SDUSD Proposes 0% Raise, Class Size Take-backs

Posted on September 11, 2017

Bargaining Update

September 11, 2017


At a contract negotiations session last Thursday, SDUSD proposed a zero percent raise for SDEA members for the life of the agreement—which could be anywhere from 2-3 years. SDUSD claims that its (notoriously inaccurate) budget deficit projections make it impossible for them to propose any raise. SDUSD also proposed to stop providing BTSA support for new educators, would require new teachers at the bottom of the salary schedule to pay thousands out of pocket to clear their credentials.

SDUSD’s wage proposal is offensive and unacceptable. While it is true that the SDUSD’s budget has been negatively impacted by a loss of student enrollment, the budgetary problems are not such that a raise during the term of this agreement to keep our wages competitive County-wide is impossible. In fact, it wasn’t even clear that SDUSD’s team undertook the necessary budget analysis—like determining what even a 1% raise for SDEA members would actually cost—before making 0% proposal.

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., 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 that moves us in the right direction.

Class Size

SDUSD also proposed to gut several important pieces of our contractual class size protections. SDUSD’s proposal delays the 36 hard cap for secondary schools until the 7th week of school, and completely removes any rules SDUSD must follow in determining how many teachers secondary schools get . The District also proposed making 17 schools (all atypical and alternative schools) entirely exempt from class size protections! After strong rebuke from the SDEA bargaining team, they withdrew that part of their proposal just two hours later. That’s good—but how did that proposal make it across the table in the first place?

SDUSD’s proposal also totally rejected SDEA’s previous proposal to cap non-athletic (e.g. football team) PE classes at no more than 50 students. SDEA’s proposal for the cap on PE classes is based on the needs and safety of our students and educators.

SDEA’s proposal on class size also included numerous pieces that did not have any sort of monetary implications, but SDUSD completely rejected those proposals as well. Ensuring lower class size is also a component of our L.E.A.R.N campaign and is important to our school communities—and SDUSD’s proposal is not in line with the wishes of our communities.

Safety and Hours

In a sign of positive movement, the district’s team proposed that all school sites would begin construction on air conditioning by 2019, moving them closer to that piece of SDEA’s safety proposal.

However, just as with our class size proposal, SDUSD rejected dozens of SDEA’s proposed improvements on safety as well as work hours, despite little to no monetary cost being attached.

There are many ways that the District can show respect to educators that have no cost attached. For the District to bring a 0% raise to the table without making any significant movement on the cost-neutral parts of SDEA’s L.E.A.R.N. campaign is a sign of real disrespect to San Diego’s educators.


One place where the District actually did the right thing was in reaching a tentative agreement on SDEA’s non-discrimination proposal, which would require the District to provide the necessary professional development, training and resources for educators to protect students from discrimination, and backing off of their proposal to make it exempt from the grievance procedure.

This shows us that the District is absolutely capable of sending proposals to the table that align with our shared values. Now they need to do the same with all of the other parts of our contract.

Other Proposals

The teams also discussed aligning employee suspensions with the requirements of the education code, ensuring that future contract negotiations start before the expiration of the contract, and continuing the work of designing a new educator evaluation plan.

Despite its alarming proposals, the District did come fully authorized and prepared to engage in negotiations for the first time since bargaining started five months ago. Our hope is that the District will continue to engage in future negotiating sessions with the same sort of urgency and authority it brought to the negotiating table on Thursday.

Our Plan to Win a L.E.A.R.N. Contract!

Thursday’s bargaining sessions shows yet again we can’t rely on the District to simply hand over the L.E.A.R.N. contract our students and schools deserve. SDEA leaders and staff have planned three waves of escalating union-wide action this year that will build us to win a strong contract by spring.

Every school in SDEA will have a Wave One Union Organizing meeting between now and late October. Your participation in your school’s union meeting and the actions to come will make the difference between success and failure in the fight ahead. Ask your AR when your Wave One meeting will be! We can win, and we will win, if we stand together. Because SDEA members know, Together We Are Stronger!

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