Fight for 5! Contract Campaign

What Is the Fight for 5?

In the 2014- 2015 school year, SDEA educators are negotiating a new contract and this is what we’re fighting for!

  1. Pay and benefits to attract and keep the best and brightest.
  2. Lower class sizes across the board.
  3. More counselors, nurses and special education support.
  4. More elementary student enrichment classes (and the important teacher preparation time that comes along with it).
  5. Protecting our planning time so we can do our best teaching.Bargaining Logo Final



Total Votes: 3461
YES: – 3,000 or 86.7%
NO: – 461 or 13.3%

SDEA members have overwhelmingly voted to ratify the 2014-2017 SDEA/SDUSD Collective Bargaining Agreement. Our Fight for 5! victories will now become a reality. The improvements we’ve made in our contract were achieved because SDEA members and parents organized to improve the working and learning conditions in our schools. This agreement will help us rebuild our schools after years of cuts and shared sacrifice. Through the Fight for 5! we’ve also built the strongest relationships we’ve ever had with parents and community members. In the coming months we will continue to fight together to improve funding for education. Together we are stronger!


Full Text of Tentative Agreement Now Available

The full text of the Tentative Agreement is available below. Please note that the file is large and my take a few minutes to download.

Don’t forget, voting starts this Friday, May 15 and runs through Thursday, May 21. Electronic ballots will be emailed to members with a personal email address on file at the SDEA office. Online voting instructions will be send to members without a personal email address on file via U.S. mail. All members can vote at the SDEA office between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. M-F during the voting window. If you are not currently an SDEA member, you can complete a membership form and vote in person at the SDEA office.

SDEA Wins Fight for 5! Tentative Agreement

Dear SDEA Members,

I am proud to announce that on April 30, SDEA and the District came to a tentative agreement (TA) on a new three-year contract that meets the Fight for 5! priorities set by SDEA members.

As you are all aware, this has been a long process, beginning in Fall 2013 with member input sessions at more than 150 schools and departments.  The SDEA bargaining team has been at the table since Spring 2014, advocating for the Fight for 5! and demanding that the District use increases in state funding where it will impact students the most – in the classroom.

The tentative agreement does just that, addressing all Fight for 5! priorities by lowering class sizes, lowering special education and counselor caseloads, increasing enrichment opportunities for elementary students, adding more support services for students, including a fair compensation package that moves SDEA educators towards median or above, and maintaining health care benefits.  In addition, for the first time SDEA and the District have agreed to a needs-based method of staffing that will bring additional resources to our most disadvantaged students.

This agreement not only speaks to the effort and skill of an SDEA bargaining team that dedicated more than a year and hundreds of hours to securing a strong contract, but also to the great energy and pressure put on the District by all 7,000 SDEA members and the community.

Your participation in rallies, signing and distributing petitions, emails to the superintendent and school board members, or having a conversation with parents gave the bargaining team the leverage and strength to reach an agreement that met the needs of our members and students.

I congratulate and thank each and every member who helped make the Fight for 5! a success.  You showed that “Together We Are Stronger” is not just a slogan on a t-shirt, but a true way to build power for SDEA members and advocate for our students.

I am confident that once you have read the information about the tentative agreement and salary comparability below, you will see that our Fight for 5! tentative agreement moves us in the right direction of rebuilding our schools after years of cuts and brings our salaries to a comparable level that will help to attract and retain educators in SDUSD.  I look forward to seeing a record turnout as we vote to ratify a contract that rebuilds our schools and that the students and educators of San Diego deserve!

In Solidarity,

Burningham Signature



Lindsay Burningham

SDEA President


Bargaining Update — April 30, 2015

Contract Settlement Reached

After two full days of mediation and more than a year after starting the bargaining process, SDEA member actions have resulted in a tentative contract agreement with the District that increases member salaries by 5 percent over this year and next.

Member organizing provided the needed leverage at the bargaining table to reach an agreement that addresses all Fight for 5! priorities, including a fair compensation package, maintains our first-rate benefits, improves class sizes and caseloads, increases elementary preparation time and adds more support services for students.

The three-year agreement (effective July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2017) includes:

  • 1 percent salary increase retroactive to July 1, 2014.
  • 4 percent salary increase effective July 1, 2015.
  • A contract re-opener on wages solely for the purpose of negotiating additional increases to wages for the 2016-17 school year.

The agreement also protects our fully-paid family health benefits for the duration of the contract, a major priority for SDEA members.  SDEA members are the only certificated bargaining unit with fully-paid health benefits in San Diego County.

Additionally, the agreement includes:

  • Reduced class size caps and averages for elementary grades TK-6.
    • TK-3 class average of 24 to 1.
    • Maximum cap for elementary classes reduced by 1 student beginning in the 2016/2017 school year.
  • Improved caseloads for nurses, counselors and resource specialists.
  • Additional staff for schools that have high percentages of students who qualify for Free and Reduced Lunch and/or are in the ELL and Foster youth.
  • A monetary incentive for SDEA members retiring at the end of the 2014-15 school year towards the purchase of retiree health benefits (A threshold of 125 eligible retirees must be met in order for this provision to go into effect).

Beginning July 1, 2015 the top salary schedule step for SDEA members will be $91,571 and all but one salary comparison benchmark will reach median or above when compared with similar districts in both the state and county. SDEA members will realize a salary increase of at least 12 percent over the last four years while maintaining a comprehensive benefits package. The new raise is in addition to the restoration raise from the start of this school year. As of July 1, 2015, SDEA unit member compensation will have increased by 10 percent since the start of the 2014-15 school year.

Additionally, as part of the tentative agreement, two secondary class size grievances were settled – guaranteeing secondary schools are allocated staff per the contract and requiring immediate payment for class sizes in excess of 36 students.

Comparison data, settlement FAQ, cluster meeting information, and ratification timelines will be sent to all active members shortly.

Click the links below for an updated summary of all tentative agreements reached during bargaining, and the full text of the April 30 tentative agreement, grievance settlements and retirement incentive:

The tentative contract will not take effect until ratified by the active SDEA membership.

Bargaining Update — April 9, 2015

SDUSD notified SDEA during spring break the School Board had new bargaining parameters and requested the parties return to the table prior to the April 29th mediation session. The SDEA and SDUSD bargaining teams met yesterday, April 8.

The District submitted a 3 year proposal that included Wages & Class Size (see table below). The across the board wage increase to the salary schedule doubled in 2015/2016 from a 2% to a 4% (2% effective July 1, 2015 and 2% effective January 1, 2016).   SDUSD did not change their 2014/15 offer of a 1% off schedule bonus and newly proposed a third year with no salary increase for the 2016/2017 school year.

SDEA was clear to the District that for the union to consider a three year deal there would need to be an on schedule salary increase in 2014/15 (as opposed to an off schedule “bonus”) and the ability for a wage increase in the final year of 2016/17.  This wage proposal does move our salary benchmarks closer to median and above as compared to similar districts and is a step in the right direction (see detailed April 8th Rep. Council presentation HERE).  Although it represents progress, the District must improve their offer to meet our goal of having salaries reach or exceed the median.  The District made no changes in their Class Size proposal from March 16, 2015.

An additional bargaining session was scheduled for Monday, April 27th. Mediation is still scheduled for April 29 & 30, should the teams not reach agreement.


 WAGES SDEA (2 year Term)Last proposal made March 16, 2015 SDUSD (3 year Term)New proposal made April 8, 2015
Year 12014/15 1.5% increase 0% increase1% one-time off-schedule
Year 22015/16 6% Across the Salary Schedules

  • 4% increase, July 2015
  • 2% increase, Jan 2016
2% increase, July 20152% increase , January 2016
Year 32016/17 SDEA does not currently have a proposal for a 3rd year 0%


The District’s proposed wage increase can be attributed to the pressure exerted from our members, the community, and parent support. We must continue with our organizing efforts to win a final agreement.

We can all support our Fight for 5! by rallying at the School Board meeting on Tuesday, April 14 at 4:00 p.m. Let parents know, too!  If we continue to stand together for the fair contract we and our students deserve, we WILL win!

Together we are stronger!

Please see below for the Power Point presentations from the March 11th, March 25th, and April 8th Rep Councils:


Bargaining Update — March 20, 2015

What Does Impasse Mean? What Next?

Q: What does it mean that SDEA declared impasse

A: After ten months of bargaining with no settlement on wages or class size, SDEA’s bargaining team determined that we could make no further progress at the table right now. The District agreed, so now we have jointly declared an impasse. At any point in the impasse process, the union and the employer can return to the bargaining table and settle the contract. That’s why our continued organizing matters!

Q: Does impasse mean we are going on strike now?

A: No. But we are going to keep organizing to put pressure on the school board and Superintendent Marten to settle a fair contract with us. In the meantime, we will go through the impasse process. The law requires that SDEA and SDUSD complete the impasse process before a strike is allowed. Our bargaining team’s goal remains the same: To get a fair contract settlement as soon as possible.

