidarity,

Demetrio Gonzalez
President, United Teachers of Richmond CTA/NEA 

UTR’s week of action!

Dear UTR members,

Please find attached to this letter the calendar of activities that UTR is sponsoring and encouraging every member to be a part of for the week leading to the inauguration of President-Elect Trump. Every day as a union and West Contra Costa Educators we will be doing something different. In order to spread the word about tolerance, unity, and support of our public schools we need every single member to participate.

We encourage every site REP to hold a meeting January 13th so that staffs may discuss the events and organize. We encourage everyone to please watch the following short video that explains the calendar. If you have any questions please call our office or contact the Human Rights Committee at president@unitedteachersofrichmond.com 

Please watch the following video. It explains the calendar of activites.

It is so incredibly important that we join thousands of educators, families, community leaders, community organizations, politicians, and fellow unions around the country to demand from our President-Elect to be fair and just in his presidency.  We fully oppose his appointments to cabinet and we join CTA, NEA, and AFT in their views of such appointments. We value and honor public education and fully disagree and oppose the appointment of DeVos as Secretary of Education.

Thank you very much for your support and commitment to tolerance and peace. Big shoutout and thanks to the Human Rights committee for their work and commitment to this work.

In solidarity,

UTR Human Rights Committee
UTR Executive Board
UTR President

Human Rights Committee Meeting

Hello UTR Members,

 Please join us to share your ideas and have a great and powerful discussion. The Human Rights Committee will be hosting a meeting on January 10th from 4:00 to 5:30 PM at the UTR office (700 Crestview Dr, Pinole). The meeting will have two goals. First goal is to have a conversation around how UTR will be organizing and responding to the inauguration of President-elect Trump and the 20th of January (an event, a walk, a demonstration, etc) as well as the appointment of Secretary of education elect DeVoz. Second goal is to review the resolution that went to the WCCUSD Board called “Resolution in matter of reaffirming our Values of Peace, Tolerance, and Respect”.

In solidarity,

Alyssa Hoy, Jacob Gran, Doug Marques

UTR Women Rights, Human Rights, and LGBTQ Rights Committees 

UTR Updates 1.9.17

Dear UTR members,

Please excuse not having a 3 minute video this week with a summary of updates but we ran into tech difficulties. Below are UTR highlights, information from the Board Meeting, and resources from the community. 

UTR Highlights

1. Elementary School Site visits will be starting soon. Last semester the President and Executive Director visited the High Schools and Middle Schools. We will be visiting elementary schools to talk to staffs about bargaining, needs, and UTR information. We will start on the week of the 23rd of January with Mira Vista, Stewart and Korematsu.

2. Executive Board this week gave its directive to the Bargaining team. As mentioned before, our Re-opener will be article 23 (Salary). Bargaining is in the beginning stages of research. The Bargaining team is looking at the WCCUSD Budget in order to negotiate for an increase in Salary.  Thank you everyone who took the bargaining survey.

3. We will be collaborating with WCCUSD in sponsoring between 10 and 20 UTR members to go to the “Good Teaching Conference North” in San Jose from February 3th through 5th. The CTA Good Teaching Conferences support excellent teaching and learning practices for classroom teachers via peer-to-peer instruction. Offering a variety of diverse workshops focused on curriculum content areas for K-12 teachers, the conferences provide opportunities for professional development and offer time to network and share ideas with colleagues and experts in the field of education. For more information please go HERE. If you are interested in attending please fill out the form HERE. Attendees will be chosen by January 20th. All expenses for the conference will be paid by UTR and WCCUSD.

4. The Human Rights Committee will be hosting a meeting tomorrow January 10th from 4:00 to 5:30 PM at the UTR office (700 Crestview Dr, Pinole). The meeting will have two goals. First goal is to have a conversation around how UTR will be organizing and responding to the inauguration of President-elect Trump and the 20th of January (an event, a walk, a demonstration, etc) as well as the appointment of Secretary of education elect DeVoz. Second goal is to review the resolution that went to the WCCUSD Board called “Resolution in matter of reaffirming our Values of Peace, Tolerance, and Respect”.

5. A few members have had issues with their department chair stipends. If you had an issue that has not yet been resolved please respond to this email with details so we may support you. 

WCCUSD School Board Meeting
January 4th, 2017 

1.The WCCUSD Board approved the salary increase for Substitute Teachers from $117 dollars to $135 a day.

2. The Board approved an increase in Dual Immersion programs including Spanish and Mandarin.

3. Richmond Charter Academy did their renewal presentation to the board. Decision to the renewal is February 1st, 2017. We will be giving more information in a few weeks.


1. WCCUSD is hiring for a coordinator of recruitment and retention. If you or anyone you know are interested please go HERE for the application and details.

2. Travis Credit Union and Contra Costa College are holding their annual Cal Grant presentation on a different college campus and share information about the FAFSA, the Cal Grant and the importance of higher education with students who attend. They provide busing, lunches and resource folders/ backpacks.  If you are interested in taking students or sharing this information you may download the flyer HERE.

3. The RYSE Youth Center is hosting a meeting for all educators on Thursday, January 12th from 5:00 to 7:30 PM. The purpose of the meeting is to plan in collaboration with RYSE, UTR, and the Mindful Life Project a series of actions for inauguration week. At the meeting RYSE will share updates on local and regional actions, discuss planning efforts in Richmond, and support educators with resources for the week. Flyer is HERE.

In solidarity,

Demetrio Gonzalez

President, United Teachers of Richmond CTA/NEA

Welcome Back!


Dear UTR members,

From Executive Board and UTR staff I would like to wish you a very prosperous and happy 2017.

I am incredibly humbled that I have been able to serve as your union President for the last 6 months. We have been able to accomplish so much in such a short amount of time. We are seen in the community as a valuable organization and leaders in education. I hope that we’re able to continue building partnerships with the community, parents, and leaders so that we can challenge the status quo and accomplish positive things for kids and educators.

In the next few months we will be presented with a lot of challenges but I welcome them since I know this organization and its members are the most resilient people I have ever met and we will overcome them together. In the next few months we will see challenges from charter schools, bargaining, changes in education nation wide, and possible policy changes that might affect not just our union but our positions. As we move forward this semester I hope that all of you will continue to get involved with UTR since we are only as strong as our numbers. We will also see a lot of positives and we will also celebrate those wins together.

The WCCUSD School Board is having a board meeting this Wednesday, January 3rd from 6:30 to 10:00 PM at DeJean Middle School. You may find the agenda with details HERE.

Some of the highlights from the meeting will be:

1. The District will recognize the contributions of members of our school community who have passed away; Alice Romero, Tremayne Childs, Sara Hoda, and Travis Hough.

2.Richmond Charter Academy will be having a public hearing to renew their contract. At this board meeting the board will hear a presentation from District staff and RCA staff around their academics and performance. The WCCUSD will make a decision by the first February Board Meeting. UTR will be fully opposing their renewal due to their disciplinary practices, communication, budget transparency, and parent involvement.

