United Teachers of Richmond CTA/NEA

United Teachers of Richmond  CTA/NEA -

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

WCCUSD school board study session

August 2nd,2016

WCCUSD school board is having a study session to discuss the sale of the Adams property to Caliber Beta on August 2nd at 6:00PM. There will be space for public comment at the end of the study session. You can look at the agenda and presentation in the link below:


Summer Update from the President

Dear Union Members,

I hope that you have had a wonderful and restful summer break. Your new executive board and I started work July 1st and it has been an incredible and very productive month. There are many things that we have been working on that I would like to highlight below.

July Highlights:

  • Built a powerful and positive set of norms to bring to rep council and to practice.
  • Built relationships with community organizations that want to work with us in the future. We visited and heard from five different community organizations during our retreat that are eager to work with UTR members.
  • Looked at our priorities and discussed how we can make them happen
  • Created a calendar for the 2016/2017 school year. Rep Council dates will go out to everyone at the beginning of the school year.
  • Approved a survey to go out to our membership to help us understand site needs, LCAP, Bargaining, PAC, Professional Development, and site needs of our members. Coming soon!
  • Met with committee chairs and approved majority of the committees
  • Voted to bring a resolution to rep council meeting in August to show solidarity to our brothers and sisters in Mexico who are fighting for their rights as teachers
  • Created an agenda for teacher orientation.
  • Decided on a design for UTR t-shirts. UTR t-shirts will go out for sale after our first rep council meeting. In the 2016/2017 school year UTR will promote “Union Wednesdays” when teachers can wear their UTR shirt for pride and engagement.
  • We had our first successful executive board
  • Shared concerns and listened to one another with respect and dignity. 
  • Discussed PAC (endorsement interviews July 12th). We will post all interview videos in the UTR Facebook and website page. All members will get a chance to fill a survey to give executive board their feedback on candidates. Rep council will vote on executive boards recommendation in August.
  • Discussed next steps for the opening in Bargaining.
  • Discussed charter schools, our worries, and strategies with the community.

In the next few years, there are going to be a lot of challenges facing WCCUSD and our union. We will be taking a more involved approach to the LCAP process to advocate for the right programs and resources. We will be having a re-opener in our bargaining process. We will be facing the possibility of new charters coming into our district. There will be a very important election that will impact our school board, county school board, proposition 55, and our state that will affect teachers. We will face a teacher shortage as well as new leadership in WCCUSD. Through all these challenges please do not forget that “a house divided against itself cannot stand” we have to unite and face these challenges head on.

As your union leader, I will not rest until WCCUSD becomes a place where teachers feel supported. A place where teachers get the right materials and curriculum for their classes. A place where teachers want to stay and develop while being able to afford it. I will not rest until our union feels united again and we live our norms both in meetings and in our classrooms. I will not rest until our students and parents feel like they are getting the best education and therefore they stay in our neighborhood schools.

Your executive board and I will keep the district and school board accountable to their promise to provide students in WCCUSD the best education and to provide teachers with everything they need to support that vision. We will be doing a site visit and listening campaign of all our schools in WCCUSD so that we can measure the needs of teachers and sites and therefore advocate in your behalf. I hope that as we visit, you also decide to join our fight against inequality in WCCUSD and join one of our committees or become a rep at your school. Finally, we will be doing a survey from August to June for all our members to complete. We hope that you do it so that we can really understand everyone’s perspective on LCAP, Bargaining, Elections, needs, and support. We will also have a few great prices.

Please remember that we are here to support you. If you need anything please reach out and contact your school site rep, area director, school level director, or contact our office at : (510) 222-5112. Our website is currently under construction so please be patient as we try to change it.

In Solidarity,

Demetrio Gonzalez
United Teachers of Richmond CTA/NEA

Transitions and Toasts!

UTR members! Come celebrate the end of the year with members of the outgoing executive board and incoming executive board. We will be at the Hilltop Chevy’s Friday, June 3rd from 4-6:30. UTR will provide appetizers. Cheers!

Run-Off Election Results!

After much anticipation, here are the results of our run-off election for President and State Council Delegates:

Demetrio Gonzalez: 268 votes (winner)
Tyrone Weems:  256 votes

State Council Delegates
Gissell Medina: 232 votes
Eric Swabeck:  287 votes (winner)
Robert Ellis:  251 votes (winner)

Thank you to everyone who participated in this election!

The UTR Elections Committee

2016 UTR Elections Results

2016 Election Results

There will be a run-off election to determine the positions of President and CTA State Council Delegates.  The run-off will be held the April 11-April 15, 2016.  The ballot will be sent in the same way the last one was.  You can also come into the office to vote during office hours (9-5).  Please encourage your colleagues to vote!

Superintendent Search Survey

The Board of Education is soliciting community input into the selection of the organization’s next chief executive.

