TUSD Teachers Forced to Circulate Petition For 301 Pay

Over 439 [Updated] people have signed a petition calling on the Tucson Unified School District administration to pay teachers their 301 performance money. Teachers organized and started the petition due to the fact that their Tucson Education Association representatives failed to act on their behalf.

While the teachers have been denied their monies, administrators have experienced salary increases every year, plus additional money for completing each year.

The petition reads in part:

In 2000, Arizona voters passed Proposition 301: Sales Tax for Education Act to reward teachers for the countless hours they invest in our children. However in the past five years, over 70% of the 301 Pay for Performance dollars has been withheld from TUSD teachers. Please sign this petition to let TUSD Leadership, the Governing Board, and TEA (the teachers’ union) know that you support teachers and want these tax dollars to be immediately disbursed to them.

Board members Dr. Mark Stegeman and Michael Hicks have fought for the money to be properly paid to the teachers. However, under the leadership of board president Adelita Grijalva, Superintendent H.T. Sanchez has hoarded the money.

In their petition, the teachers ask as per “an amended 301 Pay for Performance Plan, TUSD must disburse the entire surplus with interest to eligible teachers and retirees in one lump sum by the end of the 2016-2017 academic school year. This is important to protect people from losing out on this money due to retirement or leave. Payouts must be based on each eligible teacher and retiree’s employment with the district during the years this funding was withheld. Disbursement must not be tied to current Pay for Performance requirements. Teachers and retirees fairly earned this money by fulfilling the set requirements years ago and therefore they must not be compelled to re-earn it.”

[To sign the petition, click here]

The petition provides space for comments. One former teacher wrote, “I taught for TUSD for 10 years (2006-2016). To find this out now, after I’ve separated from the district, is infuriating. Teachers’ trust of TUSD leadership has long been questionable at best. Leadership needs to do what’s right and pay teachers ALL the money they have earned. Maybe then that trust will begin to build. No wonder there is a teacher shortage in Tucson.”

Across the country there exists a teacher shortage. As a result, districts are now forced to compete for that precious resource. Due to mismanagement, TUSD has been unable to compete.

Betts Putnam Hidalgo, a TUSD parent and education activist told the ADI in an email, “When TUSD can find money year after year to support its administrators and yet nickles and dimes its teachers to death by forcing them to buy their own teaching materials, it shows its budget priorities. When it is given money BY THE TAXPAYERS that is meant to go to teacher performance pay, and instead uses the money for loans, it shows itself to be no more ethical than the State of Arizona, when it swept the 301 money and refused to pay it back. And TUSD wonders why those bond ideas don’t pass unanimously, and why those overrides end up unsupported? Taxpayers and supporters of public teachers don’t!”

Related articles:

TUSD Board To Consider Superintendent’s Goals, Denver Junket

Putnam Hidalgo: TUSD Stop Leaving Teachers Behind!

11 Comments on "TUSD Teachers Forced to Circulate Petition For 301 Pay"

  1. Perhaps the TEA should be disbanded and a new organization and leadership elected to take its place. That would help tremendously and the new president would not be a rubber stamp for the board and superintendent.

    • There are a couple of ways this can happen. The simplest is for TEA members to vote out the current leadership and elect members who will actually fight for their rights instead of sucking up to the Grijalva-Sanchez cabal that has run TUSD into the ground and ignored the concerns of teachers and students. The biggest drawback of this route is that only TEA members get to vote on the union’s leadership. That leaves a huge number of people represented by TEA…but not union members…without a voice in determining the union’s leadership.

      The other way to make serious changes in the teachers’ union is for a group of bargaining unit members to either establish an independent union or talk to the American Federation of Teachers about challenging the exclusive bargaining representation status of TEA. If they are able to do this the bargaining representative will be determined by an election where all members of the bargaining unit can vote. Each state has its own process for doing this, so teachers in TUSD who want to just get rid of TEA as the exclusive bargaining agent should consult with someone from the Department of Education as to the actual process they must follow.

  2. Libby Wiley | December 2, 2016 at 7:31 am |

    Keeping money from teachers, including me!, is so sooo wrong. How do you people live with yourselves? You deserve a shortage. For their own sakes, I’m glad teachers are retiring early, like I did, and leaving the state. I feel bad for the kids though. When you cheat teachers, you’re cheating the kids, too. Shame, shame. Go work somewhere else yourselves. We don’t want you.

  3. Cheryl walling | December 2, 2016 at 9:35 am |

    It’s too bad that tusd is alrasfy having teachers vote on this and options are to keep hoarding it, exclude retirees, share it with new teachers who were not there for the last 4 years earning that money. It seems they want this fine before the new board comes in. We need to fight this!!!

  4. It’s TUSD; don’t hold your breath in anticipation of getting the 301 money.

  5. Disband TEA and don’t replace it. Keep your dues and call it a pay raise.

  6. Jason Freed doesn’t represent anybody but himself. Would the real TEA please stand up and address teachers issues and not HT!

  7. Lillian Fox | December 2, 2016 at 9:11 pm |

    Thank you so much for publicizing the teachers’ petition. There were 292 signers at 9 pm tonight. I wonder how many signatures it will take to get TUSD’s leadership to pay attention.

    Anyone who is interested can go to Change.org and search for TUSD. There are currently 8 TUSD petitions, but several are for a TUSD district in California. It’s easy to pick out Tucson’s TUSD, one is about paying teachers their 301 money, another asks the attorney general to investigate TUSD’s unreported assaults

  8. The Oracle of Tucson | December 3, 2016 at 6:01 am |

    Just another reinforcing example of why I consistently vote “NO, NO, 👎 NO” on anything involving more endless funding 💰 and TUSD in the same sentence.
    Elected mismanagement and theft is bad enough, re-elected mismanagement is a mandate for more of the same.
    Voter auto polit has been turned off, elected clowns better clean up their acts or look for honest work.
    TUSD suffers from systemic failure at the top. The board works at our pleasure, I’m not pleased or amused. HT works for me and you, are you pleased or Amused?
    Demand better or replace elected officials.

    TOoT

  9. Tucson, where workers unions are in league with the corrupt governing Board. Which is worse the Dems who are in power or the GOP which stands by and does nothing, not even call them out?

  10. Teachers, parents & students will you ever realize the real cause of trouble at TUSD is the board & administration? The house needs to be cleaned out and disbanded! Until then you will get screwed at every turn! Wake-up!

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