SDEA Calls Out District Budget Games

Posted on January 22, 2018

Bargaining Update

January 22, 208

 Bargaining Highlights

  •         SDEA’s bargaining team scrubbed the District’s budget. Revenues for this year actually jumped $31 million this fall. Then the District increased their spending by $56 million! Does this sound like a District that can’t afford a raise?
  •         SDEA’s team made a strong proposal on wages, class size and hours that includes a 2% retroactive raise for this year and a 2.5% raise for next year.
  •         SDEA’s team is fighting to protect class size and special education caseloads, while SDUSD once again proposed increasing special education caseloads.

Read below for additional details and full proposals.


Last Thursday’s bargaining session started with a discussion of the District’s budget. The SDEA bargaining team pointed out the District’s revenue jumped $31 million between the start of school and Oct. 31. At the same time, their planned expenditures increased by more than $56 million! This does not look like the behavior of a District truly in deficit.

Here are some budget facts:

  •       Gov. Brown’s newly proposed budget is projected to increase funding to the District by at least $46 million.
  •       The wage costs of SDEA members have gone down by a massive $33 million from last year to this year. This is largely thanks to the early retirement incentive bargained by SDEA, which allowed veteran SDEA members (whose salaries and benefits cost more) to retire from the District.
  •       The District is planning to increase spending on consultants, materials and supplies, and other outside contracts by $27 million.

Have you seen a sudden influx of supplies in your classroom?

These examples tell us that the District—despite its budget claims—has the ability to pay for a raise for educators, and fund supports for our students.

SDEA Makes Strong Package Proposal on Wages, Class Size and Hours

SDEA made a strong package proposal that includes:

◦         Wages

  •         A 2% retroactive raise for this year.
  •         A 2.5% raise for next year to keep our wages at County median.
  •         New longevity stipends at years 18 and 22.

◦       This will allow our wages to become competitive in terms of lifetime earnings.

◦         Class Size

  •         Protecting the 36 secondary hard cap.
  •         Protecting 24:1 at TK-3, with a new cap of 27.
  •         Lowering grades 4-6 class size cap to 34.
  •         Lowering secondary PE class size in order to ensure the safety of our students.
  •         Protecting teacher staffing allocations TK-12.
  •         Increased nursing staffing.
  •         Improving the elementary counselor allocation formula.

◦         Hours

  •         Protecting planning and preparation time.

SDEA’s budget analysis was able to show the District how it could afford most of our proposals. The question is whether they choose to prioritize educators and students, or whether they choose to continue to prioritize things like consultants, outside agreements and “materials and supplies.”

Special Education: District Continues to Propose Caseload Increases

SDUSD once again proposed caseloads of 22 for all Education Specialist: Mild/Moderate teachers and Resource Specialists. This would result in a caseload increase for nearly 465 special educators! Our schools need more special education teachers, not less. By increasing caseloads, the District could layoff dozens of special educators, continuing their path of balancing their budget on the backs of our neediest students.


SDUSD made a transfer proposal that finally shows some movement towards SDEA’s proposals. SDEA’s team will continue to fight for a fair and transparent transfer process that meaningfully improves members’ ability to voluntarily transfer, and protects the rights of members who are in excess. We are hopeful that we are getting closer to agreement on transfer rights.

More Progress on Charter Schools

SDUSD made a new proposal on Charter Schools. They accepted most of SDEA’s most recent proposal, which would bring greater accountability to the co-location process, whereby charter schools take over space at District schools.

What Next?

There are three more bargaining dates on the calendar: Feb. 1, Feb. 15 and March 1, at which point SDEA’s bargaining team will evaluate if there is more we can do at the bargaining table, or if we have reached our crisis point. That’s why SDEA leaders launched Wave 2 of our bargaining campaign last week. Building from the success of our Wave 1 Pop-up Picket in November, Wave 2 will culminate in a union-wide one-day Work-to-Rule action on March 13.

The District has shown they don’t value educators. On March 13, we’ll show the District our value by demonstrating what schools look like without the countless extra hours we provide to our students. Instead we will spend the afternoon at the School Board fighting to win the contract our students deserve—and ask parents to join us!

See your site Association Representative to find out how you can be a part of our powerful wave of action!

Don’t forget to participate in your school’s “Together Thursdays” by wearing SDEA red until we win a strong union contract!


All Bargaining Proposals:

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