Thank you to TSTA and TSTA staff members who provided the trainings.
Austin, TX- June 12-16, As summer vacation began for most YISD employees, YTA members continued learning and working. YTA attended the TSTA Emerging Leaders and Organizing Institute workshops to become a stronger leadership team. This year's theme was "Strong Teams- Strong Locals." Each member attended a different session: presidents workshop, political action lead, campus leader organizer, lead organizer, and early career educator engagement. Each member learned the importance of their role in the association. At the end of the week, each member brought back the knowledge from their sessions and brainstormed a new YTA goal for the upcoming school year. As an added experience, YTA was able to tour the new TSTA headquarters before coming back to El Paso.
Thank you to TSTA and TSTA staff members who provided the trainings.
(source: Texas State Teachers Association Flickr http://bit.ly/2vObnAp)
#YTAforYou #TeamTSTA #StrongTeams #StrongLocals
Saturday, June 10, 2017, the Hanks area voters voiced their choice at the polls and elected our endorsed candidate Cruz Ochoa for YISD Board of Trustee, District 5. Mr. Ochoa beat the YISD incumbent, Paul Pearson by a 20% difference. Cruz Ochoa received 60% of the vote while Paul Pearson received 40% of the vote. Wow!
This race was a great success because of the Ysleta Teachers Association’s dedicated members. Our members gave their time to walk on several Saturday mornings in-order to talk to the voters of the Hanks area. Overall, our YTA members touched and contacted over 4000 voters at their homes.
On election day, June 10th, our members once again came out to support our candidate from 7 am to 7 pm. For 12 hours at three-hour shifts, our members were determined to overcome the hot weather and stood at the polls and cheered on our candidate. While incumbent supporters packed their things up at 1:00 pm, our members stayed until the official closing of the polls. YTA members were the only supporters in this race: no one else in site.
Many voters spoke to our members and stated that they were very impressed that our members were still out there in the 100-degree weather supporting their candidate. Many changed their vote because they stated that if teachers were determined to stand out in the 100-degree weather for their candidate then Ochoa must be worth their vote.
I’m happy to say that when educators decide to commit to help and volunteer to work on any campaign, the other side must know they have a fight on their hands. YTA is proud of all the members who helped out. It's amazing how much we can get done when we have a common goal.
With the help of the Ysleta Teachers Association members, Mr. Ochoa will now be able to give the Hanks area his undivided attention, something they haven’t had for the past 4 years.
Wednesday Night, May 17, 2017 the Ysleta Independent School District welcomed three new board members. The new board members are Kathyrn Hairston - District 7 –Del Valle Area,
Richard Couder, District 3 – Parkland Area and Carlos Bustillos – District 1 – Riverside Area.
Each one of the new Board of Trustees took their oath and pledged to do their very best.
District 5-Hanks Area is a runoff between our endorsed candidate, Cruz Ochoa and Paul Pearson.
Ysleta Board of Trustees Values Its Employees
After the Ysleta Teachers Association presented their salary proposal in April, the YISD Board of Trustees considered our salary proposal and decided to implement most of our suggestions. On Wednesday night, the YISD Board of Trustees with the support of Dr. De La Torre voted unanimously to give a 2% increase to all employees for the 2017-2018 school year. In addition, they also approved, for the second year in a row, a $450.00 stipend in December. Adding the 2% increase and the $450.00 stipend equals a total of 3% increase.
In this salary package--this board acknowledged that experienced teachers are valuable assets to our community. They approved a one-time payment of $1000.00 for all employees with more than 30 years of experience.
First year teachers will begin their careers at YISD with a starting salary of $48,440. All educators will receive approximately $1095.00 more this year while all hourly employees will receive a 2% at the mid-point.
If anyone needs any more information, please call the office and I’ll be glad to take your call. Please thank our school board and our Superintendent whenever you see them because without their support none of the above would have been possible. The district’s support has made YISD the leader in most competitive salaries in the area. I wish everyone a great end of the year!
Ysleta Teachers Association: Election Report
2006-2007 YTA Members Begin to Receive Checks!