Q: What are the steps in the impasse process?

A: Impasse is a two step process: mediation, then fact-finding. At this point, the California Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) will assign us a mediator, a neutral third party who will try to help SDEA and SDUSD’s bargaining teams reach a settlement.

Q: What is the mediation timeline?

A: Mediation will probably begin in April. The number of mediation sessions and the timeline depend on how productive the mediation meetings are. There could be one, two, five, or more mediation sessions. Those sessions could be spread out over a few days, a month, or longer. It depends on whether or not the mediator, the union and the employer all believe that more mediation could result in a settlement.

Q: What is fact-finding?

A: If the District doesn’t settle a fair contract with us by the end of the mediation process – either at the bargaining table or through mediation, the next step is fact-finding. In fact-finding, SDEA and SDUSD both present our best arguments about financial factors that impact bargaining, including the District’s ability to pay, the comparability of our wages to other similar districts, and cost of living. A three-person panel hears these arguments. Both the union and the employer pick a panel member, and PERB assigns a neutral member. Based on the presentation of facts, the neutral member will issue a non-binding report. Either side can agree or disagree with the report.

Q: What is the timeline for fact-finding?

A: If we go to fact-finding, it will probably take place late this school year or over the summer. The report would most likely come out before the fall. After the fact-finding report comes out, SDEA and the District can bargain over the report.

Q: What happens if the District still hasn’t settled a fair contract with us?

A: If the District doesn’t settle a fair contract with us by the end of fact-finding, SDUSD may impose a contract on us.  SDEA members can either choose to accept what the District imposes, or choose to go on strike to win a more fair contract. Our bargaining team’s goal is to win a fair contract before we come to this point. The way we can all make this happen is by continuing to put increasing pressure on the School Board and Superintendent Marten. Our pressure is working, and we have reached tentative agreements on every one of our Fight for 5! bargaining priorities except for wages and class size. We can and will win a fair wage and class size settlement if we all keep the pressure on!

Q: What can SDEA members do right now to win a fair contract?

A: Make sure your school is represented at the special Representative Council meeting next Wednesday, March 25, at 4:30 p.m. at the SDEA office. This special Rep. Council will be focused on the next steps in our bargaining campaign.

Every member can support our Fight for 5! by rallying at the School Board meeting on Tuesday, April 14 at 4:30 p.m. Let parents know, too! Association Reps will receive more information about the April 14th school board meeting at the March 25 Special Rep Council meeting.  If we continue to stand together for the fair contract we and our students deserve, we WILL win!

Bargaining Update – March 16, 2015

SDEA Declares Impasse

After more than 10 months of negotiations, the SDEA Bargaining Team informed the District of our intent to declare an impasse in bargaining.

Educators started bargaining for a new contract in May 2014, with little progress on any of the Fight for 5! priorities. The parties started making real progress in negotiations after more than 50 school rallies were held throughout the district with parents, students and educators. Still, the parties were unable to reach agreement and are at an impasse on the crucial issues of Class Size and Wages. After today’s bargaining session, SDEA and SDUSD are at impasse over the following:


 WAGES SDEA ( 2 year Term) SDUSD ( 2 year Term)
Year 12014/15 1.5% increase 0% increase1% one- time off-schedule
Year 22015/16 6% Across the Salary Schedules

  • 4% increase, July 2015
  • 2% increase, Jan 2016
2% increase, July 2015


SDUSD’s offer falls way short of our goal and does not bring our pay in line with comparable districts.


Elementary** TK-6 Class Size:  35 cap TK-6 Class Size:   Status quo 36 cap
Secondary Cap:  35 with first 10 days grace periodPE:  Average of 50 pupils per period Cap:  Status quo   36 capPE:  Status quo   50 average over 4 months

**SDEA and SDUSD have already reached an agreement on a 24 to 1 TK-3 site average  in accordance with the CA State Law effective July 1, 2015. Additionally the parties have agreed to a site allocation of 32.13 to 1 for 4-6 teachers. 


What now?

When one or both parties in bargaining are unable to reach an agreement on a new contract an impasse exists. Impasse is a process defined by the California Educational Employment Relations Act (EERA). The law establishes a set of procedures to follow when an impasse exists. These “impasse procedures” have two distinct phases: mediation and fact-finding.  We will now be entering the mediation phase.

Does this mean we are going on strike now?

No, first we need to exhaust the mediation and fact-finding process. There is still time for the District to make the classroom a priority and agree to a fair contract before taking extreme actions.

What Next?

There will be a Special SDEA Representative Council Meeting on Wednesday, March 25, 2015 at 4:30 p.m. Your AR, CR and Alternate will receive more detailed information. Also, stay tuned for additional updates.

Below is a summary of the Tentative Agreements that SDEA has reached with SDUSD up to the date SDEA declared an impasse in bargaining:

Bargaining Update – March 11, 2015

More Tentative Agreements Reached, but Still No Settlement on Wages and Class Size

SDEA and the District conducted negotiations on March 9 and March 10.  Tentative Agreements (TAs) were reached on Special Education, Visiting Teachers (VT) and Appendix B: Early Childhood Education (ECE). The parties also exchanged proposals on Class Size and Appendix D: Visiting Teachers. While some progress was made in each of those articles, no TA has been reached.

The District will make a Wage proposal on Monday, March 16.

Summary of the Tentative Agreements Reached this Week:

Article 29: Special Education

  • A clear definition for Resource Specialist assignments.
  • Resource Specialists caseloads reduced from 28-to-1 to 24-to-1.
  • Requirement of the development of a support plan for General Education Teachers when the number of students  with IEPs in a classroom exceeds 20%.
  • Pro-rata payment for IEP meetings held beyond the 8-hour work day.

Article 32: Visiting Teacher

  • A new category of Established Day-to-Day VT, paid at a higher rate after 92 days.
  • Ability for Long Term VTs to utilize accrued sick leave.
  • Expanded access to Post and Bid.
  • Memorialized the new state law allowing sick leave for Day-to-Day VTs.

Appendix B: Early Childhood Education

  • Seniority order rights up to two years to select a vacant 11 or 12 month position if a unit member’s current work year is reduced to ten months.

All agreements reached are contingent upon reaching agreements on the remaining open articles and can be changed up until a tentative agreement is reached on the entire contract.

Click below for full tentative agreements and proposals:

The next bargaining session is scheduled for Monday, March 16. With only Class Size and Wages the only Fight for 5! articles still open at the table, the SDEA Bargaining Team expects to either have an agreement or be very close to an impasse. The recent push in bargaining can only be attributed to the SDEA members and parents who have rallied around our Fight for 5! priorities in the past months.

Together We Are Stronger!

Bargaining Update – March 5, 2015

Tentative Agreements Reached on Important Issues, but Still No Settlement

SDEA and the District continued negotiations on March 2 and March 4.  The SDEA bargaining team has committed to take the time needed to reach a fair contract settlement now! After a combined 21 hours of negotiations this week, tentative agreements were reached on Health Benefits, Hours, Transfer and Evaluation. The parties also exchanged proposals on Special Education and Class Size and some movement was made in each of those articles, however tentative agreements have not yet been reached.

The District has not made a new Wage proposal this week.

Summary of the Tentative Agreements Reached this Week:

Article 8: Hours

  • Within their schedules, counselors, nurses, and other non-classroom unit members can schedule preparation time that is equitable with other unit members.
  • Payment for emergency class coverage after the first hour.
  • 75% of elementary modified days will be set aside for teacher directed preparation & planning. However, sites may be able to utilize up to 25% of modified days for PLCs, PD, and other similar purposes if 50% of unit members at the site vote to do so by secret ballot.
  • Guarantee of  55-60 minutes of preparation time  for Grades 4-6 provided by a Preparation Teacher.

Article 9: Health Benefits

  • Fully paid family medical benefits with all current plan choices for the term of the agreement.
  • A process to select a new broker for our current dental coverage. Any realized savings will be utilized to improve the benefit.

Article 12: Transfer

  • A streamlined May Post and Bid process with timely notification upon selection for a position.
  • New vacancies must be posted by May 10th each year.

Article 14: Performance Evaluation

  • A joint union/district committee to research and make recommendations on new evaluation models focused on teaching and learning, not tied to test scores. Pilot project recommendations to be referred back to the bargaining teams.

Although no tentative agreement was reached on Class Size, the District agreed with SDEA’s past proposal for a secondary counselor allocation formula. From now on allocations will be rounded up (for example .5 to 1.0 position) in order to minimize partial assignments.

All agreements reached are contingent upon reaching agreements on the remaining open articles and can be changed up until a tentative agreement is reached on the entire contract.

Tentative Agreements:

SDUSD Proposals:

At the next bargaining session scheduled for Monday, March 9, we expect the District to make proposals on the remaining open articles, including Wages. Momentum in bargaining can only be attributed to the more than 1,000 SDEA members and parents who have rallied around our Fight for 5! priorities in the past three weeks. We must continue to keep up the pressure!

