Bargaining Update: Special Education and Wages

Posted on September 30, 2017

Bargaining Highlights

September 22, 2017

  • District rejected SDEA’s proposed improvements for special education—and added language that weakens Early Childhood Special Education caseload protections.
  • District did propose to streamline the process for addressing caseload overages.
  • District continues to propose a 0% raise for at least two years, adding a possible reopener in year three.
  • District will make a healthcare proposal on Oct. 5. Given their current stance about their budget, it is unlikely that they are opening our healthcare article to make improvements.
  • SDEA made a strong counterproposal on safety. We are close to winning a guarantee of air conditioning in every classroom.

Read below for additional details and full proposals.

Special Education

In yesterday’s bargaining session, the District finally responded to SDEA’s proposal on special education. SDEA is fighting for lower special educator caseloads, compensation for caseload overages, increased staffing, expanded special education supports, and establishing a true continuum of services for our students. On a positive note, the District agreed to refocus the Special Education Workload Committee on district-wide issues, allowing individual caseload overages to move directly to the grievance process. Everyone recognizes that the District isn’t flush with money; but, we have to make some progress in addressing the real challenges that face our Special Education program.

The R in L.E.A.R.N. stands for Resources for Kids, and our students with IEPs need resources and support from the District. SDEA’s bargaining team is committed to fighting for those resources at the table. All SDEA members can join the fight by attending your site’s Union Meeting, signing the L.E.A.R.N. petition, and joining in the union-wide pop-up picket on Nov. 8 at your school!


After proposing a zero percent raise for “a multi-year agreement” at the last bargaining session, the District followed up yesterday with two packaged proposals:

  • A two-year contract with a zero percent raise for both years.
  • A three-year contract with a zero percent for two years, and a wage reopener for the third year. There is no guarantee the wage reopener would result in a raise.

While it is true that SDUSD’s budget has been negatively impacted by a loss of student enrollment, the budgetary problems are not such that a raise is impossible during the term of this agreement, in order to keep our wages competitive County-wide is impossible.

A core component of our L.E.A.R.N. contract campaign is to ensure that we are able to Attract and retain the best educators. SDUSD’s proposal moves us in the opposite direction, but SDEA’s bargaining team will be making a wage proposal in the near future based on an analysis of the District’s true budget picture.


SDEA’s team made a strong counter-proposal on safety, including:

  • An air conditioner in every classroom by 2019.
  • Guaranteeing adequate, safe workspaces for itinerant members and counselors.
  • Requiring the District to get stakeholder input on what restorative justice should look like for each involved school community, and to provide necessary supports at schools where restorative justice is being implemented.

Thanks to the voices of hundreds of SDEA members calling for air conditioning in every classroom, we are very close to winning an agreement on this issue!

All Bargaining Proposals:

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