Portland area teacher's union seeks superintendent's firing
The teachers union in the Reynolds School District is asking the school board to fire Danna Diaz, the superintendent of the district
After a "resounding no confidence vote in Spring 2020, and a year of mediation that resulted in administration breaking mediation and bargaining agreements, REA (Reynolds Education Association) requests the Reynolds School Board remove Dr. Diaz from her position as Superintendent of the Reynolds School District," the union said in a statement issued Monday afternoon, May 10.
The union's statement said that it has urged the school board to "address systemic issues with administrative leadership" and now, the union members "demand a change in administration."
The school district is in the middle of contract negotiations with the teacher's union. The current contract will end June 30.
The district had no immediate comment on the union's demand to the school board to oust Diaz or the contract negotiations.
The Reynolds school board said that it had not received the union's statements that were provided to the media.
"We look forward to understanding REA's current concerns and to provide an updated response as a Board upon receipt of REA's communication, the board said through a district spokesman.
"In the interim, The Reynolds Board Leadership finds it appropriate to provide the Board's response to REA from last June fully supporting Dr. Diaz and her Cabinet," the board said.
The board's statement noted that "This has been a difficult 14 months for all school employees and RSD families. We have seen Dr. Diaz work hard to continue to communicate with REA to work through these difficult issues."
Evan Selby, president of the union and a teacher at Reynolds High School said in the announcement, "Cuts to Reading Specialist positions and effectively ending the Restorative Justice program are just two examples of how Dr. Diaz and her cabinet make decisions in a bubble that leave students behind."
He also said the "administration breaks agreements within days or even hours after making them. They base important decisions on outside consultants who know nothing of our District's history and community. This was troubling two years ago, and has become even worse when the safety and learning stakes are higher for students."
After the no confidence vote last year, the union "went into mediation with the Superintendent and her cabinet hoping to restore trust. Yet, the District leadership's behaviors and dysfunctional decision-making has escalated even further. More decisions are made in isolation without stakeholders and more agreements are being broken."
Diaz has held the district's top job since July 2018. She came to the district from San Juan Island School District in Washington.
This isn't the first time Diaz has clashed with teachers unions. In September 2017, when she was superintendent of the San Juan district, teachers went on strike for four days after contract negotiations broke down, the local newspaper, The Journal of the San Juan Islands, reported.
"Reynolds educators urge the school board to stand up for students and appoint a new leader from outside the district who will be a team member with the community and collaborate in actions as well as words," the union said.
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