3. There will be an audit presentation about Measure G from the 2015-16 school year.

4. The board will be reviewing a proposal to increase sub pay from $117 dollars a day to $135 a day and the long term rate from $160.00 per day to $175.00 per day.

5. Superintendent Duffy will make a presentation about Dual Immersion and the plan to increase it in WCCUSD. The plan will talk about the expansion of Spanish DI programs and the introduction of Mandarin in WCCUSD.

6. The Board will review Resolution No. 55-1617: CalPERS California Employers’ Retiree Benefit Trust Program (CERBT).

7. The Board will be approving the college readiness block grant that WCCUSD will be getting for the upcoming school year.  

I wish everyone a happy first week back to school.

In solidarity,

Demetrio Gonzalez

President, United Teachers of Richmond CTA/NEA

Bargaining Survey

Hello UTR members,

Please click on the link below and complete the Bargaining survey. This will help with our re-opener this year. The window for the survey is from December 13th through January 3rd. 

Bargaining Survey

Thank you,

Lucy Giusto

Bargaining Chair, United Teachers of Richmond CTA/NEA

UTR Updates 12.12.16

Dear UTR members,

Happy last week of school, only 5 days left! I would like to give you some updates from the School Board meeting last week ,updates for this week, and UTR election results. If you would like to watch the 3 minute summary video please click on the link below.

I would like to sincerely thank you for all the work that you do day in and day out to help students, fellow members, and families. The work you do is shaping the future of our nation. We are creating the leaders of the future that one day will create a better world for everyone. I hope that during this winter break you are able to enjoy your family, friends, and time without work. It is so incredibly important to take care of ourselves. Teachers are the most selfless human beings and we work and work no matter what because we care so deeply, but please don’t forget that we always have to take a pause and just do some self healing and self care in order to move forward with that important work. Enjoy the time off and we will see you in January.

3 Minute Update video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HE6_Fhm_v48&feature=youtu.be

1. Executive Board passed a resolution last Wednesday titled Resolution in Matter of Reaffirming our Values of Peace, Tolerance, and Respect. Big thanks to the Human Rights Co-chairs Alyssa Hoy and Jacob Gran for their work in supporting to write this resolution. This issue is incredibly important for the lives of our students and families in WCCUSD. As a Union we will continue to advocate and fight for the rights of teachers to have academic freedom, for students to be safe and feel safe in the places where they learn, and for families to not fear that they might never see their kids again if they drop them off at school. We will stand in solidarity with the community no matter what it takes, and we will not let hate prevail in our beautiful community.


UTR Elections Results

Congratulations to Jacob Gran who was officially confirmed for the CTA rep council for the next two years with 466 votes. Term expires in 2018. Winner of the run-off election needed to obtain 408 votes to win the election out of the 814 total casted votes.

Jacob Gran: 466 Votes

Kristyn Jones: 282 Votes 

Thank you to the elections committee for spending over 5 hours on Friday counting ballots. We appreciate your commitment to supporting the membership.

Warm Regards,

Diana Ortega,
UTR Elections Chair

Tellers Report : run-off-final-tellers-report

School Board Meeting 12/07/16

For the agenda please go HERE.

1. Richmond High School teachers and students spoke about the problem of lack of certified and classified staff at their site. The WCCUSD Board and Staff assured them it would be solved later in the meeting.

2. This was the first Board meeting for newly elected Board members Mister Phillips and Tom Panas. Both board members had their swearing in ceremony at the beginning of the meeting.

3.During awards and celebrations, the board celebrated El Cerrito High Theater Technician, Kevin Little, and El Cerrito High Students who participate. Congratulations Kevin!

4. The board began discussion around their resolution No. 54-1617 in Support of Students who are Undocumented, Muslim or Persons of Color and their Families and Protocols for Immigration and Customs Enforcement Access to Schools. UTR presented their resolution that was approved by Executive board that same day. You may read the resolution above.

Among the speakers who read the resolution were myself, Marissa Glidden UTR VP, Alyssa Hoy UTR Human Rights Co-Chair, Jacob Gran UTR Human Rights Co-Chair, Rhem Bell ED, and members from the community. Among the many who stood with UTR were The Latina Center, First 5 Contra Costa, the Bayside Council of PTAs, West Contra Costa Parents Council, WCCAA, Adult School, Supervisor John Gioia, Building Blocks for Kids Richmond Collaborative, and the many other community organizations, unions, and leaders.

The board ended up adopting portions of our resolution and amending theirs in order to fit them. At the end the board approved the resolution with a 4 to 1 vote, Mister Phillips abstaining. I would like to thank Board members Kronenberg, Cuevas, and Panas, for support UTR’s resolution and amending their original resolution. I would also like to thank all the community organizations, administrators, teachers, and everyone who came and spoke in support. Overall we had over 50 individuals supporting us and standing alongside us reading the resolution.

4. The first interim Report was adopted and Associate Superintendent Business Services Sheri Gamba presented on the budget. 

Again, I would like to wish everyone a very happy winter break. 

In solidarity,

Demetrio Gonzalez
President, United Teachers of Richmond CTA/NEA 

UTR Resolution – Resolution in Matter of Reaffirming our Values of Peace, Tolerance, and Respect

UTR would like to thank everyone who stood in solidarity with us at last night’s Board meeting. UTR introduced a resolution to protect our families, students, and educators from President-Elect Trump’s comments and changes in government that he plans in creating. We would like to thank the The Latina Center, First 5 Contra Costa, the Bayside Council of PTAs, West Contra Costa Parents Council, WCCAA, Adult School, Supervisor John Gioia, Building Blocks for Kids Richmond Collaborative, and the many other community organizations, unions, and leaders that stood with us last night.
The board approved a resolution last night 4 to 1 with amendments from UTR’s resolution. We would like to thank Board members Kronenberg, Cuevas, Panas, and Block for your support.
This issue is incredibly important for the lives of our students and families in WCCUSD. As a Union we will continue to advocate and fight for the rights of teachers to have academic freedom, for students to be safe and feel safe in the places where they learn, and for families to not fear that they might never see their kids again if they drop them off at school. We will stand in solidarity with the community no matter what it takes, and we will not let hate prevail in our beautiful community.

