In a departure from the fiery rhetoric of meetings past, the Madera Unified Teachers Association (MUTA) presented declarations of support from schools across the district at Tuesday’s school board meeting in a move that its president-elect said was “an attempt to cool things down.”
More than 20 teachers and representatives from schools such as Lincoln Elementary School and Madera South High School presented numerous signed letters from their coworkers to the board around 5:30 p.m. inside the Martin Luther King, Jr., Middle School cafeteria before the board went into closed session.
David Holder, who recently won election and will take over as MUTA’s president at the end of the school year, said that the declarations were a way for teachers — many preoccupied with open houses or other events — to show the board they support their union and want to talk.
“We just want to negotiate,” Holder said. “The district has been characterized by a lack of recognition that we’re here and an inability to negotiate with us… We’re saying: please come back to the bargaining table.” ...