Attacks Continue on Special Education

Bargaining Update

December 1, 2017

Bargaining Highlights

  • SDUSD made another regressive, concessionary proposal on Special Education. Their proposal would raise caseloads and lead to layoffs.
  • Tentative agreement was reached on increasing “no tell” personal days from three to eleven, a change that SDEA members have sought for years.
  • SDEA and SDUSD inched closer together on Shared Decision-making and Charter Schools, but no deals were reached.

Read below for additional details and full proposals.

Special Education: District Continues to Propose Caseload Increases

SDUSD proposed caseloads of 22 for all Education Specialist: Mild/Moderate teachers and Resource Specialists. This would be an increase of two for 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.

Tentative Agreement Reached on Eleven “No Tell” Personal Days, Up from Three

In a victory that SDEA members have sought for years across many bargaining campaigns, yesterday SDEA and SDUSD agreed to language that increases our number of “no tell” personal days from three to eleven. These days will now be personal necessity days instead of personal business days, but can still be used at the discretion of the member. The new language removes the bar against attaching the leave to a vacation, and removes the current 48-hour noticing requirement. This is a step in the right direction on the part of the District, and is the same sort of movement we need to see in Shared Decision-making and other non-monetary issues still on the bargaining table.

This new benefit and all of the other improvements we bargain will not take effect until our entire contract is settled and ratified. The sooner we win our entire L.E.A.R.N. contract, the sooner we can enjoy our new hard-fought rights.

Slow Progress on Shared Decision-making and Charter Schools

SDEA’s team made a new proposal on Charter Schools, and both teams made proposals on Shared Decision-making. Our Charter Schools proposal would bring greater accountability to the co-location process, whereby charter schools take over unused space at District schools. Our Shared Decision-making proposal protects the rights of Program Governance Teams, and memorializes best practices around PLCs and assessments. The District accepted some but not all of our improvements. Shared Decision-making and Charter Schools are no-cost areas. The District needs to show respect to educators and accept all of our fair, no-cost proposals.

What Next?

Bargaining continues Dec. 11, Dec. 14 and into the new year. Almost all of our scheduled bargaining days are on Thursdays. Let’s kick off “Together Thursdays” by wearing SDEA red on Dec. 14 and every Thursday after that until we win a strong union contract.


All Bargaining Proposals:

The Fight against Layoffs Starts Now

Bargaining Update

November 29, 2017

Bargaining Highlights

  • SDUSD’s Class Size proposal seeks new takebacks on elementary staffing allocations, on top of the takebacks they are still proposing on secondary staffing allocations.
  • With yesterday’s Class Size proposal and last session’s Special Education proposal, Superintendent Cindy Marten and the School Board are now paving the way for big educator layoffs this spring.
  • The District’s team repeated their same 0% wage proposal for two and possibly three years.
  • SDEA’s team made proposals to improve special education staffing and strengthen shared decision-making.
  • If we want to protect our schools, our jobs and contract, we must be ready to fight back.

Read below for additional details and full proposals.

SDUSD Once Again Balancing Their Budget Mistakes on the Backs of Educators

As SDEA members’ pop-up picket organizing was sweeping the District earlier this month, SDUSD asked to add several bargaining dates to the calendar before year’s end. SDEA’s team agrees that we need a fair settlement now, not later. But if Superintendent Cindy Marten and the School Board think that what they sent to the table yesterday is going to get us there, they are wrong. While declining enrollment and its effects on the District’s budget are real, it’s also true that the proportion of the budget spent on SDEA’s bargaining unit has been steadily declining for at least five years. The District might have budget problems, but chief among them is a refusal to prioritize students and frontline educators. If we are going to reach a contract settlement, that needs to change.

District Now Seeking Across-the-Board Class Size Increases

SDUSD made a regressive bargaining proposal on class size that would eliminate the elementary staffing allocations. They also repeated their proposal to eliminate secondary staffing allocations. Staffing allocations are what guarantee the number of teachers a school gets. The District’s proposal would cut the amount of teachers TK-12, resulting in bigger classes across the board and enabling Superintendent Cindy Marten and the School Board to issue a wave of layoff notices this spring.

