Dear SOMEA members,
It is with “a damp blanket of exhaustion and depression” that SOMEA addresses the district’s March 9, 2021 public announcement that the district has chosen to withdraw from mediation. Indeed, SOMEA was waiting in a breakout conference to continue the mediation process when it was alerted by the public to the district’s announcement. Just weeks ago, the district falsely accused SOMEA of not wanting to engage in good faith mediation, yet it is the district which has not allowed this process “to continue to fruition.” Perhaps this unilateral decision is of no surprise given the decision of the court today in favor of our neighboring association mandating the collaborative efforts of association members and the district to ensure the safety of buildings prior to the return to the classroom. SOMEA can only wonder, what is it the district seeks to hide?
It is clear the focus of the district is to be right, not ready. Instead of using the opportunity of mediation to work for authentic collaboration with the union for a safe return, they use the union as a scapegoat and a distraction from what is really wrong—the buildings are not safe and nothing substantive has been done to remediate these concerns.
A more detailed statement will follow to address the district’s lies and omissions.
In Unity and Solidarity,
Rocio Lopez, President
Shira Lincoln, Vice President
Phil McCormick, Secretary
Laurie Pham, Treasurer
Michelle Rhodes-Soriano, Member Communications