This past week has been very busy! We have had our office full of members waiting for their turn to receive their check from a 10-year-old case. The pay issue goes back to 2006 when the Texas Legislature approved a bill that ordered all Texas districts to pay all teachers across the board $2,500 for the year 2006-2007. Many experienced teachers were short changed in Ysleta.
The Ysleta Teachers Association fought the case for 10 years. YTA brought up the concern with the district over and over and the district continued to refuse to hear us. The majority board of trustees which includes current board member Paul Pearson refused to hear the case. They even censured the other board members from asking questions. After that incident, YTA took it to the Texas Education Commissioner. When the Texas Education Commissioner agreed with YTA the YISD board majority once again voted against it and decided to sue the Commissioner of Education, Robert Scott.
The 2016 YISD Board of Trustees finally decided to hear the case and agreed to go into negotiations with the Ysleta Teachers Association.
El Paso Times Quoted:
“Trustees Paul Pearson and Patricia McLean were absent for the vote. Pearson, who was on vacation in Spain during the vote, said he was “ticked off” by the agreement.” He was totally against it to the very end.
Many thanks must be given to YISD Board President Shane Haggerty for being a great advocate for this case. Thanks to Superintendent Dr. Xavier De La Torre for using his great leadership skills in attempting to engage all parties. We thank the following YISD Board members who without their vote none of this would have been possible, Connie Woodruff, Mike Rosales, Sotero Ramirez and Ana Dueñez.
The good news is that this case is coming to an end and the Ysleta Teachers Association is proud to say that our members of 2006-2007 are finally going to see the end of this case with a few more dollars in their pockets.
Ysleta Teachers Association had a great night at the Ysleta Independent School Board meeting on April 12, 2017. Ysleta ISD Board of Trustees voted unanimously on the resolution that establishes YISD School District as a Safe Zone.
The resolution declares the YISD District is now a Safe Zone for its students; henceforth, the District is now a place for students to learn, to thrive, seek assistance, information, and support related to any immigration law enforcement entity that may interfere with their learning experience. YISD will continue to advocate for and all students as full members of our district and its community.
At the same meeting, all YISD at-will employees experienced an overdue victory. The District voted unanimously to change YISD Policy DCD to include that all at-will employees will have an exact course of action before termination. Through a careful review process, the Superintendent and his/her designees intend to maintain objectivity, fairness, and consistency in the Coaching for Excellence process. The District’s values of honesty, ethical behavior, and mutual respect should guide the content and handling of an at-will employee situations and actions. Policy DCD will establish uniform best practices among supervisors and allow all employees the opportunity to improve their behavior or performance, and reduce employee turnover. This progressive process will provide a uniform disciplinary model to address employee behavior through encouragement, counseling, direction, and documentation. Progressive documentation affords the employee the opportunity to improve performance and behavioral deficiencies before being terminated.
The highlight of Wednesday night's meeting, however, was YTA President Arlinda Valencia's salary presentation for 2017-2018. In her proposal, she asked for a 2.5% across the board salary increase, and a 1% stipend during winter break: her total request is a 3.5% for all salary employees. If granted, this would be the highest across the board salary increase in several years. The district board of trustees has until May to decide how they will compensate their employees. YTA President Arlinda Valencia is ready and willing to negotiate with YISD to ensure the fairest compensation plan for its members. More news coming in May!
On another note, the YISD Board of Trustees renewed Superintendent Dr. Xavier De La Torre contract. The Ysleta Teachers Association is in total agreement with this decision for the fact that Dr. De La Torre has defied what our district has come to expect from its leaders. Gone are the days where detachment, resentment, and oftentimes fear crippled the morale of our schools. Dr. De La Torre has been instrumental in changing the perception that employees have of their leaders. He treats employees as human beings and in turn employees see him in the same light. The change he has brought to the district has inspired a new working relationship between central office and campus personnel. YTA President Arlinda Valencia can personally attest to the dynamic, innovative, and insightful character of Dr. De La Torre. After fifteen years of adversarial relationships—with several superintendents--the association, members of the district and YTA President Arlinda Valencia have found in Dr. De La Torre a leader whose guidance and collaborative efforts have created a united alliance.