To see our resolution please go utr-resolution


Oakland Fires Update 12.6.16


Dear UTR members,
With deep sadness I am emailing you today. Today we lost two amazing educators from WCCUSD. Sara Hoda and Travis Hough died in the Oakland Fires on Friday. Sara was a teacher at Coronado Elementary School and one of our UTR REPS in 2015/16. Travis was a counselor in King Elementary and Montalvin Elementary. My condolences to everyone who knew them, and to all the families who are being affected by this terrible tragedy. I personally had met Sara various times and can say she was an incredible advocate, educator, and an amazing woman. Travis made a huge impact in the lives of kids and teachers and always cheered people with his smile.
For those who might need anything, please do not hesitate to reach out. The school district has sent care teams to the affected schools but we offer many resources for people who might need them or for students. If you feel like you need some support today or this week please let your principal know.
I would like to leave you with this poem from Maya Angelou that says:

“When Great Trees Fall”

“When great trees fall,
rocks on distant hills shudder,
lions hunker down
in tall grasses,
and even elephants
lumber after safety.
When great trees fall
in forests,
small things recoil into silence,
their senses
eroded beyond fear.
When great souls die,
the air around us becomes
light, rare, sterile.
We breathe, briefly.
Our eyes, briefly,
see with
a hurtful clarity.
Our memory, suddenly sharpened,
gnaws on kind words
promised walks
never taken.
Great souls die and
our reality, bound to
them, takes leave of us.
Our souls,
dependent upon their
now shrink, wizened.
Our minds, formed
and informed by their
fall away.
We are not so much maddened
as reduced to the unutterable ignorance
of dark, cold
And when great souls die,
after a period peace blooms,
slowly and always
irregularly. Spaces fill
with a kind of
soothing electric vibration.
Our senses, restored, never
to be the same, whisper to us.
They existed. They existed.
We can be. Be and be
better. For they existed.”

-Maya Angelou

Demetrio Gonzalez
President, United Teachers of Richmond CTA/NEA

UTR Updates 12.05.16 – REP Council


Hello UTR members,
10 work days left until winter break! Countdown begins.  I wanted to give you some of the highlights from our REP council meeting from November 30th. You may also watch the 5 minute summary video but I recommend still reading through the updates. Thank you for your work and support.



1. The RYSE Youth Center came to give us a presentation about their findings from their research campaign around student trauma. UTR will be partnering with RYSE this year to do a study around the impact student trauma has on educators, how we support students with trauma, what else our members might need to support ourselves and our students, and how it affects our students. They have asked anyone who is interested in participating to please email Kanwarpal Dhaliwal at kanwarpal@rysecenter.org. The study will take the rest of the 2016/17 school year and we hope many of you will participate as it will help us measure what our members need and go through on a daily basis. Participants will be able to contribute through various ways like interviews, small group discussions, surveys, etc.

2. REP Council was given the Presidents report which you can see HERE. In it I speak about our weekly video communications, local election results, the teacher housing task force, our event with BBK around Education INC, UTR/WCCUSD Secondary Class Size Sub Committee, 2nd REP Training, New Teacher Support Event, and National Election Results Gathering with RYSE and Mindful Life.
3. REP Council was given the Executive Directors Report which you may see HERE. In the report our Executive Director talks about maternity and paternity leave and the new state mandate.
4. During Committee Reports we had the following:
Political Action Committee gave the final budget and celebrated all the wins we had in our local election (Passing of Measure T, Prop 55, Prop 58, Prop 52, and getting Mister Phillips elected). We also had a discussion about the loss of the County seat and how moving forward, UTR will be holding their own endorsement instead of CTA.
Elections Committee gave an update on the results of the CTA council seat race and spoke about the run-off process. Please see previous email and our website for more information.
Bargaining Committee talked about the beginning stages of the re-opener. Executive Board passed a motion that the one re-opener this year will be salary. The bargaining team will be sending an email with a survey for the membership. We ask that everyone tries their best to respond as soon as possible. Starting January, the bargaining Chair and the President will be giving live updates every other Monday from 4:00 to 5:00 PM online through blogging. People will be able to log in and chat with them directly and ask any question about bargaining. We will be sending the link with instructions for those interested. We will also be sending updates through reps and paper form.
     –Member Engagement Committee gave an update about a new Anti-harassment and inclusion campaign that UTR will be starting as of next week. Every UTR member will be getting a wristband with the message “No Place for Hate”. We encourage everyone to talk to your students about what the message means and we will be sending resources with the wristband for everyone. The reason we’re starting this campaign is due to the increase in hate crimes, bullying, and harassment we are seeing nation wide. In WCCUSD we just experienced the murder of William Sims who was well known in our community and loved by students in Kennedy High School. Thank you to Emily Santiago who came up with the idea. For a picture of the wristband please look below:

5. Executive Board will be creating a task force to review the UTR Standing Rules and BY Laws. This was started due to the fact that we don’t have consequences to the brake of UTR Code of Conduct but the task force will also review all rules and laws. If you would like to be part of this task force please let me know. The more the better.

6. This Wednesday we have a School Board Meeting. It is the first meeting with Board Members Phillips and Panas. You may find the agenda HEREUTR will be bringing a resolution to the board written by our Human Rights chairs Alyssa Hoy and Jacob Gran. The resolution is attached HERE. It will be reviewed and approved by Executive Board this Wednesday, if you have any feedback please email it to us. The WCCUSD School Board is also passing a resolution, which you can find on the agenda. Once ours is approved and we give it to the board, with both resolutions we hope that our students and teachers will feel a little bit safer in these times of turmoil and unknown.  The Board Meeting is at 6:30 PM at DeJean Middle School. Hope to see you there.
Thank you for all the work and support. Please do not forget to vote this week for the run-off election between Jacob Gran and Kristyn Jones.
In solidarity,
Demetrio Gonzalez
President, United Teachers of Richmond CTA/NEA


UTR elections Update 12.1.16

Hello everyone,
Happy Friday! The run-off election voting starts Monday, December 5th and goes through Thursday, December 8th.
The elections chair and I wanted to make sure that everyone was aware of the voting instructions. I have attached a video below on how to vote during the run-off.
UTR Election instructions
UTR Election instructions

We had 79 illegal ballots that the elections committee found during the counting. Please make sure that you vote by following the instructions.

1. Sign into the roster
2. Grab your small envelop, large envelop, and ballot.
3. Vote in the ballot provided.
4. Place ballot inside small envelop.
5. Place sealed small envelop into large envelop.
6. Write your first and last name, sign, and write your site on the outside of the large envelop.
7. Give sealed large envelop to your rep.
8. Reps please bring all voting materials to the UTR office including all envelops AND signed Rosters by 5:00 on December 9th, 2016.

Run off election is between Jacob Gran and Kristyn Jones. If you would like to watch their forum videos please go to the links below.

Jacob Gran
Jacob Gran

Kristyn Jones
Kristyn Jones

If you have any questions please respond to this email or call the UTR office. To see the voting timeline please go HERE.

In solidarity,

Demetrio Gonzalez
President, United Teachers of Richmond CTA/NEA

UTR Updates 11/29/16

Hello everyone,

We have gotten a lot of positive feedback about our new communication and weekly updates. To continue increasing our member outreach, I will be sending every monday a 3 minute video with information. I know many people don’t have time to read the emails so I hope this will help our busy schedules. The first video with updates is below:

UTR Updates 11.28.16
UTR Updates 11.28.16


1.  REP Council Meeting this Wednesday, November 30th from 4:00 to 5:30 at Pinole Middle School.

2. Bargaining has began and the bargaining team has been meeting to discuss next steps. We have one re-opener this year and Executive Board after reviewing the membership survey that went out this fall, passed a motion for the re-opener to be salary. The Bargaining team is currently reviewing the direction of executive board and will give their recommendation to the board as well as creating another survey that will be going out to membership.