District Makes No Movement on Wages, Hours or Transfer

SDUSD’s team passed their same wage proposal from September: No raises at all for two and possibly three years. They are still refusing to expand elementary enrichment opportunities/prep time. And instead of giving any consideration at all to SDEA’s ambitious, cost-neutral proposal to bargain a new, fair transfer process, the District proposed simply creating a committee.

SDEA’s Team is Fighting for Special Education and Shared Decision-making Improvements

In the last bargaining session, SDUSD’s team proposed increasing special educator caseloads, paving the way for reduced services to students and special educator layoffs.

Yesterday, SDEA’s team fought back. Our proposal would:

  •         Keep Education Specialist Mild/Moderate teachers at 20:1
  •         Lower Resource Specialists to 20:1
  •         Make caseload numbers a hard cap
  •         Impose an immediate financial penalty for caseload overages
  •         Strengthen the rights of general educators with more than 20% of students with IEPs
  •         Require the District to produce an operational description with a full continuum of special education services available

SDEA’s Team Wins Movement on Leaves, Discipline Rights

SDEA’s team has been fighting to expand members’ ability to use personal business leave. This issue is about respect. Yesterday, the District’s team finally made movement in the right direction. The District’s proposal would essentially roll personal business leave into the personal necessity category and increase the amount of leave from three to eleven days. Their proposal would also lift the bar against attaching the leave to a vacation, and remove the current 48-hour noticing requirement.

SDUSD also made movement towards SDEA’s proposal to align employee suspensions with the requirements of the education code.

These are steps in the right direction, but combined with the District’s proposals on wages, class size, hours and other core L.E.A.R.N. priorities, they are nowhere near what we need to settle a fair contract.

What Next?

Bargaining continues tomorrow, Dec. 11 and Dec. 14. Keep in touch with your AR and CAT teams to find out how we can fight back together.


All Bargaining Proposals:

District Moves, But Nowhere Near Enough

Bargaining Update

November 17, 2017

Bargaining Highlights

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

Read below for additional details and full proposals.

District Needs to Put Their Money Where Their Mouth Is

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Class Size: District Would Slash Secondary Staffing Levels

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

Tentative Agreements on Parent Teacher Home Visits and School Funding

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

Revenue for Public Education

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

Parent Teacher Home Visits

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

What Next?

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


All Bargaining Proposals:


Our Pressure is Working – Tentative Agreement Reached on Safety

District Still Needs to Make Real Movement on L.E.A.R.N.!

Bargaining Update

November 3, 2017

Bargaining Highlights

  • Over the last two bargaining sessions, SDEA has made thirteen proposals, including a comprehensive proposal to settle our entire L.E.A.R.N. campaign with a fair raise and the supports our schools need.
  • The District brought only two proposals yesterday. They responded to only one piece of our L.E.A.R.N. settlement package—Article 8: Hours—and rejected almost all of our proposed improvements.
  • The District has not moved off their proposals for a 0% raise, increased class size, weakened seniority rights in our transfer process, and no improvements for Special Education.
  • We did reach a tentative agreement on Article 11: Safety.
  • SDEA proposed several new articles designed to stabilize our schools through charter school accountability, a Parent Teacher Home Visit program, and a commitment to increase school funding.

Read below for additional details and full proposals.

SDEA Wins Strong Safety Improvements

  • Yesterday we reached a tentative agreement on Article 11: Safety that includes:
  • Air conditioning in all classrooms, with construction to start no later than Feb. 2019.
  • Protections for members whose non-classroom workspaces will not be air conditioned.
  • Staff members who don’t receive training and resources to implement restorative justice cannot be required to do so.
  • Requirement that the principal contact parents when a teacher suspends a student from class.
  • Increased reimbursement amounts for personal property damaged at work, with the current cumbersome pre-registration process removed.
  • Adequate workspace for counselors.

The sooner we settle and ratify the rest of our contract, the sooner these new benefits and protections will take effect!

