Landmark Contract

Thomas MatthewsOn July 1st, our teachers began a new contract with San Jose Unified School District that includes landmark changes to the process by which teacher success is evaluated. This contract is the result of years of mutual effort to build trust, share common values, engage in difficult conversations, and see issues from multiple perspectives. It never would have been possible without open collaboration between the district and our association.

In a collaborative relationship, a series of compromises is always needed on the path toward the overarching goal: an excellent education system that treats the working professionals in that system with respect, a decent wage, and respectable benefits; and a budget that is not continuously balanced on their backs. This level of collaboration does not currently exist between teachers and school boards in other districts, and that deficit makes all the difference.

We hope that our working relationship with San José Unified will serve as an example to other school districts and their teachers as we all seek changes in our education system that are beneficial to all involved, and especially our students.

If you’d like to learn more about our new contract and what it means for the future of education in San José and beyond, click on the links below and have a look at coverage from across the media spectrum:

  • Sharon Noguchi at the Mercury News calls the new contract “groundbreaking” and lays out all the pertinent details.
  • SJTA President Jennifer Thomas appeared on KQED Radio for an in-depth interview on the new contract.
  • John Fensterwald at EdSource calls the new contract a “model of collaboration.”
  • And StudentsMatter talks about our effort to “elevate the teaching profession.”

Obviously, no change comes easily. Look for more news as we work with the district to take the next steps in implementing this new policy.