Bargaining Update: District’s Initial Proposal Signals a Tough Round of Negotiations
Posted on April 16, 2014
Buoyed by SDEA members’ strong support for the Fight for 5! campaign to rebuild public schools, the SDEA bargaining team is ready to take the fight to the table and start bargaining on May 1.
And it’s going to be a fight. Last night, the District submitted their initial bargaining proposal to the union. Although a conceptual proposal, it is clear the District is proposing broad take-backs across the board. They are proposing a “fiscally responsible total compensation structure” that is code for take-backs on benefits and deprioritizing members’ wages in their budgeting process. They want to entirely replace the current evaluation system with a whole new system based in part on student and parent feedback. They want to make class sizes and caseload limits “flexible,” revisit our newly won workload protections, weaken our transfer rights, amend job descriptions/expectations, and more. SDEA’s proposals are all about rebuilding our schools after years of cuts. The District’s proposals are all about more take-backs, and more top-down decisions. Click the link below to read the full proposal.
SDUSD states they want negotiations to be respectful, but their initial proposal and actions do not reflect this belief. To propose a top-down comprehensive change to the evaluation process without union member input prior to the bargaining table sends a much different message.
In addition to their far-reaching proposals, SDUSD has opted not to use their own highly paid central office staff (seven in-house attorneys and three Labor Relations staff) for SDEA bargaining. Instead they have hired outside attorney Mark Bresee to be their lead negotiator. If his name sounds familiar, it’s because he was the District’s lead negotiator back in 2009-10 when the District fought tooth-and-nail against bargaining workload protections. SDEA members organized and fought for what we knew was best for our schools and our classrooms—and we won. We can do the same again now!
SDEA’s bargaining team is already taking an aggressive approach as we head to the table. SDEA has put the district on notice that we believe they have violated the collective bargaining law by not conducting a public “sunshine” hearing to allow for public input prior to submitting their proposal to the union. SDUSD does not plan to sunshine their proposal until Tuesday, April 29. We will continue to aggressively enforce our legal rights throughout the bargaining process, and keep members involved as we move forward. Look for the next bargaining update after the first bargaining session on May 1, as well as the other scheduled dates on May 8, May 29, June 2 (tentative), June 5, June 19 and June 23 (tentative).
We must continue to be united and strong to win a fair contract and rebuild our public schools!