District Moves, But Nowhere Near Enough

Posted on November 17, 2017

Bargaining Update

November 17, 2017

Bargaining Highlights

  • After our Nov. 8 pop-up picket, the District is finally picking up the pace at the table. We reached two tentative agreements and added three more bargaining dates in the next month.
  • But while District is saying they want a fast settlement, what they’re putting on paper at the table doesn’t match their words. We have yet to see the movement towards our LEARN bargaining priorities that we will need to reach a contract settlement.
  • In fact, the District made concessionary proposals on Class Size and Special Education.
  • SDEA’s bargaining team once again took the lead, making a strong settlement package on wages, class size and hours to settle a LEARN contract.

Read below for additional details and full proposals.

District Needs to Put Their Money Where Their Mouth Is

Our Nov. 8 pop-up picket got District admin rattled. We now have bargaining dates scheduled for Nov. 28, Nov. 30, Dec. 11 and Dec. 14. The District’s team repeatedly said they want to wrap up contract bargaining before the end of the year. So do we! But that means the District needs to stop coming to the bargaining table and simply crying poverty. They need to make some real movement towards our LEARN bargaining priorities.

What would that look like? SDEA’s bargaining team made a package settlement proposal on Wages, Class Size and Hours that:

  • Reaffirms our proposal for a 2.5% raise for this year and a 3.5 % raise for next year. These raises would outpace cost-of-living adjustments and move our pay into the top half County-wide.
  • Protects the secondary 36 hard cap.
  • Lowers class size in grades 4-6.
  • Protects the 24-to-1 TK-3 class size average, and introduces a cap of 27.
  • Lowers PE class size to an average of 50 with a cap of 60.
  • Increases elementary enrichment/prep time and increases prep time staffing allocations.
  • Strengthens work hours protections.
  • Restores the fully funded BTSA program for new teachers.

District’s New SPED and Class Size Proposals would INCREASE Caseloads and Class Size

While SDEA’s bargaining team continues to fight for a contract that will make our schools stronger, the District’s proposal on Special Education and Class Size would move our schools backwards.

Special Education: District Wants to Balance Budget on the Backs of Our Neediest Students

During last fall’s bargaining input sessions, special educators explained that there is no difference between the work that Ed. Specialist: Mild/Moderate teachers and Resource Specialists are doing under the District’s current service delivery model. But the caseloads are different. Ed. Specialist: Mild/Moderate caseloads are set at 20, while RSP caseloads can go as high as 24. That has led to the District converting Ed. Specialists to RSPs just to increase their caseloads. To solve this problem, SDEA has proposed bringing everyone’s caseloads down to 20.

Well, the good news is that the District has finally agreed that there is no difference in the work being done, and so the caseloads should be the same. But the really bad news is that instead of bringing the RSP caseloads down to 20, the District wants to make everyone’s caseloads 23. This means that roughly 110 Resource Specialists would see a caseload decrease of one student, 465 Education Specialist: Mild/Moderate teachers would see their caseloads increase by three students!

That’s not “cost neutral,” which has been the District’s mantra at the bargaining table. That’s a huge cost savings for the District. It would lead to worse services to students and significant decreases in special education staffing. SDEA’s bargaining team estimates that the District’s proposal would cut roughly 70 special educators from our District. That’s the opposite of what our neediest students deserve.

Class Size: District Would Slash Secondary Staffing Levels

The District continues to seek significant concessions on secondary class size. The District’s proposal would prevent the 36 had cap from taking effect until the 8th week of school, and would completely eliminate the staffing allocation formula for secondary schools. This means that high schools could essentially replace SDEA members with community college professors. While high school students can already take community college classes for dual credit, the District must maintain current high school staffing levels—actually producing lower class sizes. The District’s removal of the staffing allocations would raise class size and trigger layoffs at secondary schools.

Tentative Agreements on Parent Teacher Home Visits and School Funding

Yesterday we did reach a tentative agreement on two new articles—Article 34: Revenue for Public Education and Article 35: Parent Teacher Home Visits Project.

Revenue for Public Education

California is the sixth largest economy in the world and the richest state in the union. Yet our funding for students ranks 46th in the country and we have over 50% of our students living in poverty. We must invest in the schools ALL our students need and deserve. To achieve that goal, SDEA and SDUSD reached tentative agreement regarding the District’s commit to secure funding for our schools at a level of $20,000 per student by 2020.

Parent Teacher Home Visits

A tentative agreement was reached to include the Parent Teacher Home Visits (PTHV) project in our union contract, and to secure $30,000 in District funding for the project this year and next year. PTHV is a national program designed to strengthen relationships between educators and families, with the proven effect of keeping students in district schools. Sites will be able to choose to participate through a vote of Site Governance Team. Member participants at participating sites will be able to volunteer, get training, and receive pay to conduct visits.

What Next?

SDEA’s team is committed to making a hard push to settle a fair LEARN contract before winter break. But that will only happen if Superintendent Cindy Marten and her bargaining team continue to see thousands of members standing beside the SDEA bargaining team, just like they did on Nov. 8. Let’s all wear SDEA RED on Nov. 28! Let’s make sure we’re also staying in touch with our CAT teams. Depending on what happens on Nov. 28, we may need to swing into action on Nov. 30.

TOGETHER ARE STRONGER!

All Bargaining Proposals:

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