No New Movement towards Our L.E.A.R.N. Goals

Despite the SDEA bargaining team taking the lead two weeks ago with an across-the-board package proposal to settle our entire L.E.A.R.N. campaign, the District’s team failed to return with an equally substantive package of counter-proposals. Instead, the District came back with one counter-proposal to our broader package and proposed only on Article 8: Hours. They state they want to settle our contract as quickly as possible, but that won’t happen if they continue to bring only two proposals to each session. The SDEA Board has given our bargaining team the full direction and authority needed to settle a L.E.A.R.N. contract NOW. The Superintendent and School Board need to do the same.

SDEA Makes Ambitious Proposals to Stabilize Our Public Schools

New Revenues

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

Parent Teacher Home Visits

SDEA has taken the lead in piloting a Parent Teacher Home Visit (PTHV) program in SDUSD. PTHV is a national program designed to strengthen relationships between educators and families, with the proven effect of keeping students in district schools. Millennial Tech Middle School was the first in our District to pilot the program, with great success. Yesterday, SDEA proposed memorializing that program into our contract. Sites could choose to participate, and member participants at each site could volunteer, get training, and receive pay to conduct visits.

Charter School Accountability

SDEA proposed new accountability measures around charter schools designed to the level the playing field for charter and district schools. These include:

·         A new educational impact report for the authorization or reauthorization of charter schools.

·         New non-discrimination measures for charter schools, including an investigation trigger whenever 5% or more of students with IEPs or English Learners leave a charter school.

·         Stronger rules around charter school co-locations on district school campuses.

Get Ready for the Nov. 8 Pop-up Picket!

Yesterday’s bargaining session shows us yet again that the District isn’t going to hand over a fair contract just because the bargaining team asks. They need to see all 6,000+ SDEA members seated at the table.

We made the Superintendent and School Board a promise: Settle a fair L.E.A.R.N. contract with us now, or we’re picketing on Nov. 8. The District passed up the opportunity to settle with us yesterday. Now it’s time for us to make good on our promise!

Let’s show the Superintendent and School Board what it looks like when 6,000 members at 130 schools demand a fair contract now. Make sure to check in with your site AR so you know what time your site will be picketing on Nov. 8. When we all stand together, we win!

All Bargaining Proposals:

SDEA Proposes Raises in a Strong Settlement Package

Bargaining Update

October 24, 2017

Last week, SDEA’s bargaining team proposed a 2.5% raise for this year and a 3.5 % raise for next year. These raises would outpace cost-of-living adjustments and move our pay into the top half County-wide. Our proposal was part of a strong settlement package for a two-year contract that would also include:

  •         Fully paid family healthcare with all current options
  •         Better special education caseloads and supports
  •         Lower class size
  •         A new, fair transfer process
  •         Increased elementary enrichment/prep time
  •         Stronger work hours protections
  •         Paid maternity leave and expanded personal business leave
  •         Restoring the fully funded BTSA program for new teachers

In presenting our wage proposal, SDEA’s bargaining team scrubbed the District’s budget to make sure that our proposals are not only fair, but affordable. SDEA’s team asked pointed questions about the budget that the District’s team could not answer, and pointed out that the District’s historical pattern of underestimating revenues and overestimating costs continues. Meanwhile, the percentage of the District’s budget that is spent on educator salaries continues to steadily decline. That’s not a budget deficit problem. That’s a budget priorities problem.

SDEA’s package of proposals paves the way to a strong, fair, fast settlement. It is now time for Superintendent Cindy Marten and the School Board to agree.

District Disrespect at the Table Continues

On a day when they weren’t even presenting anything, the District’s bargaining team still managed to convey a serious lack of respect for those of us at schools and in the classrooms.

SDEA’s Special Education proposal includes new financial penalties for the District when they violate special educators’ caseloads. Our proposed penalty is $20 a day for every student above the caseload cap, until the District assigns enough staff to bring caseloads back down. The District has been treating special educator caseload caps as optional, so SDEA’s proposal creates a strong disincentive for future violations.

