An Important Letter from the SDEA Board of Directors

Posted on June 19, 2012

June 20, 2012

Dear SDEA Members,

During difficult economic times—like those our schools now face—our responsibility as members elected to the SDEA Board requires that we make difficult decisions.  On June 7th we voted to open negotiations with the district because we recognized the threats to our schools were real and more serious than in past years.  On Tuesday, June 19th after reviewing the Tentative Agreement (TA) reached with the District by our SDEA bargaining team, we voted overwhelmingly to recommend it for ratification by the SDEA membership.  These were both difficult decisions.  Based on the threats our schools face, we believe they were the right decisions to make.

Overview of the Tentative Agreement

This TA will protect our contract, our school communities and our colleagues’ jobs.  As a result of the agreement more than 1,482 laid-off educators will be recalled, minimizing disruption to their lives and to our schools.  The TA also protects important contractual provisions such as healthcare, by agreeing to an additional one year contract through June 30, 2014.  Otherwise our entire contract would expire in 2013 which we project to be SDUSD’s worst budget year if the Governor’s tax initiative fails.

This TA will require us to make sacrifices.  It means deferring scheduled raises and continuing 5 furlough days for the next two school years, unless the Governor’s initiative passes or additional monies come to SDUSD.  This deferral is difficult to accept.  We work hard and demonstrate our dedication each and every day.  There is no question that we have earned the raises.  Furthermore, we did not cause the economic crisis. But given the significant threats we all face, we believe deferring these raises and continuing the furlough days is the best option and the right thing to do.

Finally, the TA stipulates how our colleagues will be impacted whether or not the Governor’s Tax Initiative passes in November.  If it does pass, we will get our fair share of the revenues.  If it fails, public education in California will see dramatic changes and we will be faced with additional furlough days.  We all must be prepared to help make sure it passes and be ready to fight to protect our classrooms should it fail.

Next Steps

Our timeline to ratify this agreement is short as we want to have the majority of members recalled by June 30th.   As a result, we can’t afford to wait for ratification until September when everyone is back at school.  We do encourage maximum possible participation and ask that you make yourself available to vote in person at the SDEA office (10393 San Diego Mission Road, Suite 100).  Polls will be open from 7am to 7:30pm on Sunday, June 24th through Tuesday, June 26th.

Ultimately, the decision to ratify this agreement rests in your hands. We realize that you have a difficult decision to make.

We strongly recommend that you vote “yes” to ratify this agreement. We believe it is the right thing to do.

In Solidarity,

SDEA Board of Directors

Bill Freeman SDEA President
Lindsay Burningham, Kindergarten Teacher E.B. Scripps Elementary School        
Elizabeth Ahlgren, Math Teacher Morse High School 
Dennis Schamp, Language Arts Teacher Lewis Middle School
Kisha Borden, 3rd Grade Teacher Zamorano Elementary School
Melody Welch, Kindergarten Teacher Tierrasanta Elementary School
Debby Hoeltgen, 5th Grade Teacher Linda Vista Elementary School
Eleanor Evans, Social Studies Teacher Millennial Tech Middle School
Scott Mullin, 2nd Grade Teacher The Language Academy
Melissa Roy Wood, 5th Grade Teacher La Jolla Elementary School
Erin Andreasen Kole, English Teacher Marshall Middle School
Iris Anderson, 5th Grade Teacher Ross Elementary School
Manuel Gomez, 4th Grade Teacher Chollas-Mead Elementary School

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