Quarterly Newsletter


Summer break is around the corner, and 2017- 2018 is almost over. This will be my last official quarterly newsletter since my presidency ends 30 June 2018. It has been my honor and pleasure to serve as the president of AVUTA for the last four years. We have made great strides over these last four years- preparing for the JANUS decision, having teacher salaries cross the $100,000 mark, and building the AVUTA reserve from $52,000 in 2014 to nearly $120,000 today. I would like to thank my Executive Board. They have done a superb job over the last four years, also I would like to thank every Site Representative. They have done such a great job taking care of members at each site. If you see a site Rep, thank them for all their hard work. I would also like to thank every one of you, every member of AVUTA, it is your dues and membership that keeps our great union flourishing.

Starting 1 July 2018 Kristy Croft will take over as the new AVUTA president on 1 July 2018. Let’s wish her lots of luck and tremendous success.

Negotiations- We are negotiating with the district for the 18-19 school year, which is only two months away. We have made significant movement on all issues with the district. We are close, but not there yet. We go back into negotiations on Friday 25 May 2018. If we can seal the deal, then the negotiations committee will put the entire re-openers online for a week, and I will schedule a ratification meeting for 1 June 2018 at 4:00 PM, location to be determined. If we cannot get the deal done on 25 May 2018, then we will come back next year and wrap it up. We will not rush negotiations just to get a deal done this year.  

JANUS V. AFSCME- This is a court case that went before the Supreme Court on 26 February 2018. The ruling will be released after the case. It could come as late as 30 June 2018. It will affect every union in the nation. Janus seeks end fair share fees, end permanent union membership, and allow people to quit unions but still receive union benefits, rights, and representation. What this means, is that people could pay no dues to a union but the union would still have to represent them when they were in trouble, and negotiate for them. That would bankrupt unions. That is the plan behind JANUS.

The most likely outcome will be that JANUS will win, and non-members will not have to pay “fair share fees” to the union. Many unions may decide to declare themselves “Member Only Unions”. This is a legal status.  This means that anyone outside the union will get no union benefits. That would mean that people outside the union would have to represent, grieve, and negotiate for themselves. The contract would only apply to union members.

AVUTA sent out the red One on One cards to ask members opinions on the union in March. We asked AVUTA members if they would stay with the union post Janus and more than 400 cards came back. 99% of cards indicated that people were staying union members which is incredible. If you never got your red One on One card see your Site Rep  

The smart move is- to stay a member of AVUTA/CTA/NEA.

Site Visits- the Superintendent, Mr. Hoegerman and I went to every site this year and spoke with every staff. He discussed district issues and then I spoke on union issues. It has been great to get down to so many of the sites this year and speak with as many members as possible. We have such great teachers. Remember AVUTA works for you!   

AVUTA Committees- the following positions have been appointed by executive board effective 1 July 2018

Elections Committee Chair- Kristin Wallace

Negotiations Committee Chair- Mike Castellano

Political Action Chair- Lance Arnt

The AVUTA Attendance award - Every teacher with 98% attendance for the 2017-2018 second semester will be entered into a lottery by site. One person form each site will win a $50 gift card on the first day back next year.

The AVUSD District Attendance award- Every teacher that had perfect attendance will receive a $200 grant next year. This is an award from the School Board.

That’s it for now. You are up to speed.  On behalf of the entire AVUTA Executive Board and Representative Council- Thanks for all you do. If I don’t see you before the end of the year, have a great and safe summer!



                                                                             J. ZACHAU

                                                                            AVUTA PRESIDENT