The bargaining chair and the UTR President to increase communication through bargaining will be blogging live every other Monday from 4:00 to 5:00 PM so that members are able to ask questions, make suggestions, or comments about the process or about what is happening. The link and more information will be going out soon.

3. UTR Elections are still happening. Congratulations to Robert Ellis for winning his seat for CTA State Council with over 50% of the votes. The run-off for the second seat has began and will be between Jacob Gran and Kristyn Jones. Campaigning will continue until December 4th, 2016. Sites will be voting starting Monday, December 5th and will continue until Thursday, December 8th. All ballots and rosters must be turned into the UTR office by 5:00 PM on Friday, December 9th.

4. The RYSE Youth Center is doing a series of workshops called “Love and Rage”. A panel discussion of implications for Trump’s first 100 days and calls to action followed by round table discussions with panelists and participants towards an ongoing series of assemblies to identify needs and responses as his presidency continues. To sign up please go HERE.

5. We recommend that our members get really involved in their SSC process at their sites. SSC and your principal should be currently reviewing the 2017/2018 site budget. If you want to get more information please reach out to your SSC representatives or ask your principal for a copy of the budget.

6. President Elect Trump has picked his choice for Secretary of Education. You may look at the article HERE. He has chosen a well known Charter School Advocate Betsy DeVos. You may read the reaction by our NEA President Eskelsen García HERE.

UTR Election Results

Dear UTR members,
Congratulations to Robert Ellis who was officially confirmed for the CTA rep council for the next two years with 454 votes. Term expires in 2018.  The second CTA State council spot has resulted in a runoff between Jacob Gran and Kristyn Jones. This is due to a majority needed in order to win (50 % + 1). The results of the elections are below.
Meisha Gash: 145 Votes
Jacob Gran: 234 Votes
Kristyn Jones: 185 Votes
Voting for the runoff election will take place on December 5-9th.  For the election window timeline please refer to the link HERE. Also, please continue to adhere to the election committee guidelines and UTR’s past practice of withholding all campaigning during the voting week.
Thank you to the elections committee for spending over 4 hours on Friday counting ballots. We appreciate your commitment to supporting the membership.
Warm Regards,
Diana Ortega,
UTR Elections Chair

UTR Updates 11/21/16

Happy short week, only 2.5 days until a very well deserved break! Please excuse the long email but there are a some highlights from UTR as well as from the School Board meeting this week that I would like to make you aware of. I would like to wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving Break.

UTR Highlights

1. We had our second REP Council training on Thursday and it went really well. Thank you to all the REPS that came. UTR has not had REP trainings in a long time and we have been able to provide two so far. We plan on providing one final training in the spring.

2. This past Saturday we co-hosted the “New Teacher Gathering” for all our new members. The event was hosted by WCCUSD, UTR, TIP, TFA, and PAR. We were able to have very successful sessions on classroom management, Trauma informed practices, and self-care/prioritizing. We had approximately 80 members attend. The superintendent himself did a session on classroom management and members seemed to enjoy themselves very much. We plan on co-hosting a second one in the spring for anyone who would like to join us.

3. This coming Monday UTR, the RYSE Youth Center, and the Mindful Life Project are hosting an event to talk about the national election results. UTR members will have chance to talk about the needs and emotions of our students as well as have a session on how to turn the anger and sadness into actions. We will have free dinner and childcare. The event will take place at the RYSE Center (205 41st St, Richmond, CA 94805) from 5:30 to 8:00 PM. The time counts towards our 10 hours of self-directed professional development.
4. The elections committee met to count the ballots for our CTA State Council Positions on Friday. Thank you to the elections committee for meeting Friday for over 4 hours to count the ballots. Announcements will be printed, posted, and sent to the sites on November 22nd.
5. Next REP Council Meeting is November 30th at Pinole Middle School from 4:00 to 5:30.
Highlights from the School Board Meeting

1. Board Members Enos and Groves were celebrated for their time at the WCCUSD School Board and for their commitment to our community. This was their last school board meeting before Board member elect Mister Phillips and Tom Panas take over. UTR celebrated Board members Enos and Groves and wished them a very happy retirement. Board member Groves expressed his gratitude and love for our community and plans on continuing being involved and helping teachers and students. If anyone would like to email them to thank them for their time in the board you can email them at: randallenos@sbcglobal.net and toddagroves@gmail.com.
2. The WCCUSD School Board announced and voted on the “Teacher Housing Task Force” which was presented a few weeks ago as an idea from our President in order to explore housing opportunities for our members on District owned land. Assembly member Tony Thurman, a representative from Congressman Desaulnier’s office, Supervisor John Gioia, Superintendent Duffy, Board Member Cuevas, Board Member Kronenberg, and our UTR President will be sitting on the Task Force.
3. The WCCUSD School Board voted unanimously to let Richmond College Prep expand from a prek-6 school to prek-8 grade school. The District granted the RCP petition in 2005, and the school opened in 2006. In 2010, the board granted a renewal, and in 2015, a second renewal was granted until the year 2020. On Monday, September 19, 2016 the District received a Material Revision of the Richmond College Prep Charter. The petition states that the school wishes to expand from a Pre-K through 6th grade school, through the 7th and 8th grades. On Wednesday, November 2, 2016 the Board heard a presentation by the school leadership and staff, describing the program and plans for expansion.

4. WCCUSD Voted Unanimously to approve the agreement with the Adult Education Program Teachers/AB1200. Adult School has been in conversation and negotiations with WCCUSD for a few months in order to make this contract occur. We celebrate with our brothers and sisters from Adult School for your approval. Congratulations.

To see the School Board agenda or future agendas please go HERE

Once again, from your UTR leadership we wish everyone a very happy Thanksgiving Break.

In Solidarity,

Demetrio Gonzalez
President, United Teachers of Richmond CTA/NEA

Two Events coming up!

Hello UTR members,

There are two events coming up in the next week that UTR has been supporting to make happen. We hope to see you there.

National Election Results and Impact in WCCUSD

Join the RYSE Youth Center, United Teachers of Richmond CTA/NEA, and Mindful Life Project to discuss how the national election results are affecting our students and educators in WCCUSD. We will discuss strategies to support our youth as well as needs and actions. We will have free dinner and child care. Please download the flyer HERE. Also to register go to: https://goo.gl/forms/Z35Eu4pxsVCOKkU32
Since its a UTR sponsored PD night it can count towards your 10 hours of self-directed professional development.