Together We Are Stronger!

Bargaining Update – March 3, 2015

Rallies Lead To Progress, Session Added Tomorrow

SDEA and the District negotiated for 12 hours yesterday, March 2—the longest meeting in ten months of bargaining. Tentative agreements were reached on Health Benefits, Hours, Transfer and Evaluation. All agreements reached yesterday are contingent upon reaching agreements on the Wage, Class Size, Special Education, and Visiting Teacher articles, and can be changed until a tentative agreement is reached on the entire contract.  Based on the progress made at the table, the parties added an extra bargaining session tomorrow, March 4.  A detailed bargaining update will be sent after tomorrow’s session.

The momentum in bargaining can only be attributed to the more than 1,000 SDEA members and parents who have rallied around our Fight for 5!priorities in the past three weeks. We’ve been averaging two rallies a day since Feb. 12! Let’s keep the pressure on as our team heads back to the table tomorrow.

Together We Are Stronger!

Bargaining Update – February 20, 2015

Our Schools Can’t Wait Any Longer!

Today’s bargaining was the 21st session since bargaining started May 2014. After 10 months at the table, SDEA and the District have only reached tentative agreements on leaves, safety, grievance procedures and the elimination of obsolete furlough day language.

At today’s bargaining session, SDEA’s team responded to the District’s comprehensive proposal from February 2.  SDEA’s comprehensive proposal today was reasonable and should move the parties to a settlement now! The proposal included:

  • A wage proposal of 4% increase for 2014-2015 and a 4% increase for 2015-2016 that would move and maintain our salaries to median and above
  • Salary column rules that would reduce unit requirements making it easier for advancement to higher-paying columns
  • Protects our health benefits for the duration of the contract
  • Lowers class sizes and caseloads across all levels and programs
  • Provides SPED support to both Ed. Specialists, RSPs and General Educators

It is More Than Money, It is About Respect

SDUSD can accept our proposal to close out negotiations and put in place a contract that respects our members while placing education on the right track to rebuild our schools.

The District can afford to make educators and the classroom a budget priority by using accurate budget projections in the later years of the contract, and by reducing or ceasing expenditures on non-essentials.

Superintendent Marten needs to listen to educators and the community. They feel disrespected when told that the District cannot offer more than a minimal wage increase for three years while at same time the district provides huge raises to Central Office Administrators.

The one aspect SDEA and SDUSD did agree on today is that absent an agreement by March the parties will most likely be at an impasse in bargaining.

Superintendent Marten Comes to Negotiations

Late in the afternoon SDUSD Superintendent Cindy Marten joined the bargaining table. She made a commitment to be part of all future negotiation sessions in an effort to reach a fair contract settlement.   Recent school rallies and site actions have caught the attention of the District.  We must keep the pressure on until we reach a settlement.

More Media Coverage from SDEA Member Rallies

Check out the great media coverage SDEA members and parents received after several Fight for 5! rallies this week.

San Diego 6


NBC San Diego

10 News

If your school has yet to schedule a rally, please contact your AR to schedule a Fight for 5! Organizing Meeting as soon as possible.

Here are Today’s SDEA Proposals:

Update – February 19, 2015

Parents, students and educators came together throughout the day to rally together in support for the Fight for 5! and to put pressure on the District to settle our contract now.

Large rallies took place at Scripps Ranch High, Miramar Ranch Elementary, EB Scripps Elementary, and Hancock Elementary today with great turnout at each.  Scripps Ranch High’s rally earned great media coverage of the Fight for 5! from CBS, NBC, San Diego 6 and ABC.  Dozens of additional rallies will occur throughout the District over the next several weeks as we build support from parents and the community.

Others schools that held a rally over the last few days include Horton Elementary, Sherman Elementary and Chesterton Elementary.  If your school has yet to schedule a rally, please contact your AR to schedule a Fight for 5! Organizing Meeting as soon as possible.

Also, tomorrow is a bargaining day.  Help show the District that all 7,000 SDEA members support the bargaining team and the Fight for 5! by wearing red tomorrow.

Together We Are Stronger!

Bargaining Update – February 2, 2015

New Salary Proposal from District Falls Short Progress Made in Other Areas

On February 2, 2015, SDEA and SDUSD bargaining teams met for contract negotiations. SDUSD made proposals on Wages, Hours, Evaluation and Class Size. SDEA proposed language on Special Education.

SDUSD Wage Proposal: Not Close to Raising Salaries to Median & Above

SDUSD proposed:

  • A 1% across the board salary percent increase effective July 1, 2015 and another 1% raise effective on January 1, 2016.
  • A restructured salary schedule making it less difficult to move across salary columns.
  • Ability to utilize District sponsored post work-day Professional Development or in-service to earn units to move across columns or still be paid at the workshop rate.

SDUSD’s percent salary increase proposal clearly falls short of bringing educator salaries on par with that of educators in comparable districts.   For SDEA members to see real wage gains at the bargaining table, all of us need to stay active at our school sites.

SDUSD Class Size & Hours Proposals: Signs of Movement

SDUSD’s movement in other contract articles can be directly attributed to direct pressure put on the Superintendent and the school board by educators and parents throughout the district. Areas of movement were:

  • TK-3 class size averages at 24:1 at all school sites next year.
  • Payment to unit members who cover a class for non-emergency reasons, such as pre-scheduled PLCs.
  • Clearer language defining the right for non-classroom educators to have equitable prep time to classroom educators at their site.

SDEA Proposes Better Definitions for Special Education Teacher Positions

SDEA proposed Special Education language at the February 2nd session. Our proposal seeks to tighten the definition of a Resource Specialist and clearly distinguish it from an Ed. Specialist. This is a proposal that will go towards improving the caseloads of those who serve our students with the highest needs.  SDEA continued to push for supports to assist general education teachers whom have clusters of students with IEPs.

Next Steps

While we saw some improvements in SDUSD’s proposals, their wage proposal still fell short. In addition to wages, there is still more work that needs to be done in class size /caseloads, PE class sizes and elementary prep time.  Make sure to attend an upcoming SDEA meeting at your site to be part of the plan how to push SDSUD to come to the negotiations table with an improved wage proposal.

Any movement on the part of SDUSD was due to action from educators who made calls to the superintendent, held meetings with board members and gathered parent signatures in support of our Fight for 5! goals.  We need to keep up the pressure!

Talk with AR if you are not sure when your next site union meeting is scheduled. If you do not have an AR at your site, call the SDEA office (619-283-4411) to work with an Organizer to schedule a meeting.

SDEA Proposals:

SDUSD Proposals:

Bargaining Update — January 16, 2015

The District and SDEA Bargaining teams met for contract negotiations on Thursday, Jan. 15. The SDEA team stayed the course, pushing our Fight for 5! priorities into 2015. The new year is off to an incredibly promising start, with Gov. Brown’s proposed 2015-16 state budget calling for significant increases for education funding. The District no longer has a claim of impending insolvency to hide behind.

SDEA presented a packaged proposal that included Wages, Class Size, Hours, Evaluations and Visiting Teacher rights. The District’s team proposed some minimal changes to Special Education language and minor cleanup for salary rules and regulations.

SDEA’s Packaged Proposal Puts the Classroom First

SDEA’s proposal attempts to move the negotiations process along while at the same time ensuring that the Fight for 5! goals are met. SDEA’s proposal:

  • Calls for a 10.25% raise over two years.
  • Rejects the District’s previous salary schedule proposal, while at the same time accelerating advancement across the salary columns for all unit members.
  • Maintains the current system of Health and Welfare Benefits.
  • Reduces class sizes for Elementary, Secondary, PE and Music, and caseloads for counselors and nurses
  • Protects unit members from being pulled from their planning time.
  • Allows for long term visiting teachers to accrue and utilize sick leave.
  • Establishes a framework for exploring and piloting a new evaluation process.

SDEA Proposes the Alignment of Funding with LCFF

The Fight for 5! is about rebuilding schools. Lower class sizes and allowing for needs based staffing was a clear priority for SDEA’s members when thousands participated in the input sessions that developed our bargaining priorities. Today’s proposal calls on the District to provide an additional full time certificated employee to schools with a high number of students receiving free and reduced lunch, English language learners and foster/homeless youth. SDEA’s proposal would require that the site and its governance team determine how to best utilize the added staff.

SDUSD Proposes Minimal SPED Changes

In a sign of some movement, SDUSD proposed a definition of Special Education Resource Specialist. The proposal still falls short of a clear distinction between Resource Specialist and Education Specialist Mild/Moderate caseloads, which is a priority for SDEA members.

Now Is the Time for a Settlement

In light of the extremely favorable state budget picture, it is time for the District to do the right thing by making a settlement proposal that addresses the Fight for 5! and makes the classroom a priority.  It is time for the Superintendent and Board of Education to show leadership and close out this bargaining process that has dragged on for too long.

The District committed to presenting SDEA a comprehensive proposal at out next session on February 2, 2015.

