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President’s Update


Jason Freed, Tucson Education Association


Tucson is showing the state how to get INVESTinED signatures, so congratulations.  And yet, if we don’t up our game, the initiative will not make it on to the ballot.  With the initiative on our minds, here are a few short updates:

• Negotiations – With a 3-2 vote (Grijalva, Foster, and Hicks voted yes, Stegeman and Sedgwick voted no), the Consensus Agreement was approved tonight!  With the approval vote comes the largest salary increase in the history of TUSD, as well as the improved contract language.  TEA members ratified the Consensus at 93%, so it is clear that the TEA Bargaining team did their jobs well. Congratulations!  The Governing Board also approved the White Collar/Food Service Agreement (ratified at 97%), and it’s 4-step raise, with a 5-0 vote.  This is an equally unprecedented salary increase, and reason for us all to celebrate.

I was proud to serve with Margaret Chaney, Audrey Cunneely, Dan Ireland, Julia Schumacher, and Jenny Miles. Their commitment to support all TUSD employees through the negotiations process was inspiring.

• Invest in Ed – Even with the exceptional effort from TEA and Tucson volunteers, we do not yet have the signatures to get the INVESTinED initiative on the ballot.  To make it happen, we need to double our efforts for the next three weeks.  The key has been educators bringing colleagues and friends along to help them, so engage a few people to join you as you gather signatures.  Our walkout won $400 million dollars for education, the ballot initiative will bring in the $700 million dollars that we are still missing when compared to the 2008 state budget.  Please come by the TEA office to get some petitions, as we lead the way to a fully-funded education system in Arizona. Please email to with questions or if looking for locations to get signatures.

• Petition Training and Pick-Up – We have a few people out of town, so the hours are different this week: Wednesday from 5-6:30 and Saturday from 12-2, at the TEA office. The Democratic headquarters has a notary from 12-3, and is at 4639 E 1st St.  Learn more about the petition, the rules for collecting signatures, and pick up petitions. We will have a notary present as well, so bring your completed petitions and your ID please.

• 301 Plan – The 301 Plan was also approved, with a 5-0 vote.  As TEA has shared previously, the plan only had one significant change involving the grandfathered individuals. Otherwise, the PLC hours stayed the same, while the payout increased by about $200.  One caveat, the Board agreed to find funds to support the grandfathered individuals for school year 2018-2019, which is a positive outcome.

• Pay Schedule Change – TEA wanted to make sure you were aware of the change in the pay schedule.  This is due to the state legislature mandating that districts can have no more than a 7 days turnaround for payment, as opposed to the 10 days previously.  Please see the link below for more details:

• Curtis Plumbing Discount! – The folks over at Curtis Plumbing called TEA to show their support for #REDforED, knowing that the walkout may have caused some financial challenges for us.  They are offering a 10% discount for TEA members!  Just call 323-7697, tell them that you are a TEA member, and they will give 10% off your plumbing costs.  Another local business that supports educators.  Thank you Curtis Plumbing.

Please mark your calendar for:

* Governing Board Meetings – June 26 and July 10

* Petition Training and Gathering – Wednesday 1-6 (notary 5-6:30), Saturday 12-2 (notary present)

* New Teacher Induction – July 24-27 (we will need your assistance)

Tucson and TEA continue to be the model for how to get signatures for the INVESTinED initiative.  As successful as we have been, we will double our output for the next three weeks, making certain the initiative hits the ballot.  Thank you for what you have already done, and what you will do throughout the rest of June.

Json Freed
TEA President