The District’s Director of Special Education responded by asking, wouldn’t that create an incentive for special educators to diagnose more students onto their caseloads so they can make more money? The SDEA bargaining team’s response was strong and clear. Educators are the ones fighting tooth and nail to get enough special education support for our students, while top District administration continues to cut student services to the bone. Not only are they violating our contract, they are violating our students’ rights under the law. And they think we are going to falsify student disabilities, adding to our own overwhelming workload, just to make 20 bucks? Shameful.

These comments simply continue the same pattern we’ve been seeing.

The District said, “We won’t give you ten personal business days because teachers might abuse it.” Then they said, “We won’t reimburse you for your property damaged at work unless you have an original receipt (on top of the police report you already have to file!) because teachers might abuse it.” And now they say, “We won’t compensate you for caseload overages because teachers might abuse it.”

Enough already! It’s time for the District to treat us with the respect we deserve by settling a fair contract with us and honoring it.

Let’s fight back on Nov. 8!

The SDEA bargaining team ended the meeting by delivering thousands of signatures from educators, parents and students across San Diego Unified in support of our L.E.A.R.N.! bargaining campaign and in support of our Nov. 8 Pop-Up Pickets to the SDUSD bargaining team.

Now we need to make good on our Nov. 8 promise! On Nov. 8, thousands of SDEA members will stand in solidarity with parents and students to support the fight for schools our students deserve! See your site Association Representative to make sure your school is ready for the Nov. 8 Pop-Up Picket. Together we are stronger!

All bargaining proposals:

Big Win on Benefits, Let’s Keep Up the Pressure

Bargaining Update

October 11, 2017

Bargaining Highlights

  • The District officially pulled the health benefits article off the table. This means that our healthcare is protected and cannot be changed during the term of our contract!
  • The District moved significantly closer to SDEA on providing air conditioning in every classroom— this will improve classroom and student safety.
  • The District proposed weakening seniority rights in our transfer process.
  • SDEA made another strong proposal on work hours.

Read below for additional details and full proposals.

SDEA Wins on Health Benefits!

After announcing just two weeks ago that they would be opening our health benefits article on Oct. 5, the District reversed course and officially pulled that article off the table. What happened in between Sep. 19 and Oct. 5? SDEA union meetings at fifty-plus schools just in that two-week window, a plan to show up at the Superintendent’s Oct. 17 State of the District address, and a union-wide red t-shirt day. When we stand together, we win!

Positive Movement on Safety

The District has committed to providing air conditioning in all classrooms and educational support spaces, a giant leap forward in the right direction. This improvement in contract language will provide significant relief to our educators and students who work/learn in spaces currently not equipped with air conditioning. This language will include the installation of air conditioning units in thousands of classrooms and educational support spaces.

The District also committed to provide training and resources to educators and staff who are expected to implement restorative practices. The District’s proposals also require administrators to utilize shared-decision-making in each school community before implementing restorative practices—which is a positive acknowledgment of the need for stakeholder input before implementing significant programs like restorative practices.

Lastly on safety, the District proposed to add a new requirement that members provide an original purchase receipt in order to receive reimbursement for personal property destroyed at work. SDEA did not accept this new addition that can prove to be problematic down the road—we intend to offer a realistic counterproposal on this piece.

We Still Have a Fight in Other Areas and Must Keep Up the Pressure


When bargaining began, SDEA’s team made an ambitious and thoughtful transfer proposal that would bring more stability to our school staffing, and would create a more fair and transparent process for moving voluntarily or involuntarily from one school to another. The District rejected every single part of SDEA’s proposal with no satisfactory explanation. Even when pressed, they couldn’t explain their objection to most of our proposal, suggesting they simply hadn’t taken it seriously enough to even consider. The only change the district proposed was increasing the number of candidates who may be interviewed when filling posted vacancies from the current number of five candidates to ten. Such a change would weaken our current seniority rights.


SDEA’s strong leaves proposal would make several significant changes: Establishing paid maternity leave that does not come out of accrued sick leave (much like what educators in the Grossmont School District recently won), expanding parental bonding leave for all new parents, increasing the number of sick days we can use for personal business each year from three to ten, and allowing members who are ill better access to using Family Medical Leave.