SDEA Proposals:

SDUSD Proposals:

Bargaining Update — December 17, 2014

At yesterday’s bargaining session, the SDEA bargaining team clearly communicated to the District that their last proposal was by and large unacceptable. Despite the District email that tried to paint their proposal as a positive step forward, their wage proposal goes nowhere near meeting the Fight for 5! demands of educators and the community. In fact, the District’s proposal is divisive and unfair to our membership as a whole!

Problems with District Wage Proposal

The District’s wage proposal contains no across-the-board wage increase that would raise SDUSD’s compensation to a competitive level. Instead, the District’s divisive and unfair proposal includes a professional development plan for temporary, year-to-year raises that would only apply to classroom teachers, leaving out a significant portion of SDEA’s membership. Wages need to keep up with the increasing cost of living and not be attached to a professional development plan that would be difficult or impossible for most to meet and maintain—and that’s what SDEA’s bargaining team said loud and clear. (Click here for a summary and side-by-side comparison of the SDEA and SDUSD wage proposals.)

Lackluster Increase in Counseling Staff

SDEA’s bargaining team also took objection to the District’s proposal that would increase counseling staff by only six full time positions across the District. The District would take this action regardless because of projected decreases in graduation rates due to SDUSD’s Board adoption of the A-G graduation rates. The hiring of these new counselors will and should be done irrespective of the negotiations. Not only do our schools with high needs deserve additional counseling support, schools across the District need improved ratios, so that students can get the support they need and deserve. That’s why SDEA’s team continues to fight for improved counseling ratios across the board.

SDEA Demands Elementary Planning Time

The District continues pushing to take away 25% of the planning time elementary teachers currently have on modified days. Teachers need more time to plan, not less, in order to provide the best education possible to students and ensure a successful implementation of the new curriculum, assessments and the new report cards. SDEA’s team is standing firm on protecting elementary prep time.

SDEA Proposes Changes to Salary Rules

In addition to SDEA’s standing proposal for a 10.25% salary increase across this year and next year, yesterday SDEA proposed wage language that would help the District recruit and retain visiting teachers by creating a new category of “Established” Day-to-Day Visiting Teachers. SDEA also proposed language that would allow part-time members who work less than 75% of the year the ability to advance on the salary steps. Finally, SDEA proposed concrete language to address Child Development Center work year reductions.

SDEA Proposals:

Potential Areas of Progress

The parties are closer to reaching a deal on K-3 class size. SDEA continues to push for a 24:1 TK-3 class size average at all elementary schools, while the District instead propose to allocate teachers based on one teacher for every 24 student in TK-3. The District has also backed away from flexibility with the secondary class size cap, which at least brings us back to the status quo.  It is important to note SDUSD’s proposal was a “package,” and SDEA would need to accept it in its entirety.

The next bargaining session will be on Jan. 15, after Gov. Brown comes out with his initial budget proposal for the 2015-16 funding year. SDEA’s bargaining team will be ready to hit the ground running in the new year. Check in with your AR after break to find out how to help our union fight for and win the Fight for 5! contract we deserve!

Bargaining Update — December 10, 2014

District Proposes New Salary Schedule That Falls Way Short Once Again,

But Some Progress Is Made

 The SDEA Bargaining Team met with the District’s representatives on Dec. 8 for a previously unscheduled bargaining session. The District requested the meeting in reaction to our community rally and Fight for 5! petition presentation at the Dec. 2 School Board meeting. As a result of SDEA members’ powerful show of strength, the District did show some movement in areas such as class size, although not enough. But it is apparent that the District leadership and the School Board still need a reality check, because their monetary proposals continue to fall short of meeting the needs of San Diego’s students and educators.

District Proposes New Salary Schedule; Still Fails to Offer Timely, Substantive, Ongoing Wage Increase  

The District’s team proposed a new salary schedule that includes a wage increase only for classroom teachers, and only for those who participate in 30 hours of professional development each year outside the workday. After completing the extra 30 hours, participating teachers would receive a temporary, one-year salary increase for the following year only. In order to keep the PD salary increase, the teacher would have to continue to take 30 hours of PD every single year.  If a teacher did not complete the 30 hours in a particular year, he or she would see a wage reduction the following year.

This proposal has significant and major drawbacks. It requires wage increases to be earned outside of the contract workday and work week. It is not equitable for all SDEA members, as it only applies to classroom teachers.  The soonest PD hours could be earned is 2015-16, meaning the first salary bump would not occur until the 2016-17 school year.  And unlike SDEA’s proposal, which would continue to give members a permanent wage increase for taking extra PD or educational units, the District’s proposed wage increases are temporary.

What this proposal shows us is that the District absolutely has the money for a raise. But instead of making a fair wage proposal that respects all SDEA members for the hard work we do every day, the District has created a new scheme of hoops that some members “get” to jump through year to year. See the chart below for a compare/contrast between the latest SDEA and SDUSD wage proposals.

District Shows Movement on Class Size, Nurse/Counselor Assignments and Visiting Teacher Sick Leave

The District proposed to “allocate” TK-3 teachers at elementary schools at 24:1 at the start of the 2015-16 school year, although they still proposed no actual class size protections. The District withdrew their previous proposal to weaken the secondary 36 class size cap. The District also agreed to SDEA’s proposal to limit elementary nurse/counselor assignments to no more than three sites. There is still a lot more work to be done on class size and nurse/counselor ratios, but the District’s proposal yesterday finally shows progress.

The District also proposed language that would allow long-term visiting teachers the ability to utilize accrued sick leave.

What Next?

Monday’s proposal shows that our pressure has begun to work, but we need to keep it up! Association Representatives will learn more about the District’s proposal and how SDEA members can responds at tonight’s Rep. Council. See your AR to learn more and get involved!


SDUSD Wage Proposal

SDEA Wage Proposal

  • A new salary schedule effective July 1, 2015 with NO percent increase to the base schedule.
  • No wage increase for 2014-15 or 2015-16.
  • Removes the Masters Degree requirement for column advancement in 2015-16.
  • A new Professional Development (PD) restructured salary schedule with “enhancement” columns requiring 30 hours each year to earn increase.
  • PD increase available only to classroom teachers.
  • Must take 30 hours in perpetuity to remain on alternative higher column.
  • PD offered after regular work hours/days.
  • Requires completion of 30 PD hours in 2015-16, so the first salary increase is not effective until the 2016-17 school year.
  • Collapses Steps 1 and 2.
  • Beginning educators with no experience will be placed on Step 2 and will remain on the step for two years.
  • The dollar difference between Steps 1 and 2 are added to the top Step 17 (approximately $1500).
  • No percent increase to Steps 2-16 outside of proposed PD scheme.


  • A 5.25% across-the-board salary increase for 2014-15.
  • A 5% across-the-board salary increase for 2015-16.
  • Removes the Masters Requirement for column advancement in 2015-16.
  • Additional opportunities to earn permanent column advancement credit using PD, in-service, NTBS certification, etc., to supplement a salary increase beginning in 2015-2016—not instead of a salary increase.


Bargaining Update — November 17, 2014

The SDEA Bargaining Team took the lead on Friday and proposed a comprehensive two-year contract that addresses our Fight for 5! priorities and focuses school funding where it should be: in the classroom. Unlike SDUSD’s inadequate package proposal, which made little to no improvement on wages, class size and other core areas, SDEA’s proposal shows how a fast and fair contract settlement can be reached when Prop. 30 dollars are expended on rebuilding our schools instead of central office salaries.

Below is a summary of SDEA’s proposal. This is what a Fight 5! contract looks like!


  • A total 10.25% increase over two years
  • Effective July 1, 2014: 5.25% increase
  • Effective July 1, 2015: 5% increase, plus modifications to the salary schedule columns and rules for column advancement

Health Benefits

  • Fully paid family medical benefits with plan choice as currently provided though VEBA until June 30, 2016
  • Dental benefits through VEBA effective Jan. 1, 2016

Class Size

  • To avoid another mid-year reorganization, class size would remain the same this year (classes grossly over the TK-3 grade level average would be reduced)
  • Effective July 1, 2015:

i.     Grades TK-3 — 24:1 average; no class can be more than two students above the site average

ii.     Grades 4-6 — 32:1 average with a 34:1 cap

iii.     Secondary — 34:1 hard cap

iv.     PE — 50:1 average effective first day of school (excluding athletics)

  • Improve nurse and counselor staffing ratios

Special Education

  • Continue negotiations on Article 29: Special Education separately from the package proposal


  • Maintain workload protections
  • Protect elementary prep time by maintaining current modified days and increasing enrichment classes

General Working Conditions

  • Visiting Teachers:  Extend opportunities for Post and Bid; improve sick leave accrual and use
  • Transfer: Make transfer process more objective to stabilize our schools
  • Evaluations: Strengthen five-year evaluation rights; explore possible future improvements to evaluation process through a committee that would make recommendations to future bargaining teams

The SDUSD bargaining team made an evaluation counter accepting our proposal that the five-year evaluation cannot be denied for reasons that are arbitrary or capricious. Additionally, SDUSD’s proposal on a Joint Evaluation Committee defined the role of the research committee, and clarified that participation at the pilot schools would be voluntary.