New Teacher Gathering

The new teacher gathering was created by various partners that provide support to our new members. It was created from a survey that went out to all 1st and 2nd year teachers in WCCUSD and what they said they needed in their current development. The event will take place this Saturday from 9:00 to 11:30 at DeJean Middle School. We will have sessions on classroom management, lesson planning, supporting students through trauma, unit planning, and more. Breakfast and lunch will be provided. Members who attend may choose to get paid for the 2.5 hours or use them towards their self-directed professional development. Its directed towards new members but any member is welcome to attend! To download the flyer please go HERE. You may also register to the event on the district PD Calendar.


UTR Elections Update

Hello UTR Members,

We have an update on the UTR Elections. All elections are being monitored by CTA and everything has been reviewed and approved by the CTA governance committee and elections committee. If you have any questions please send them directly to the UTR Elections committee.

We have three candidates running for CTA State Council. The candidates are Meisha Gash, Jacob Gran, and Kristyn Jones. Yesterday we had our Candidate Forum at Richmond High School. We recorded the interviews and if you would like to watch the candidate statements please go below and click on each candidates name.

Meisha Gash

Jacob Gran

Kristyn Jones

Candidates will have until Sunday November 13th to campaign (no campaigning is allowed during voting). All sites will be voting starting Monday, November 14th through Thursday, November 17th. All ballots must be turned into the UTR office by 5:00 PM Friday, November 18th. The elections committee will be meeting Friday, November 18th to count ballots. All candidates and members will be notified of the results on November 22nd.


Diana Ortega
Chair, UTR Elections Committee

2016 Election Results

Dear UTR members,
I have come to learn that teaching is one of the hardest job anyone could ever do. We don’t just have to put our own feelings and emotions aside but we have to take care of those that need it most. We don’t do that because we have to, but because we want to or need to. Today, we all have students and kids hurting. Throughout WCCUSD many of our kids will go to school today scared that it might be their last day in this country. Many of our kids will go to school today scared that their parents will be sent back to their countries of origin. Many of our kids will go to school today tired because their families could not sleep the night before. Today a girl in your classroom might feel defeated and broken. The election results will have a traumatic experience on our students in WCCUSD. Sadly, the best thing we can do today is be there for them, talk to them about their experience, and listen. Hold them and tell them we love them, and that in moments of uncertainty and fear, we have to hope and believe we will have a brighter tomorrow. We can reassure them that this country was build in the backs of people who persevere and people who have gone through struggle.This country will not change because of one man. This country is not one man. This country is all of us. We stand together through times of struggle, that’s what makes us who we are and what this country is about. Remind all girls in your classrooms that today, we made history. Today, hold that sad student a little tighter and please do not forget to also take care of yourselves in your incredibly challenging roles, but remember that at times we are all they got.

For elementary teachers, you can find HERE a lesson for a restorative circle around the elections written by a teacher in WCCUSD. You may take it or leave it, but just a resource in speaking with students.
In brighter news, propositions 55, 58, and 52 passed in California! Thank you to everyone who spread the word and supported the movement to get them passed!
Congratulations to UTR endorsed candidate, Mister Phillips on winning one of the two seats for the West Contra Costa Unified School District! Thank you everyone who supported Mister Phillips and volunteered their time! Second seat was won by candidate Tom Panas.
Finally, Measure T was passed in WCCUSD! Congratulations to everyone! UTR had a big impact in passing this measure, which was incredibly important to support our members.  All polls were saying it would not pass and I was told many times it would not go through, but we pulled it together!

You can find local results HERE.

In Solidarity,
Demetrio Gonzalez
President, United Teachers of Richmond CTA/NEA

One day left! GOTV Time!

Hello UTR Members,
Only one day left until voting. If you have not been able to volunteer please join us tonight at the UTR office. Its our last night of phone banking! We will be at 700 Crestview Drive from 3:30 PM to 7:00 PM. We will have food, drinks, and prizes! Here is a message from Tony Goldwyn and NEA: HERE
If you would like to continue spreading the word please post on social media the CTA voter guide, link is: http://www.cta.yourvoter.guide/#/search

Please also come join us for our Election Night Watch Party! We will be at the RYSE Youth Center. We will have free food (taco truck), prizes, drinks, free child care, activities, and much more.
The Antioch Education Association is also asking for our support this Wednesday. Rocketship School is trying to open a charter in Antioch. On November 9th at 7:00 PM at Lone Tree Elementary School located at 1931 Mokelumne Drive the teachers union will be speaking against the petition by Rocketship. They are asking for our support whether in numbers or to come speak against the petition. They will have dinner and anti-rocketship t-shirts for any UTR member that comes.
UTR Elections

Last day to turn in your declaration form for the CTA State Council position is today by 5:00 PM. Any late submissions will not be accepted.

This Wednesday at 4:00 PM we will have a candidate forum at Richmond High School theater. Anyone who would like to hear from the candidates, why they are running and seeking the CTA State Council position are welcomed! We will be posting the videos on our website by Thursday, November 10th.

Candidates will be able to campaign from November 10th through November 13th. Voting at the sites will begin November 14th through November 18th and no campaigning may take place. All site Reps must return voting ballots by November 18th at the UTR office. The Elections committee will be counting the Ballots November 18th starting at 5:00 PM. Results will be posted and announced on November 22nd.
If you would like to see the timeline please go HERE. All timeline and materials have been approved by CTA Governance and Elections Committee.
Thank you everyone who has volunteered so far and for all the work that you do.
Demetrio Gonzalez
President, United Teachers of Richmond CTA/NEA

Evaluation in a Nutshell

Evaluation is a process sanctioned by CA EdCode and the UTR/WCCUSD Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).  Bargaining Unit Members (BUMS) with permanent status are familiar with the evaluation process and available options for evaluation.  For temporary and probationary certificated employees, the process can seem daunting and at times confusing.  Article 15 aka Evaluation of the CBA provides the process for evaluation.  Two governing sections are provided.

  1. Every temporary and probationary certificated employee shall be evaluated by the administration in writing at least once each school year, no later than March 1.  (CBA Article 15.4.1)
  2. Every permanent certificated employee shall be evaluated by the administration in writing every other year of active duty, no later than April 15 of the year in which evaluation takes place, except as provided herein.  Permanent employees have 4 options for evaluation (Please refer to the UTR contract under “Teacher evaluation” – Appendix J for more details). Unit members with permanent status who have been employed at least 10 years with the school district, and are highly qualified as required by the state and federal law, and whose previous evaluation rated the employee as Proficient, Distinguished or Meets Standard shall be evaluated up to every five years if the unit member and current evaluator consent to this schedule.  The teacher or evaluator may withdraw his/her consent and return to the two-year cycle.  (CBA Article 15.4.2)

Additionally, there are timelines that must be followed.  For example, everyone identified to be evaluated should have met No later than the end of the 35th working day of the year in which evaluation is to take place, the evaluator and the permanent certificated employee with a Proficient, Distinguished or Meets Standard evaluation shall meet and discuss the Standards upon which evaluation is to be based.