On Oct. 5, the District finally made their counterproposal. Although they made movement in the right direction on parental bonding, the District rejected our proposals on maternity and personal business leaves. Regarding maternity leave, the District is claiming poverty, but has yet to provide evidence that our proposal would create a cost burden. In fact, members who give birth already take maternity leave, so SDEA’s bargaining team believes there would be little to no fiscal impact on the District budget. The only difference would be that new birth-mothers would not have to burn through sick leave that they could otherwise use in the future or save for eventual STRS credit—just like members who don’t give birth are able to do.

Shared Decision-making

The District rejected all of SDEA’s proposal, instead proposing that a mediated conversation around Shared Decision-making in the future would be the best course of actions.


SDEA made a counterproposal on hours that continues to fight for expansion of the elementary enrichment program, strengthens protections around prep. time, and would establish new rights around grade-level/subject changes and classroom moves.

How Can We Stand Up to Win a Fair Contract NOW?

The District’s rapid reverse-course on health benefits shows that when we all stand up and DEMAND what is right, the District changes their behavior. Here is what every SDEA member can do right now to get in the fight for a fair contract:

  1. Attend your site’s Wave One Union Meeting if it hasn’t happened yet. See your AR for info!
  2. Sign the L.E.A.R.N. petition, and see your AR about getting parents to sign as well.
  3. Join the delegation of SDEA members delivering our L.E.A.R.N. petitions to Supt. Cindy Marten at her State of the District Address at 4 p.m. on Oct. 17 at Sherman Elementary.
  4. Join in the union-wide pop-up picket on Nov. 8 at your school!

All Bargaining Proposals:

Special Education and Wages

Bargaining Update

September 22, 2017

Bargaining Highlights

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

Read below for additional details and full proposals.

Special Education

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

All Bargaining Proposals:

SDUSD Proposes 0% Raise, Class Size Take-backs

Bargaining Update

September 11, 2017


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

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

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

Class Size

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

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

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

Safety and Hours

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

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

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


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

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

Other Proposals

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

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

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

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

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

SDEA Makes Strong Special Education Proposal

Bargaining Update

July 14, 2017

SDEA members spoke loud and clear this past spring: Resources for students, including students with IEPs, is a major priority in our L.E.A.R.N.! bargaining campaign. In yesterday’s bargaining session, SDEA’s team made a strong initial proposal on Article 29: Special Education that would greatly increase such resources for our students with IEPs, and rights for special educators.

Highlights of the proposal include:

  • Establishing a true continuum of services for students
  • Making special educator caseloads a hard cap
  • Lowering Resource Specialists caseloads to 20, to match Education Specialists: Mild/Moderate caseloads
  • Reducing Speech Language Pathologist caseloads
  • Increasing special education staffing levels
  • Additional prep time for special educators who co-teach
  • Release time to conduct excessive initial and triennial assessments

SDEA’s team also brought a counterproposal on negotiation timelines that would start our future bargaining well in advance of the expiration of contract.

On the other hand, the District continued their pattern of making no substantive proposals. SDEA’s team went into the meeting optimistic because the District’s team promised they would finally bring two new initial proposals. Technically, they delivered. The District did make initial proposals on Article 14: Performance Evaluation Procedures and Article 18: Peer Review and Enrichment Program (PREP). What exactly did they propose? Simply to reopen both articles at an unspecified future date, when the joint evaluation committee has a recommendation. Other than that, they proposed no changes.

This marks nearly two months since SDUSD has made any significant initial proposals at the table. Their last significant initial proposal was on May 19, when they proposed major take backs on our transfer rights. They have since withdrawn it.

The District also brought a counter-proposal to SDEA’s proposal on Article 27: Non-Discrimination. SDEA had proposed that the District provide the necessary professional development, training and resources for educators to protect students from discrimination. SDUSD broadly accepted the concept—but only if their commitment to doing so is exempt from the grievance procedure, and therefore unenforceable. SDEA’s team made an immediate counter, making clear that we are here to bargain a contract this is a requirement, not a suggestion.