SDEA proposals:

SDUSD proposal:

The District’s movement on evaluations is a step in the right direction. Now it’s time for the District to take serious steps towards settling the entire contract. SDEA’s bargaining team challenges the District to come back to the table on Dec. 16 with a comprehensive counter-proposal that reflects our Fight for 5!

Our bargaining team can’t do it alone. If all of us want to see our Fight for 5! become a reality, we must stand up together to demand that our schools and classrooms be the priority.


Rally and Fight for 5! Petition Presentation

Tuesday, Dec. 2 at 4 p.m.

4100 Normal St.

Wear red and bring a friend!


Bargaining Update — November 5, 2014

SDUSD Proposes Nothing New at the Bargaining Table

On Thursday, Nov. 4, the two sides continued the negotiations process. SDEA made a proposal on class size and nurse/counselor caseloads that advances our Fight for 5! priorities.  SDEA’s team also strongly rejected the District’s previous inadequate package of proposals, which included only a 1.4% raise over two years and spending a mere 4% of new funds towards improving class size, nursing and counseling, enrichment programs, and Special Education.

SDEA’s Class Size Proposal Continues to push for the Fight for 5!

SDEA’s class size proposal continues to call for smaller class size for elementary and secondary classrooms, in addition to relief for music, business administration and physical education teachers. SDEA’s proposal also seeks to provide relief to elementary combo classes by lowering their overall class size, in addition to lowering most secondary class sizes across the board.

District Proposes Minimal Clean Up of Healthcare Language

Once again, the District proposed to maintain the health and welfare benefits. Yesterday’s changes proposed by the District bring the contract in line with recent federal and state legal changes that deal with healthcare benefits.

SDUSD Fails to Explain Basic Special Education Procedures

The SDEA bargaining team asked SDUSD officials to differentiate how they assign Mild/Moderate Education Specialists and Resource Specialists to schools. No one from the District was able to offer a concrete or reasonable process used by the Special Education Department to determine how these teachers are designated. Because of the District’s inability to clearly differentiate between the two job classifications, SDEA continues to propose that caseloads for both Mild/Moderate Ed. Specialists and Resource Specialists be 20:1.

SDEA Continues to Show a Good Faith Effort with Our Evaluation Counterproposal

The SDEA bargaining team presented a counterproposal to the District’s previous proposal to modify the evaluation process. SDEA proposed that the parties study a new evaluation process, with significant input coming from a panel of classroom and non-classroom certificated staff. SDEA’s proposal calls for bargaining the implementation of the panel’s recommendations during future negotiations.

SDUSD Continues to Spend Away from the Classroom

Despite our continued efforts to settle a fair contract, the District has continued to show poor leadership and failing to prioritize the classroom. The District’s proposals on wages, class size, hours and caseloads continue to be totally unacceptable. While the District continues to blame a deficit for their proposals, on Oct. 28, the School Board approved expending even more funds on more central office administrators. These positions included a new Arts Program manager at the annual cost of $150,000, and a totally new position for Facilities and Planning with a salary range of $126,596-$162,020. This is in addition to the salary hikes that the Board and Superintendent already approved for many of the top administrators at the central office.

We, the educators, must stand up together to demand that our schools and classrooms be the priority. Our collective Fight for 5! priorities do just that.

Make sure your voice is heard!

  • Sign on to the Fight for 5! petition at your site right now!
  • Rally at the School Board at 4 p.m. on Dec. 2!

SDEA Proposals:

SDUSD Proposals:


Bargaining Update — October 23, 2014

The SDEA Bargaining Team and the District met for contract negotiations on Thursday, October 23.  After six months, the District finally made a proposal which included Wages and Benefits.  The District’s proposal represented a total package predicated on our acceptance of their previous proposals on Visiting Teachers, Evaluation, Special Education and Hours, in exchange for them providing some support for Class Size, Counselor/Nursing caseloads and a lackluster raise.

SDUSD’s proposal fell woefully short of making the classroom a priority and moving us any closer to an agreement.

District’s Wages Proposal Shows That Educators & the Classroom Are Not Budget Priorities 

The District proposed a two-year contract with $7.3 million to go towards a salary increase. This amount would equal about a 0.7% increase for 2014-15 and 2015-16, for a total of 1.4%.  SDEA responded by pointing out the District committed tremendous resources to central office positions, and that the offer was insulting and disrespectful.  Many of Superintendent Marten’s cabinet, including some administrators on the District bargaining team, are slated to receive at least 10% raises. The District claims their ongoing structural budget deficit is reason why they cannot offer more than the anemic salary increase proposed for educators. The Superintendent and School Board need to ask themselves why they did not consider the “deficit” when approving raises for central office administration.

On a single positive note, the District proposed to maintain our fully paid health benefits.

District Proposal on Class Size & Nurse/Counselor Caseloads

In their attempt to maintain current elementary class size averages, the District proposed a three-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that extends beyond the two-year full contract proposal and is based on staffing allocations for the elementary level.  Their proposal could increase combo classes and would still allow for TK-3 class sizes far in excess of 24 students. Their proposal provides no further protections for grades 4-6 or P.E.  The District’s proposal also continues to attempt to water down the 36 class size cap for secondary schools.

The District also proposed that, in addition to the current baseline nurse and counselor caseload language, further services be provided to address student needs.  Examples could include additional counselors to assist students in meeting A-G graduation requirements, or nursing allocations based on student acuity. This proposal by the District would do nothing to alleviate the current caseload constraints faced by many counselors and nurses, and would only provide additional services based on specific criteria that is yet to be fully worked out.

SDEA Pushes Our Fight For 5! Priorities

SDEA reiterated our proposal to maintain current elementary modified day preparation time in order to complete student progress reports and have adequate planning and preparation time. The Bargaining Team also clarified our proposal requiring uninterrupted preparation time for our Early Childhood Educators.

Our Special Education language continues to incorporate class size relief for general education classes that require intense support of students with high needs, and appropriate training for all educators.  The Bargaining Team articulated that such a plan would add value to the teaching and learning environment for all students. SDEA again proposed making caseloads for Resource Specialists and Education Specialists the same at 20 to 1.

We must stand united and work together to achieve a settlement that prioritizes educators and classrooms, not the Central Office. See your site AR on how you can become involved.

SDEA Proposals:

SDUSD Proposals:

Bargaining Update — October 6, 2014

On Thursday, October 2, SDEA and the District met to continue the contract negotiation process.

SDEA Proposes Visiting Teacher Wages Addressing Substitute Shortages

SDEA made a wage proposal to increase visiting teacher pay rates 17%- 28% that would increase the visiting teacher daily rate of pay to $175. SDEA’s proposal will help in the recruitment of a quality visiting teacher pool, in addition to ensuring that the District is able to attract an ample number of qualified visiting teachers. If the District were to agree to this proposal it would go a long way in alleviating the inexcusable and continuous substitute shortages that we’ve been experiencing lately.

The District Continues to Discount the Need for Adequate Elementary Planning Time in its Hours Proposal

One thing is clear from the District’s work hours proposal and that is the fact that District administrators simply do not recognize the need for adequate elementary planning time. The time associated with planning and preparing instruction, assessing student work and completing grading at the elementary level has significantly increased over the past few years. Educator planning time has to keep up with this reality.

SDEA proposals:

SDUSD proposal:

Bargaining Update — September 30, 2014

District on pay: “If we had to make a proposal today, it would be 0%.”

The District and SDEA bargained on Tuesday, Sep. 30. At the close of negotiations, SDEA pressed the District to provide details on when they would respond to our Wages, Benefits and Class Size proposals. The District’s chief spokesperson Mark Bresee stated if a wage proposal were made today it would be 0% due to current School Board parameters. The SDEA Bargaining Team will continue our Fight for 5!, but it is essential for all members to contact the school board and tell them to get serious about the negotiations process and make our educators and students a priority. Click each Board member’s name below to send him or her an email:

Scott Barnett

Richard Barrera

Kevin Beiser

John Lee Evans

Marne Foster

SDEA Proposes Continued Protection for Elementary Educator Hours

SDEA’s proposal maintains current language for modified day time preparation, planning and meeting time. It is clear elementary teachers will still be required to implement a standardsbased reporting system in the foreseeable future. Previously, the District proposed “taking back” some of the elementary minimum days that currently are dedicated for teacher preparation, contending the new SBRC (Standards-Based Report Cards) will take less time to complete.

Union Bargaining Team Pushes for Stronger and Clearer Transfer Rights

SDEA again proposed a transfer article that ensures a fair and transparent post and bid process. SDEA’s language would ensure stability at school sites by avoiding heavy-handed excessing of staff whose positions are partially reduced, while at the same time curtailing the trend towards more part-time positions at the sites.