These and other criteria for evaluation can be found in Article 15 of the CBA.

All members subject to evaluations in 2016/17 school year should have met by October 10th with their administrator evaluator to discuss the evaluation process. If this meeting did not take place then the evaluation process this school year may not take place. 

If you already had your meeting but have not established a timeline for being observed prior to your final evaluation please meet with your principal to do so. 

If you have any questions or concerns please reach out to your Site Representative, Area Director, or the UTR office.


3 days left!

Hello UTR members,
We only 3 more days of outreach left until Election Day! Please join us this weekend to get teacher friendly board members elected for the WCCUSD School Board and get Measure T passed!
We will be phone banking and canvassing from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM tomorrow from the UTR office. We will have donuts, coffee, prizes, and a great time! We will also phone bank and canvass on Sunday from 12:30 PM to 3:30 PM from UTR.
Last day to phone bank will be Monday, November 7th from 3:30 to 7:00 PM!
Remember that if you join us to phone bank or canvass you will get a $20 dollar target gift card and you’ll be entered for our raffle to win one of our wonderful prizes: (3) Southwest vouchers worth $200 each, (1) Chrome book, (2) Tablets, and (5) cases of copy paper.
If you would like to spread the word in social media such as Facebook or email, here is something you can post:

This November 8th, West Contra Costa Educators are taking the following positions:

– YES on Measure T

– YES on Prop 55
– YES on Prop 58
– YES on Prop 52
– ELAINE MERRIWEATHER for Contra Costa County Board of Education
– HILLARY CLINTON for President

I would like to leave you with a story. Today as I entered a school I heard a 1st grade student share with his teacher “I’m not excited for my weekend because the elections will end. There’s a chance Trump will win and my family and I will have to go back to Mexico and I don’t want to leave my friends”. The teacher at that point hugged him since he started crying and she shared with him that it would not happen.
The scary reality about this story is that we don’t actually know what will happen. We need to unite these last few days, reach out to family, friends, and volunteer in order to get thoughtful, culturally responsive, and intelligent candidates elected nationally and regionally. I hope to see you at the UTR office this weekend (700 Crestview Dr. Pinole CA). Thank you.
In solidarity,
Demetrio Gonzalez
President, United Teachers of Richmond CTA/NEA

11.02.16 – UTR elections Update

Dear UTR members,
We are having a UTR election for State Council. As mentioned in a previous email, if you would like to run for the position you may download the application here: state-council-declaration-of-candidacy and turn it into the UTR office (700 Crestview Dr. Pinole CA). You may also come and fill out the application at the UTR office directly. All applications must be in by 5:00 PM on November 7th (We have extended the deadline). For a copy of the timeline please download here: utr-elections-timeline. Please make sure you dont use Safari as a browser in order to download the form.
There is also a runoff election for the state council rep position. The run-off election is just for Robert Ellis from Washington Elementary School. The second candidate for the run-off has declined to run at this time so you will only see Robert’s name on the ballot.
If you are not interested in the above position, please consider volunteering for the elections committee. We need people to help count ballots during UTR runoffs and other UTR elections. You may respond to this email if you are interested in helping us or have any questions!
In Solidarity,
Diana Ortega
Chair Elections Committee

UTR Events coming up!

Dear UTR Members,
We would like to invite you to four great events coming up. We hope to see you there!
1. We are co-hosting with Building Blocks for Kids Collaborative a screening of Education Inc. We will have free child care, free dinner, and interesting conversations about our schools in WCCUSD. It will be this Friday, November 4th from 5:00 to 7:00 PM at 312 9th Street, Richmond CA. Education Inc. shows the impact charter schools can have on our public system. Please join us!

2. We are still phone banking and canvassing this week! This Wednesday from 3:30 to  6:00 PM we will be at the UTR office Phone Banking (700 Crestview Dr. Pinole CA). We will also be canvassing this Saturday from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM. Everyone that comes phone banking gets a $20 dollar gift card and if you join us canvassing you get a $30 dollar gift card!

If you volunteer, your name will also be entered for our raffle at the end of the elections for: 3 Southwest Vouchers (worth $200 each!), 2 tablets, 1 Chrome book, and 5 cases of copy paper.
3. UTR members are sponsoring a Rally for our School Board Candidates and Measure T! It will take place Wednesday, November 2nd, 5:30-6:15 PM at the corner of Central and San Pablo in El Cerrito! Go get dinner at Off The Grid afterwards!
4. We are co-hosting an “Election Night Party” with the RYSE Youth Center! It will take place from 5:00 to 8:00 PM on Tuesday, November 8th at the RYSE Center (205 41st Street, Richmond CA). We will have a taco truck, drinks, prizes, and games! We will have free child care, election coverage, a reflection board, activities for kids, and more! You’re welcome to invite students and families! It’s open to everyone in the community.
In solidarity,
Demetrio Gonzalez and Sarah La Due
President and Chair of Political Action Committee
United Teachers of Richmond CTA/NEA

UTR Elections 10.31.16


Dear UTR members,
We are having a UTR election for State Council. As mentioned in a previous email, if you would like to run for the position you may download the application here: declaration-of-candidacy and turn it into the UTR office (700 Crestview Dr. Pinole CA). You may also come and fill out the application at the UTR office directly. All applications must be in by 5:00 PM on November 7th. For a copy of the timeline please download here: utr-elections-timeline.
There is also a runoff election for the state council rep position. The run-off election is just for Robert Ellis from Washington Elementary School. The second candidate for the run-off has declined to run at this time so you will only see Robert’s name on the ballot.
If you are not interested in the above position, please consider volunteering for the elections committee. We need people to help count ballots during UTR runoffs and other UTR elections. You may respond to this email if you are interested in helping us or have any questions!
In Solidarity,
Diana Ortega
Chair Elections Committee


PHONE BANK TONIGHT! COME SUPPORT MEASURE T, PROP 55, Prop 58, and our school board candidates!

The real voice of a parent, a student, a librarian, a counselor, a teacher can do wonders for this campaign! Please join us Wednesday, October 26th, 3:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. at the UTR office 700 Crestview Drive Pinole, CA 94564. You’ll be trained and given a script to follow. Also, we are giving gift cards, prizes, and we’ll have food for volunteers! Sign up here, or just show up!


We can’t go back! 10.24.16

Hello UTR Members,
Only 15 days left until Election Day! Your Executive Board, Political Action committee, and leadership have been working tirelessly in order to increase awareness on legislature that will affect our lives if not passed. We need YOU to help us.
As you know, MEASURE T is what pays for our Counselors, Librarians, Sports, and k-3 class size reduction. Can you imagine WCCUSD without counselors or librarians?! With kinder classes of 28? If that’s not scary enough, imagine us losing $110 million dollars if Proposition 55 doesn’t pass?! Back to the days of furloughs and pink slipping. Back to the days with no electives for students, arts, sciences, or music… We also need to help elect teacher and student friendly board members that will fight for our interests!
YES this is a California and a WCCUSD that we MUST NOT GO BACK TO. So join us. There are many ways you can help in the last 15 days!
1. You can come phone banking at the UTR Office! Anyone that comes will get a $20 dollar gift card, food, and a ticket for a chance to win one of our big prizes we’re giving away (see below)! Phone Banking happens from 3:30 to 6:00 PM
2. You can come canvass with us! We have three Saturday’s left that we are walking our neighborhoods. We will walk from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM. Locations are posted on our facebook and website every week. If you join us canvassing you will get a $30 dollar gift card AND a ticket for a chance to win one of our big prizes (see below).

