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How did Ripon High students find out about the Ripon Unified negotiations?
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Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
Thank you sir for the well written article (Around Town: “Things get a tad heated in negotiations between RUSD & teachers”.)
As you stated it’s very heated. I’m writing you this as an informed parent or this issue, a 25 year union member, been through 6 negotiations, and been through 3 strikes.
You mention the letter that the teachers put in the public’s eye for all to read. It wasn’t mentioned that it wasn’t addressed to them, but you did mention they did take it down.
You mentioned the content of the letter. Which was the superintendent doing her job and addressing the needs of her students as a result of comments from her staff.
Which brings me to the root of this issue: How did the students find out about the negotiations if Ripon Unified School District administration didn’t bring it up?  That would be from the teachers.
I know this because my daughter is a junior at Ripon High. She came home saying that three of her teachers brought it up in class which resulted in the whole class time wasted on this topic. And it was not the subjects the classes were designed for.
Once home, it took 3 hours of discussion to explain the correct processes of about collective bargaining agreements. Why they are done, for whom they protect, the steps made by both sides, and what happens if neither side comes to a compromise — which is exactly where these two parties are at right now.
So, since the teachers disclosed the negotiation issues, why or how can they blame Ripon Unified School District for calming the backlash they created?  You’re right: it’s a negotiation ploy by the teachers.
The negative perceptions about RUSD and the board are the teachers’ blame.
I want the teachers to get their just due as we have the best around. I just don’t think it’s right that they lie to the kids, use the kids as pawns in more ways than one, only explain their side and not the whole process.
They told the kids they needed to go to the board meetings and complain that they aren’t getting paid enough. They told them they were thinking of striking, and that the kids would suffer.
The teachers walked away from the bargaining table twice, not the district. They walked away when both sides were less than 2% of each other’s number, then told the kids they won’t give them the money.
The truth is, it’s the teachers. If you follow up, please let the public know the whole truth. You were spot on with what you wrote. Thank you from a concerned parent.

Tony Fox