District Proposes Minimal Changes for Visiting Teachers

The District’s proposal on visiting teachers was very limited. The District ignored SDEA’s proposal to allow long term visiting teachers to accrue and utilize sick leave, but instead proposed to incorporate a new state law that requires employers to provide up to three days of paid sick leave. That law does not go into effect until July 2015.

Long term visiting teachers, some of whom work long term in one assignment, should have the right to utilize earned sick leave. The District’s proposal for long term visiting teachers still maintains that teachers go without pay on days they are ill.

District Presents a Special Education Counterproposal that is Short on Solutions 

The District’s counterproposal contains language that would allow for a reclassification of a Mild/Moderate Ed. Specialist to Resource Specialist, thus increasing Mild/Moderate caseloads from 20 to 28. SDEA previously proposed language that would require the same caseload of 20 for both categories of teachers.

The District’s proposed language was mostly conceptual and could not be enforceable if bargained into the contract. Their proposal did not substantively address any of the Special Education impacts on the wider general education program. On a positive note, the District agreed that Special Educators shall be provided adequate workspace.

SDEA proposals:

SDUSD proposals:

Bargaining Update — September 19, 2014

The SDEA Bargaining Team and the District met for contract negotiations on Thursday, September 18. The SDEA Bargaining Team made proposals on Health Benefits and Special Education. SDEA has now proposed language addressing all of our Fight for 5! priorities. SDEA’s proposals not only have an impact on working conditions and compensation, but moves us in a direction to rebuild our schools.

The District made proposals on the Evaluation Process and Hours of Work.

SDEA Proposed Maintaining Quality & Affordable Health Benefits

SDEA’s proposal on Health and Welfare Benefits maintains the status quo of fully-paid family covered health benefits with plan choices. SDEA requested information on dental benefit costs in order to put together an informed dental benefits proposal.

SDEA Put Forth a Comprehensive SpEd Proposal

The SDEA Bargaining Team proposed special education language that solidifies the caps on special education caseloads. The proposal:

  • Brings relief to General Education teachers who teach in inclusion classes by ensuring that teachers receive paid training prior to the enrollment of students with IEPs in their classrooms.
  • Language that both Resource Specialists and Mild/Moderate Ed Specialists have caseloads of 20 to 1.
  • Caps IEP meetings that occur beyond the 6 hour 35 minute day to no more than 3 per month, in addition to requiring pay (equal to one’s hourly rate of pay) for time that any IEP meeting goes beyond the 8 hour day.
  • Calls for a thorough study of the Special Education service delivery model with input from crucial stakeholders such as classroom teachers, SpEd staff and parents. This was done in order to ensure that the District’s SpEd program is truly serving all students and that a full continuum of services are in place for all students with IEPs. Recommendations from this study would be brought back to the SDEA and SDUSD for future negotiations.

Our proposal garnered many questions from the District staff, but their questions appeared to only question the feasibility and/or necessity of the proposal.

District Proposes Studying and Implementing a New Educator Evaluation Model

SDUSD proposed entering into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), separate from the contract that is being negotiated, that would set the parameters for a future evaluation process. SDUSD’s MOU calls for a joint committee that would research and develop a new evaluation system for certificated classroom staff and non-classroom staff with the recommendations brought back to the bargaining table. According to their proposal the new evaluation system would be piloted at 25 percent of the schools in the 2015-2016 school year.

SDEA was clear in communicating that the evaluation development and implementation timeline was ambitious and any agreement would need to be a part of the broader contract, and not in a separate MOU.

SDUSD Proposes Take Backs on Hours

SDUSD proposed to discard educator protections that were previously put in the contract after the implementation of the Standards Based Report Cards (SBRC) at the elementary level. The language the District wants to remove are protections against principal initiated meetings when SBRCs are due and the current right for unit members to use minimum day time at their discretion.

The SDEA Bargaining Team was clear that elementary teachers are still required to give standards based grades and that changes to this language would not be in line with current workload and reality.

This issue is about time! It is time for the District to recognize that quality instruction requires time to plan and prepare and our members should be afforded the professional judgment on how best to use non-instructional time during the day!

In order to realize our Fight for 5! Priorities, we all must stand up for our rights. The Fight for 5! is about all of us standing together and letting our voices be heard in support of our proposals at the bargaining table.

Continue to wear your buttons, stickers, shirts and most importantly, let’s keep one another informed and involved in this campaign for our students.

SDEA Proposals:

SDUSD Proposals:

Bargaining Update — August 26, 2014

SDEA Secures Improvements to Leaves and Safety Articles

SDEA and SDUSD met to negotiate on the 2014-15 successor agreement Monday August 25, 2014. The half day of negotiations resulted in two tentative agreements. The parties bargained over Hours of Employment, which is a Fight for 5!  Priority. Additionally, Safety Conditions, and Leaves were discussed.

Union Proposal Reflects the Need for Adequate Time to Plan

The SDEA Bargaining Team presented a counterproposal to the District’s hour’s proposal from the last bargaining session. SDEA’s hours proposal increases the amount of prep time TK/K-6 educators have in addition to maintaining control over preparation and planning time during modified days.

SDEA’s proposal ensures that administration is not able to abuse the emergency classroom coverage language in the contract when teachers are absent.

Tentative Agreements Reached on Leaves and Safety

The parties were able to close out discussions on Safety and Leaves. Under the tentative agreements, SDEA unit members will be able to use up to five days of accumulated sick leave for personal and family reasons per year. Also, parents will be able to utilize an additional 10 days of accumulated sick leave for the adoption or birth of a child.

The tentative agreement on Safety will ensure that unit members will help shape the District’s hot weather procedures, thereby making this policy consistent with the experience of front line educators.

Please note, these tentative agreements will go into effect only when a comprehensive contract settlement is finalized and ratified.


The next bargaining session will be held on September 18, 2014.

Bargaining Update — August 22, 2014

SDEA Continues to Push for Improved Class Sizes & Caseloads!

SDEA and SDUSD held another day of contract negotiations on Thursday August 21, 2014.  SDEA’s bargaining team continued the push for our Fight for 5! Priorities.  The tenor of negotiations showed a marked improvement and the parties were able to accomplish more than past bargaining sessions thus far. The parties discussed Class Size & Caseloads, Transfers, Reduced Workload, Safety, Visiting Teachers, Hours, Leaves and Evaluation Procedures.

SDEA Pushes Again for Reduced Class Size and Nurse/Counselor Caseloads

In line with our Fight for 5! goals, SDEA again proposed our previous language that would reduce class size and Nurse/Counselor ratios across the board. SDEA also proposed language that would simplify the implementation of the State Local Control Funding Formula as it relates to K-3 class size reductions mandated by State law.

The parties also discussed the union’s proposal on capping the number of secondary non-academic classes’ student contacts.

Close to a Tentative Agreement on Safety Language

The parties are close to reaching an agreement on the Safety Conditions of Employment. The new language will require educator input on the District’s hot weather policies to ensure that policies are up to date in addressing current working conditions on hot weather days.

SDEA Initiated Discussions on Visiting Teacher Rights

SDEA made its first proposal on the Visiting Teachers article. The crux of SDEA’s proposal dealt with the right of long term visiting teachers to accrue and utilize sick leave.  In the past, long term visiting teachers were not able to take accrued sick leave.

Additionally, SDEA proposed language that would allow visiting teachers more freedom to bid on vacant positions.  In future sessions, SDEA will propose language on the visiting teacher rates of pay.

SDEA Counters SDUSD’s Student/Community Feedback and Evaluations Proposals

The SDEA bargaining team communicated its belief that the Student/Community Feedback language proposed by the District is not within the scope of bargaining. Additionally, the District’s proposal would impact the District budget as it entails the use of outside consultants to formulate the student/community feedback plan.

SDEA proposed to establish a committee to study the current evaluation model and to explore potential future models.  Any recommendations from the joint committee would be brought back to a future round of bargaining.

District Proposes Language on Hours of Employment

The District’s proposal on hours attempts to reduce the number of modified days that elementary school unit members have for teacher directed planning and preparation.  Their proposal would allow for increased administrator directed meetings and professional development.

SDEA will counter this proposal and bring it in line with our Fight for 5! goal of giving more (not less as proposed by the District) preparation time to elementary unit members.

Progress on Transfer Procedures and Reduced Workload

SDUSD withdrew its transfer article and reduced workload proposals, which is a good step in improving the progress of the negotiations moving forward. The District’s previous proposal on transfers aimed to fundamentally change the transfer procedures that have been in place for many years.  The District’s prior proposal on Reduced Workload was also questionable given the success of the program.

With the withdrawal of these proposals, SDEA is hopeful that future Bargaining sessions will lead to increasingly productive dialogue and advancement toward our Fight For 5! goals.

The next bargaining session is scheduled on Monday, Aug. 25, 2014. Please make sure to participate in your site’s Fight for 5! actions as we work towards a fast and fair contract settlement.