3. You can post on your twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or email all your friends and family members to vote YES on T, 55, 58, Phillips, and Taboada this November.

4.  Rally to support UTR school board candidates, Mister Philips and Carlos Taboada, from Wednesday 5:30 -7:00 in El Cerrito! Come anytime between 5:30 and 7:00. We will be at the corners of Central and San Pablo. Bring a sign or make a sign there! We will have supplies.  Eat dinner at Off The Grid on Fairmont afterwards!
Phone Banking
October 26th
October 29th
November 2nd
November 5th
November 7th
The raffle items that people can win if you get a ticket for phone banking and/or canvassing are:

– 3 Southwest Vouchers (worth $200 dollars each!)
– 2 Tablets
– 5 Boxes of copy paper!
Please join us so that this November 8th we get Mister Phillips and Carlos Taboada elected to the WCCUSD School Board, and so that we pass Measure T, Proposition 55, and Proposition 58!

In solidarity,

Demetrio Gonzalez
President, United Teachers of Richmond CTA/NEA


Good Afternoon,

The Internet Experts at ATTInternetService.com have just launched a new $1,000 teacher grant. The grant is open to college professors and school teachers and asks applicants to write a 300-450 word essay or create a 1-2 minute video that explains how they or their students use internet-connected technology in the classroom. More details and the online application form can be found here:


We ask that you please be sure to share this opportunity via your website. The deadline to apply is February 3rd, 2017.



Dear Community members,

Californians are facing decisions on 17 statewide ballot propositions. The Rose Institute of State and Local Government at Claremont McKenna College has produced an online “Video Voter” series to give voters an objective, easy-to-understand guide to these propositions. In brief 2-3 minute videos, we present each measure’s basic purpose, major supporters and opponents, and arguments pro and con. We hope these videos help you make informed voting decisions.


Community Gathering for Peace

Dear community,

This Wednesday at Lovonya DeJean Middle School, we will be co-hosting a “Community Gathering for Peace” event. We have lost many (too many) incredible lives in our community the last few weeks. Please join me, our Superintendent, the WCCUSD School Board, and members of the community to honor and remember those we have lost.

We will be meeting from 5:30 PM to 6:00 PM prior to the School Board Meeting. Please let students, parents, and community members know about this event so that we can mourn and honor together those we have lost.

In Solidarity,
Demetrio Gonzalez President, United Teachers of Richmond CTA/NEA



October 6th Walk In

Dear UTR members and community,

Please join us on the October 6th Walk In! Every school in WCCUSD will have teachers, administrators, staff, community members, and more standing outside of their schools 15 minutes prior to the work day! We will be spreading the word on Measure T, Proposition 55, and Proposition 58!!!

Leadership will be joining the staff at DeJean Middle School so if there are community organizations and leaders that would like to join us, please go there or come to your nearest community school.

Please wear Blue!

Phone Banking and Canvassing for 55,58, T, and School Board

September 18th,2016

Elections Update
Phone Banking and Canvassing

Members, community leaders, and advocates, this November United Teachers of Richmond CTA/NEA are in full support of proposition 55, proposition 58, measure T, Mister Phillips for WCCUSD School Board, and Carlos Taboada for WCCUSD School Board. Please join us in our efforts to get these incredible individuals elected to the West Contra Costa School Board this November. We educators of WCCUSD, councilors, speech pathologist, nurses, and K-12 teachers believe that they will make the right choices and at times the hard choices for our students and for our community.

Phone Banking Canvassing
October 5th October 1st
October 12th October 8th
October 19th October 15th
October 26th October 22nd
November 2nd October 29th
November 7th November 5th

All Phone Banking times are from 3:30 PM to 5:30 PM

All Canvassing times will be from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM

Phone Banking will take place at the UTR Office – 700 Crestview Drive, Pinole CA

Canvassing locations will change and will be announced on facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/unitedteachersofrichmond

Teacher Grant Opportunity

Directpackages.com has a teacher grant opportunity!

“Our team understands the importance of technology not only for entertainment, but also as a tool for learning. Therefore, we are giving teachers the opportunity to enter to win $1,000 to spend on classroom technology that will facilitate a more constructive learning environment.”

You can find more information about the grant on this page: http://www.directpackages.com/teachers-grant/

September 5th, 2016

Dear Members,

This Wednesday, September 7th the WCCUSD School Board will be holding a close session at Lovonya DeJean Middle School (3400 Macdonald Ave., Multi-purpose room) at 4:45PM. They plan on voting on the sale of Adams Middle School to Caliber Beta Academy. Please join us by wearing your UTR shirt or wearing yellow to show that we are in opposition to the sale.

We will also be rallying at the School Board meeting with signs for Proposition 55. The school Board is voting on a resolution sent to them by UTR in support of the proposition. It is incredibly important that we come and show solidarity and put pressure on support for this measure on the ballot. As all of you know, proposition 55 is the extension of proposition 30, which gives WCCUSD approximately 10 million dollars for programs, salaries, and needs at our schools. We need to unite and pass this measure so that we don’t go back to the days where arts and sciences were cut, furloughs were established, and we got salary cuts. We will have signs for everyone in front of Lovonya DeJean. PLEASE spread the word and join us!

In order to keep everyone as updated as possible, we will be doing something new this year. We are starting our “School Board Watch” on Facebook. We will be putting the agenda, updating all members on what is happening, being voted, as well as adding results during and after every School Board meeting. Please like us on Facebook in order to follow.

August 29th, 2016

K-8 Educators Have the Opportunity to Earn a $500 Grant for Their Classroom

Through its second annual Teacher Grant, SaveOnEnergy.com® is searching for high-quality lesson plans that teach elementary and middle school students about the importance of energy and the environment. The company is committed to helping others learn about energy through its Learning Center, an educational hub that includes sustainability, energy conservation and industry news resources. The second annual Teacher Grant is the latest way SaveOnEnergy.com is encouraging young people to learn about energy.

SaveOnEnergy.com will award six $500 grants to be used toward classroom materials and activities. Grant recipients’ lesson plans will be featured on the website for other teachers to utilize as resources for their own classrooms. Lesson plans can range in subject and creativity, as long as they meet the grant criteria and students are engaged and encouraged to learn about energy.