In addition to their non-substantive proposals, the District stated that they are withdrawing seven other articles that they had originally planned to bargain over. This is movement in the right direction, given the District’s glacial pace in negotiations, but still leaves 15 articles that they have yet to put on the table. That’s on top of the ten SDEA proposals that are currently awaiting counters from the District.

The next scheduled bargaining session is Sep. 7. At that session, SDEA’s team will make all four of our remaining initial proposals, with the goal that negotiations will move rapidly towards a fair settlement. Our expectation is that the District work toward doing the same.

District Continues Pattern of Bad Faith Bargaining

Bargaining Update

June 22, 2017

For the third bargaining session in a row, the District’s bargaining team came to the table with no new initial proposals, despite having opened up 26 articles in our contract. SDEA’s team brought two. All the District brought to the table was the argument that SDEA’s L.E.A.R.N. proposals are too expensive, which apparently means they can’t bargain. The District failed to counter any of the eight proposals SDEA now actively has on the table. The teams had set aside 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. for a full day of bargaining today. Instead, bargaining began shortly after 9:30 and ended an hour later because the District was unable to respond to any of SDEA’s proposals.

The only bright spot was the District officially withdrawing their destructive, anti-union transfer proposal after a strong and immediate backlash from SDEA members, and a recognition that the proposal is not in alignment with the School Board’s own philosophy about public education and the importance of unions in protecting it.

SDEA’s team continued to push the pace with two more initial proposals:

Article 27: Non-Discrimination

SDEA’s proposal is short but powerful. We propose the following addition: “The district will provide the necessary professional development, training and resources for educators to succeed in ensuring that all students are protected from harassment and discrimination regardless of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnic group identification, race, national origin, religion, color, or mental or physical disability.”

Article 16: Organizational Security

SDEA proposes maintenance of membership language to bring our contract in line with the Educational Employment Relations Act.

SDEA will continue to do everything possible at the table to win a fair, fast settlement for our L.E.A.RN.! contract campaign. If the District continues not to engage in good faith, we will take the steps necessary to compel them to come to the table prepared and able to actually bargain.

SDEA Makes Strong Class Size, Safety and Shared Decision-making Proposals

District Delays Continue

Bargaining Update

June 9, 2017

Today’s bargaining session was deja vu all over again. SDEA’s team came prepared to make three new initial proposals: Class Size, Safety and Shared Decision-making. SDUSD’s team brought no new proposals, and just one counterproposal that was limited to changing bargaining timelines.

Class Size

Lowering class size and caseloads is one of the five pillars of our L.E.A.R.N.! contract campaign! SDEA’s proposal includes:

  • Changing the grades TK-3 site average of 24-to-1 to a hard cap of 24.
  • Lowering the grades 4-6 class size from an average of 35 over 30 days to a hard cap of 30.
  • Further lowering class size for elementary combo classes.
  • Lowering the secondary class size from a hard cap of 36 to 32.
  • Changing the PE class size from an average of 50 over a ten-week period to a hard cap of 50.
  • Significantly lowering the caseloads for nurses and counselors and increasing site nurse and counselor allocations.

Click below for the full proposal:


When SDEA members bargain to make our working conditions safer, we are bargaining to make our students’ learning conditions safer. SDEA’s proposal includes:

  • An air conditioner in every classroom by fall 2018.
  • Guaranteeing adequate, safe workspaces for itinerant members and counselors.
  • Requiring the District to get stakeholder input on what restorative justice should look like for each involved school community, and to provide all necessary supports at schools where restorative justice is being implemented.

Click below for the full proposal:

Shared Decision-making

SDEA members know that our schools work best when those of who live and breathe at the school each day—educators, parents, classified staff, administrators, and even students—are involved in making decisions that impact our school communities. SDEA’s proposal includes:

  • Broadening stakeholder input into District education reform decisions.
  • Turning best practices for PLCs into contractual rights.
  • Pushing back against a culture of high-stakes testing in public education.