Download SDEA’s proposals below:

Download SDUSD’s proposals below:

Bargaining Update — July 28, 2014

On Thursday July 24, 2014 the bargaining teams for SDEA and the District held our seventh bargaining session. All of the items discussed were counter proposals to items previously introduced by the parties and included class size, transfer, leaves, and safety.

Proposal to Simplify the Post and Bid Process

SDEA’s team proposed transfer language that would streamline the post and bid process through the summer, while also ensuring that the rights of excessed unit members are protected. This was a counterproposal to the District’s previous proposal that sought to upend the transfer language in our contract. SDEA’s proposal seeks to put in place procedures that would guarantee the placement of excessed unit members in to their new assignments by the conclusion of the traditional school year calendar.  SDEA’s proposal also provides an equitable process for members placed in assignments during the summer months.

Progress on Leave Policies

The District responded to SDEA’s proposals to expand paternity and adoption leave.  Demonstrating a sign of progress, the District proposed language that will allow unit members to use up to 10 days of accumulated sick leave for the birth or adoption of a child by either parent.

Additionally, the District showed movement on personal necessity leave by proposing language that would allow unit members to use up to 5 days of accrued sick leave for a personal/family responsibility that requires their immediate attention. Currently unit members are allowed to use only 3 days for this purpose.

Discussions Continue on Hot Weather Policies

In an effort to impact the District’s hot weather procedures, SDEA proposed language that would allow unit members the opportunity to give input on meaningful and concise plans for periods of extremely hot weather. SDEA believes that having input from the individuals who are in the classrooms will improve this outdated and impractical policy.

SDUSD Retrograde on Class Size and Caseload

SDUSD presented “status quo” contract language that would maintain current elementary class size averages until July 1, 2017 with an option to reopen the article in 2015-16 & 2016-17!  This proposal is bad for students and runs counter to the desires of California’s voters who approved a tax increase to rebuild our schools and move towards smaller class sizes. The District made no movement towards decreasing nurse and counselor caseloads, ignoring the fact that manageable caseloads allow our nurses and counselors to better meet the needs of our students and protect their health and safety.

The District’s proposal also sought to weaken the 36 class size cap by giving administration flexibility to exceed the cap when necessary. The 36 student hard cap for secondary classrooms went into effect at the start of the 2012-2013 school year for secondary academic classrooms.

There are 3 bargaining sessions scheduled throughout the month of August.  Your SDEA bargaining team will continue to push the district to respect and acknowledge our Fight for 5 and respect the work SDEA members do every day to impact the lives and education of our students.  The next bargaining session will be on August 14th.

Download SDEA’s proposals below:

Download SDUSD’s proposals below:

Bargaining Update – June 23, 2014

On June 19th, the Leadership and Bargaining Teams of SDEA and the District took time to discuss the path of Bargaining.  We discussed the goals and priorities of both parties as bargaining continues and progresses throughout the summer.

The SDEA bargaining team continued to focus on our Fight for 5 priorities with our latest proposal on Hours (Article 8).   The Bargaining Team proposed the following:

  • New language that protects preparation time for non-classroom educators.  The Team gave details where preparation time was inconsistent and inequitable at sites.
  • Increasing preparation time for elementary unit members from 45 minutes to 90 minutes per week.  In addition, the Team proposed setting aside 75% of modified days for elementary preparation time.
  • Limiting mandatory emergency class coverage to three hours in one academic year, with additional compensation for unit members who exceed three in emergency situations.
  • Two full days of release time when moving from one location to another.

Download SDEA proposal below:

The District introduced new systems for evaluation student/parent feedback.

  • The District proposed overhauling the current evaluation system (Article 14), replacing it with a model derived from the 5D+ Teacher Evaluation Rubric, developed and trademarked by the University of Washington.  The District’s proposal included a joint study committee charged with the development of a new evaluation system during the 2014-15 school years, with piloting in 2015-16 and full implementation in 2016-17.  District representatives stated their willingness to look at other evaluation models, but the proposed language did not reflect researching other examples.  In addition, the stated trademark terms of use for the 5D+ model may not allow for modifications.    The District completely ignored current evaluation language in their proposal.  When pressed for clarity on how their proposal would fit in with existing language, the District responded that some, all, or none of the evaluation sections might complement their proposal.  The SDEA bargaining team raised numerous concerns and will seek extensive member input and direction.
  • The District proposed an anonymous online survey of parents and students geared toward giving feedback to teachers (Article 24).  An outside consultant would develop the confidential survey, and the District would administer it each semester.  The District clarified the survey would not be used in formal evaluations, but stated its desire to access school- and District-wide results.   The Bargaining Team strongly challenged the intent and need given the current systems in place and the costs associated with implementation.

Download SDUSD’s proposals below:

Our next Bargaining session will take place on Thursday, July 24.  Check the SDEA website for updates.

In solidarity,

Your SDEA Bargaining Team

Bargaining Update – June 6, 2014

SDEA Proposes 6.5% Wage Increase to Recruit and Retain Best and Brightest Educators

Yesterday, the SDEA Bargaining team met with the District to negotiate a successor agreement. During the session, the Bargaining Team made the following initial proposal on wages:

  • All wages would increase 6.5% next year, in addition to the contractual guarantee of the 5% deferred wage increase effective July 1, 2014.
  • The District would reimburse costs for coursework taken by unit members when obtaining additional authorizations required by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing Department.

SDEA’s proposal is ambitious and fair. Over the past five years, the SDUSD expenditure on SDEA members’ salaries salary as a percentage of the total budget has declined. Conversely, the District’s salary expenditure on administration and consulting services as a percentage of the total budget have steadily increased, and are projected to further increase next year. Our proposal would reverse that negative trend by making educators who have day-to-day contact with students a real budget priority. Our proposal addresses one of our Fight for 5! priorities and would make our wages comparable to surrounding San Diego County school districts by creating a salary schedule that recruits and retains the best and brightest educators.

The parties made some progress on provisions relating to school site safety and personal necessity leave. SDEA continued to push for allowing schools without air conditioning to implement shortened days during periods of extreme heat in order to ensure optimal student and educator safety.  Unfortunately, the District has not shown any noteworthy movement. In a sign of progress on safety provisions, the District agreed that unit members serving as administrative designees positions during principal absences can serve on a voluntarily basis.

The District also countered SDEA’s proposal to increase personal/family necessity. SDEA earlier proposed to increase personal/family necessity leave from the current three day maximum to eight days. The District countered, proposing to increase this type of leave to five days. The District also rejected SDEA’s proposal to increase time off for unit members who are adopting a child.

Lastly, the parties reached tentative agreements on Job Shares, Grievance Procedures and the elimination of the Furlough Days article.

The full proposals and tentative agreements are available below:

The next bargaining session will take place on Thursday, June 19. The District stated they will propose language on Evaluations and “Parent/Student Feedback”. Please continue to check your email for ongoing updates as several bargaining sessions will occur during the summer break.

In Solidarity,

The SDEA Bargaining Team

Bargaining Update — June 3, 2014

District Rejects SDEA Effort to Keep Students Safe, Proposes Language That Could Disrupt Learning Communities

The SDEA bargaining team met to continue negotiating a successor contract with SDUSD on Monday, June 2.  The parties discussed contract language relating to Leave, Safety, Job Share and Transfer Policies.

The District made some small but positive movement by dropping its initial proposal to further limit unit members’ ability to utilize personal necessity leave. The SDEA bargaining team proposed language that will help keep educators and students safe during days of extreme heat at non-air conditioned schools. The District rejected this safety proposal and spent most of the day trying to explain their transfer (Article 12) proposal that could disrupt learning communities and weaken our protections against abusive and illegal transfers.

The District’s proposal would completely overhaul, weaken, and complicate current transfer policies. Educators want to transfer policies to work for our school communities and reduce unnecessary staffing disruption at the school site. The District stated that they believe that the current system does not emphasize students’ needs, yet they proposed language that could create significant chaos at school sites. When questioned about the proposal, SDUSD developed the language based on site principal input and “wants,” basically granting administration control over the transfer process and not necessarily designed to benefit students.   While minimizing seniority and priority consideration as transfer criteria, the District wants to utilize the following criteria: site needs, extra service and flexible credentials for transfer purposes.  When SDEA pushed SDUSD to define such nebulous terms, no one on the District bargaining team could give any specifics. Some of the major problems with the District’s proposal include:

  • A provision that would allow the District to notify educators that they are being excessed as late as June 30. This would mean traditional calendar educators would find out that they are not returning to their school after the commencement of the summer break.
  • A provision to allow the District to excess teachers as late as November 30 of the new school year. That means a teacher that has been with his/her students for 3 months could excessed from their school.
  • Giving principals wide authority to administratively transfer unit members at any time during the school year.

The District’s transfer proposal is bad for schools, bad for students, and bad for educators. Our mission is to fight to rebuild our schools and that’s what the Fight for 5! does. That is why our proposals deal with real issues like student safety, smaller class size, and safer nurse/counselor staffing. Our next bargaining date is scheduled for June 5. Stay tuned for updates.