Leadership Associates, the firm chosen to lead the search for the District’s next superintendent, will host community forums, hold focus groups for a variety of stakeholders, solicit feedback through an online survey, and take input by phone and email. Some of the forums will also be broadcast online.

Parents, students, employees, and community members will be asked to share their views on the strengths and challenges of the school district as well as the qualities and characteristics that are essential for the next superintendent.

Click here to access the survey.  (It will be available until March 31st)

Candidate Speeches and Voting Instructions (3/9/16)

The candidates gave some great speeches this evening.  If you weren’t able to make it to the Candidate Forum, you can view the speeches here. Any candidates without speeches recorded were not present at the forum, and did not have a representative present to read their speech. 


Vice President



Elementary Director

Jr. High Director

Senior High Director

Special Services Director

Area 1 Director

Area 2 Director

Area 3 Director

NEA RA Delegates

State Council Rep:

You will be getting an e-mail tomorrow (3/10) from the United Teachers of Richmond that contains your link for voting.  We want to encourage you to ask your neighbor teacher at your site if they got their e-mail and voted.  If they say no, tell them first to check their junk folder, and then to call the office, 510-222-5112 or e-mail Rebecca, membership@unitedteachersofrichmond.com, and tell her that you need the voting e-mail sent to you.  You can vote from a computer or mobile device.  We encourage you not to use district machines for voting.

If you would prefer to vote with a paper ballot, stop by the UTR office between 9 and 5 (closed for lunch 12:30-1:30) and vote.  Voting will begin at 7 a.m. on Thursday, March 10th and conclude at 5 p.m. on Thursday March 17th.  Results will be announced by March 18th.

Tentative Agreement Ratified!

The Results Are In!
Here are the results from the Tentative Agreement ratification election:
Yes:  773
No:  408
Total Votes Cast:  1,181 (great turnout)
The Tentative Agreement has passed.  Congratulations!
Thank you to everyone who participated in this election. Have a great long weekend!
Amanda Henderson
President, United Teachers of Richmond

Bargaining Update and Tentative Agreement!

Here you will find the Bargaining Update from 1/9/2016.

Here you will find the completed Completed January TA with Cover page and Salary Schedules.

Articles not included have no changes.

Voting will be at your sites next week, January 11-15th.  You can also stop by the UTR office during business hours and vote.  All ballots are due to the UTR office by 5 P.M. on Friday, January 15th.

There will be a TA Q and A Wednesday, January 13th @ 4:15.  It will be held in the Richmond High Little Theater.

School Board Rally!

Attention all UTR members!  There will be a rally before the December 9th School Board Meeting to support UTR negotiations.  Bring the teacher next door.  Bring parents and students!  We will be assembling before the meeting, 5:30 at DeJean Middle School.  There will be materials available for making posters.  Then stay for the 6:30 School Board Meeting.  You can sign up for public comment or just wear green and show up for support.

See you on December 9th!!!

Bargaining Update 11.13.15 and 11.14.15

The Bargaining Team has met with the district twice in the last week.  Once on Saturday!  Below are the Bargaining Updates from those two meetings, as well as links to the full proposals.  We will be back at the table in the next couple of weeks.

Bargaining Update 11.13.15

Bargaining Update 11.14.15

Art 10 Hours of Employment and Duty Assignment 11-12-15

Art 12 Class Size 11-12-15

Art 18 Personnel Files 11-12-15

Art 23 Salary 11-12-15

Art 23 Speech Psyc Salary

Art 52 SPED 11-12-15

Article 9 Disciplinary Action 11-12-15

Bargaining Update 10.20.15

The new bargaining team met with the district yesterday. The members of the district bargaining team are Ken Whittemore, Cheryl Cotton, Wendell Greer, Sheri Gamba, and Michael Wasilchin.  We have tentative agreements on the following articles (click on each to see the full document):
In preparation for our next bargaining session, we have asked for information regarding the following items:
1. Itemized expenditures for technology, Parcel Tax funds, consultants, and books and materials
2. PowerSchool master schedules for all schools in the district with the student counts per class
3. The composition of the District Site Agreement Coordinating Council and how that body works with the school sites
The tentative agreements will be posted on the UTR website by the end of the week.  We have heard the membership and we know that salary is a big priority. The executive board is working on creating a written direction for the bargaining team. Once we receive that document, we will be able to move forward with negotiating salary.  We ask for your support in showing a united front and willingness to organize.
In Unity,
The UTR Bargaining Team
Lucy Giusto – Bargaining Chair
Gissele Medina – Secretary
Michelle Hart – Historian
Michale Johston – Math Expert
Nyla DeLong – Math Expert
Lashante Smith – Process Observer
Wendy Phillips – member
Rhem Bell – UTR Executive Director