For more information and application details, visit: https://www.saveonenergy.com/teacher-grant/

About SaveOnEnergy.com: SaveOnEnergy.com is passionate in educating all ages about a variety of energy-related topics such as green energy, energy conservation, energy safety and more. The company’s Learning Center has helpful blog posts, infographics and videos that help consumers better understand the energy industry.

Media Contact:
Elizabeth Brown

August 19, 2016


I would like to give United Teachers of Richmond’s opinion on the sale of Adams Middle School to Caliber Beta Academy.

About a month ago, an article portrayed UTR as “declaring war on Caliber.” UTR had not taken an official position, and we were incredibly disappointed that someone would accuse teachers of being against children’s education and parent choice.

We believe in the power of education, the power of teachers and the power of kids achieving their dreams. We are currently building partnerships in the community to make sure that, as a community, we are truly advocating for our children. There are so many resources and organizations that are creating important change in the lives of this community, and UTR is one of those organizations.

The article published about our opposition to the sale was a misinterpretation of what we stand for as an organization and the work we do as teachers. UTR does oppose the sale of Adams and the expansion of Caliber.

First of all, Adams Middle School is not an appropriate choice for any school to occupy, since it was closed due to safety factors. Teachers’ and students’ safety matters, regardless of school affiliation.

Secondly, there is no real basis to determine whether Caliber can successfully deliver upon promises or claims made to West Contra Costa Unified School District students and parents.

We do acknowledge that the school board of WCCUSD has legal requirements to provide Caliber with appropriate space. Their students and teachers should have a safe and adequate school but Caliber should be limited to the number of students it currently has enrolled until it shows a track record of success.

Caliber has had big turnover and administrative changes since it opened and has not delivered upon its academic promise. By selling Adams for $60,000, it allows Caliber to expand to up to 1,400 students. How does increasing the number of students without achieving academic goals support that focus if Caliber is just starting to build its vision?

The way Caliber was formed, it hurt our community. Ron Beller has offended many leaders and members of this community with his behavior suggesting that he knows what is best for Richmond without community members’ input.

How can our school board sell this property to an individual who has not shown full interest in the community his school serves?

The once united Mira Vista families were forced to argue about whether a school like Mira Vista was a good school or whether Caliber was a better choice. Mira Vista Elementary went through a series of traumas, losing students and families, being criticized for things that were not true. It had to re-create a culture of success.

Caliber being moved to Adams will once again break the community. By growing from 800 to possibly 1,400 students, Mira Vista and other community schools like Madera Elementary will be stripped of their culture and funding.

It is not a battle of public schools vs. charters, but a battle of finding sites that allow charters to help the surrounding communities without taking away from existing public schools and bulldozing their way into tight-knit communities.

Caliber’s staff, administration and students are doing wonderful things in the classroom, but until they can show success academically, Caliber should not be allowed to purchase a site that will allow expansion. Therefore, we urge our community to stand with UTR to find a site for Caliber that will be good for its students and limit its enrollment.

Demetrio Gonzalez
President of United Teachers of Richmond CTA/NEA.

August 13th, 2016

United Teachers of Richmond CTA/NEA Endorsement Interviews

After watching the interviews and reading over the candidate questionnaires, please go to the link on the bottom to provide feedback for Executive Board. The link will be up from August 13th through August 21st. All responses will be collected and taken under consideration. If you have any questions please email us at utrpac@gmail.com or president@unitedteachersofrichmond.com Thank you

Interviews: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOijLY5g2rC2LLldAwExGyA

-Don Gosney: ’16 Don Gosney ~ United Teachers of Richmond CTA – candidate questionnaire
-Antonio Medrano: (Missing) Will be up Monday
-Tom Panas:United Teachers of Richmond CTA – candidate questionnaire – Responses by Tom Panas
-Mister Phillips:M Phillips UTR questionnaire
-Carlos Taboada: United Teachers of Richmond CTA – candidate questionnaire
-Stephanie Chavarria: UnitedTeachersofRichmondCTA-Steph

Link for Feedback: https://goo.gl/forms/XFieM3ZYAURJWG3w2



August 10th, 2016

Tonight was the first school board meeting of August. UTR is starting something new this year and we will be doing a Board Watch Report on Facebook. We will post the agenda and highlight important resolutions or information that was discussed during the meeting during/after the meeting.

Here is the agenda: https://westcontracosta.agendaonline.net/public/

-Superintendent Report from Mr. Duffy. Discussed the progress of summer training with Principals and his first month in office.
-UTR’s report was given on supporting propositions 55, 52, and 58 as well as the endorsement process for BOE candidates this August. Look at report by the President here: http://invalid.invalid/
-The resolution to limit campaign contributions was discussed and the result was that the school board members asked for more information on this issue prior to voting on the item. The Governance Subcommittee will be getting more data for the board.

If you would like to watch future Board Meetings live please go to:

August 10th, 2016

Presidents Report to School Board:

Good afternoon board members, superintendent, and community,

I am very excited to be in front of you today since it is my first Report as President of United Teachers of Richmond and Mr. Duffy’s first board meeting as well. Mr. Duffy visited the leadership of UTR during our retreat and we had really powerful conversation. Teachers felt listened to and hopeful about the future of WCCUSD so thank you Mr. Duffy for coming and we hope that you continue that tradition in the future.

I would also like to thank board member Enos and Board member Groves for their commitment to children in WCCUSD the last few years. I hope your leadership inspires others in the future. Since this November we will be having two open seats for the school board, UTR is having their interviews for our endorsement process this Friday. We are doing something new this year. We will be posting the videos of the interviews as well as questionnaires from the candidates for the community to see in our website. Members of UTR will be able to give feedback to the executive board on each candidate and executive board and rep council will choose one or two candidates to endorse this November.

I also want to advocate for three propositions that are in the ballot this November. UTR will be partnering with various community organizations to make sure these pass that will directly support our kids, teachers and families. The first proposition is proposition 55, which is an extension of proposition 30 and will give us funding for our schools. The second is proposition 52, which will provide funding for health care for children and seniors in low-income communities. The third proposition is proposition 58 which will remove some of the holds proposition 227 has on bilingual education and increase bilingualism in the state of California.

We hope that WCCUSD as well as members of the community will support our endeavors in getting these propositions passed this November.

Thank you for listening and I’m looking forward to working with all of you this year.


August 7th, 2016

School Board meeting this Wednesday. Out of the many discussion items, there is a resolution to limit campaign contributions to candidates for WCCUSD school board. You can see the agenda and the resolution in the link below:

August 4th, 2016

Dear UTR members,

We are having interviews for WCCUSD School Board candidates on August 12th, 2016. All interviews will be recorded and posted on our website and facebook page. Any UTR member that would like to give feedback on the interviews will have a link to provide their thoughts on the candidates. Executive Board will take this feedback into consideration and Rep Council will vote on our endorsements.

If you have questions that you would like us to ask candidates please send them to president@unitedteachersofrichmond.com

Thank you