See below for the full proposals:

In Unity,

The SDEA Bargaining Team


Bargaining Update — May 30, 2014

The SDEA bargaining team met to continue negotiating a successor contract with SDUSD on Thursday, May 29. SDEA proposed language on Article 13, Class Size and Nursing/Counseling Ratios, which is a cornerstone of our “Fight for 5!”campaign.  SDEA proposed:

  • Class size caps in grades TK through 6
  • Exclusion of TK/K combination classes
  • Managable PE class size averages and a maximum number of student contacts
  • Lower class size caps for secondary academic classes

SDEA’s caseload proposal included improved caseload protections for counselors and nurses. The proposal included:

  • Definite caseload caps
  • Limits on the number of schools a nurse or counselor would be required to support in their assignment
  • Acuity based staffing, as determined by the respective Program Governance Teams

Additionally, SDEA presented language on Article 11: Safety Conditions of Employment and Article 10: Leaves.  SDEA proposed language protecting students and unit members during periods of extreme heat.  Our language would institute minimum days during periods of sustained high heat at schools without air conditioning.  SDEA proposed to expand unit members’ ability to take time off for personal matters by increasing the number of personal business days from the current 3 to 10.  Also, SDEA proposed an expansion of the allowable number of leave days for paternity and adoption leave.

SDEA’s bargaining team presented counter proposals establishing technical changes to the grievance procedures. These changes would streamline and expedite the grievance procedure. Both sides are near a tentative agreement on these changes. The parties briefly discussed issues relating to Article 31: Reduced Workload program and Article 21: Job Share.

SDEA’s bargaining team met on multiple occasions for many hours to prepare for today’s bargaining session. Unfortunately the same could not be said for the District’s team, as they failed to present any written proposals — either new proposals or counter proposals — despite a three-week hiatus since the last bargaining session.  On behalf of the Bargaining Team, SDEA President-Elect Lindsay Burningham shared our dismay with the District’s team due to their lack of preparation for today’s session.

Attend your site’s next SDEA meeting to receive more in-depth updates from your AR and/or SDEA Field Organizer. The next bargaining session is scheduled for Monday, June 2.

SDEA’s proposals are availabe for download below:

Bargaining Update — May 9, 2014

On Thursday, May 8, SDEA and SDUSD met for the second day of bargaining on a successor agreement to our contract. SDEA President Bill Freeman and SDUSD Superintendent Cindy Marten were present at the beginning portion of the session to make a few statements to the parties.

President Freeman helped set the tone for the bargaining teams by reiterating the “Fight for 5!” ideals and reminding the District that “our students’ learning conditions are our working conditions.”  Freeman also impressed upon the District that now is the time to start protecting our schools, and the way to achieve this goal is by arriving at a contractual agreement that ensures the resources coming back to our District end up in our classrooms.  In a positive move, Superintendent Marten reiterated the District’s points on their evaluation proposal from the May 1 bargaining session. Marten stated that she is “not interested in parents and students evaluating teachers.”  She then distanced herself from teacher evaluation schemes being hatched nationwide by “individuals trying to hijack the evaluation system and use it as a hammer instead of a flashlight.” While the District did not propose any evaluation language at yesterday’s bargaining session, several relatively technical contractual issues were discussed.

In a positive sign of an end to the austerity years, SDEA proposed and the District agreed to remove Article 34: Furlough Days in total. Other highlights of SDEA’s proposals included:

  • Language that would require principals to excess volunteers before excessing less senior educators, in situations where excessing is deemed to be necessary.
  • Release time for educators who are required to change classrooms by their administrator. This time would be used to prepare and move.
  • Language that would make letters of warning grievable.  Currently only Letter of Reprimand (a higher level of written discipline) and beyond (suspensions) are grievable.

The full proposals can be downloaded below:

Unfortunately, the District proposed language that can best be described as takeaways. Their proposals included:

  • Language that would further restrict our two-hour paid personal business absence language. Currently, unit members can request two hours of absence without a loss of pay for personal business from their administrators. The District’s proposal would limit personal business items to “medical/dental appointments and occasional personal matters.” Administrators already have the ability to approve or deny leave requests under this section at their sole discretion. That means they can already deny members’ two-hour leave requests if they believe the member is abusing the system, making these new proposed restrictions completely unnecessary.
  • Striking all references to an annual $50,000 self-insurance fund that educators can currently utilize in recouping losses incurred due to the theft or damage of instructionally related personal items such as books, classroom supplies and furniture.
  • Language that would expose participants in the Reduced Workload Program to being excessed from the sites where they were inducted into the program.

The full proposals can be downloaded below:

The SDEA bargaining team will stand steadfast against uncalled-for takeaways. The SDEA Bargaining Team is concerned that the District’s proposals on minutia may foreshadow a protracted bargaining process. Stay tuned, go to your site’s union meetings and let’s continue our Fight for 5!

The next scheduled bargaining session will be on Thursday, May 29.

In Solidarity,

Your SDEA Bargaining Team

Bargaining Update — May 2, 2014

On Thursday May 1, 2014, the SDEA Bargaining Team kicked off the new round of contract negotiations with SDUSD.  SDEA led off the discussion with a reiteration of our union’s conceptual bargaining proposal, which is based on the priorities set by thousands of SDEA members who participated in bargaining input sessions throughout the District. SDEA’s team also restated our “Fight for 5!” goals of ensuring competitive pay and benefits, lowering class sizes across the board, providing more counselors, nurses and special education supports, increasing elementary preparation time by increasing enrichment classes, and ensuring protections for educator planning time.  Interestingly, Mark Bresee, the attorney contracted by SDUSD to lead negotiations, stated that SDUSD agreed with and supported our “Fight for 5!” goals, while at the same time claiming the District has a $115 million operating deficit.

The District provided some clarity on its plans for unit member evaluations, and stated that it will not propose a “value-added” evaluation model. The District also assured the group that parents and students would not be included in teacher evaluations, as suggested in the District’s initial bargaining proposals submitted to SDEA on April 15.  However, the District stated it wishes to create a system that would provide feedback directly to the educator from both parents and students.  District bargaining team members described the system as being “confidential,” and that “administrators would not have access to the feedback.” The District’s representatives also described wanting a “meaningful” evaluation process.

SDEA’s team forcefully asserted that the District was making top-down assumptions about the current evaluation process. SDEA’s bargaining team expressed dissatisfaction at the lack of clarity from the District, and the fact that it had not considered input from rank-and-file educators before heading down the path of attempting to overhaul the evaluation process.

The District’s team briefly mentioned that they will be seeking “flexibility” on secondary class size which they said meant “revisiting the secondary class size cap of 36 students.”

SDEA submitted proposals in Article 11 (Safety Conditions of Employment) to address school site discipline and Article 15 (Grievance Procedure) to clarify timelines.  The full proposals are available below:

SDEA’s current bargaining plan includes making proposals on wages, health benefits, special education, class size and other articles in future bargaining sessions.

The next bargaining session will be on Thursday May 8, 2014.

SDEA Bargaining Team members are Lindsay Burningham, Kisha Borden, Patrick Schoettler, Chris Boyd, Donna Pilkington, Claudia Weimer, Ron Reese, SDEA Executive Director Tim Hill and SDEA Field Organizer Abdul Sayid.


Bargaining Update — April 16, 2014

District’s Initial Proposal Signals Tough Round of Negotiations

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 cando 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!

Bargaining Update — March 12, 2014

Nearly 200 SDEA members packed the School Board meeting last night to kick off our Fight for 5! bargaining campaign. A delegation of union members from the SDEA Bargaining Team, Bargaining Commission and Board spoke passionately in support of SDEA’s initial bargaining proposal, while hundreds of SDEA members, classified union members, parents and students stood in support. You can watch for yourself on our YouTube channel HERE.


Last night’s powerful public launch of our Fight for 5! campaign marks the first formal step in the bargaining process, with our initial proposal being “sunshined” to the Board and public.

Union members can keep the momentum going by talking to parents in the next few weeks, in preparation for the District’s “sunshine” proposal being presented at the April 8 School Board meeting. Site Association Representatives will get materials for a parent flyer action at the March 19 Rep. Council. Talk to your AR and plan to attend your site union meeting this month to learn more and get involved.


With the upcoming contract negotiations, it’s important that members provide a personal email address to the SDEA office so that we don’t have to rely on the District’s email system. It’s also important as SDEA transitions to an electronic rather than paper internal election system. If SDEA does not have a correct personal email address for you, please visit

The School Board also voted last night to approve the Supplemental Early Retirement (SERP) bargained in February (read more HERE). Informational packets will be mailed out to eligible members beginning today. If you have individual questions about your potential retirement, SDEA encourages you to take a look at the CalSTRS retirement benefits calculator (click HERE) and to contact CalSTRS directly (click HERE).