Click below for the full proposal:

Click below for SDUSD’s counterproposal on negotiation timelines:

In four sessions, SDEA has made six of our planned 13 initial proposals. We have responded to every District proposal, countering two and reaching a tentative agreement on a third.

In those same four sessions, SDUSD has made only three of their planned 26 initial proposals, and one counterproposal. When we asked what the expected timeline was for their remaining 23 proposals, they could not tell us.

SDEA will continue to push the pace as we fight for a fair, fast settlement for our L.E.A.RN.! contract campaign. If the District delays continue, we will move just as quickly towards filing an Unfair Labor Practice charge against the District to compel them to come to the table prepared and able to actually bargain.

Let’s Turn Up the Heat This Summer!

Join the SDEA Street Heat Team to be part of the action! Email SDEAPres@sdea.net with the subject line “Street Heat Team” for summertime alerts about short but intense actions that turn up the heat in the fight against layoffs and for a L.E.A.R.N.! union contract.

SDEA members can end the traditional school year with a bang by showing up at the School Board meeting on Tuesday, June 13 at 4:45 p.m. Let’s continue to voice our demand that Superintendent Marten and the School Board to recall every single one of the remaining 300+ layoffs, and turn their attention to bargaining a L.E.A.R.N! union contract. Be there, bring a friend, and wear red!

Although SDEA came prepared to bargain, once again the District did not!

Bargaining Update

May 26, 2017

District Already Delaying at the Table

Yesterday marked our third bargaining session, and the District is already beginning to drag their feet in bargaining. SDEA came prepared to make two proposals. The District came prepared to make none.

The District showed up at 10:05 for our 9:30 bargaining session, and extended our one-hour working lunch to an hour and 50 minutes. What the District did have time for at the table was asking why in our Article 8: Hours proposal, SDEA’s team thought elementary teachers need 90 minutes of prep time each week (as opposed to the current 45-60 minutes). Apparently 90 minutes of prep in one week is excessive for elementary teachers, but top District administrators need more “prep time” than that in a single day—and they still failed to come back to the table with any counterproposals.

SDEA Comes Back Strong on Transfer Rights

SDEA made a strong counter proposal to the District’s May 19 Transfer proposal, which gutted our due process and seniority rights. The SDEA proposal ensures a fair and transparent transfer process for both voluntary and involuntary transfers. It maintains due process and seniority rights. It also establishes an inclusive and transparent interview and selection process through shared decision-making.

SDEA was prepared to present an additional proposal, Article 24: Shared Decision Making, but was unable to due to the District’s delays. At our next bargaining session scheduled for Thursday, June 8, your SDEA bargaining team will be prepared to present strong proposals for Article 24: Shared Decision Making, Article 13: Class Size and Article 11: Safety Conditions of Employment.

What’s Next? “Occupy” the Ed. Center!

Our next organizing action to support our “NO to LAYOFFS…YES to L.E.A.R.N.!” campaign is scheduled for Tuesday, May 30 at 4:15PM at the District Office (4100 Normal Street). Come join your fellow educators, parents, community and labor partners as we “Occupy” the Ed. Center. We will meet at the flag pole at 4:15PM, our occupy action will be from 4:30-4:45PM, and we will pack the School Board meeting at 5:00PM demanding that the Board recall ALL remaining laid off members and support our SDEA L.E.A.R.N. contract!

SDEA Proposes Overhaul of Transfer Process and a Major Expansion of Parental and Other Leaves

SDUSD Proposes Gutting Our Transfer Article and Seniority Rights

Bargaining Update

May 19, 2017

Today’s bargaining session highlighted a growing division between SDEA members and the District. Do we want a District where decisions are made together by educators, administrators, classified workers, parents, and all community stakeholders? Or do we want a District where decisions are top-down and management driven, with no one else having a voice or a seat at the table?

SDEA members believe in the first vision, and advanced two key areas of our L.E.A.R.N.! campaign today to do exactly that. SDEA’s team proposed an entirely new transfer process that is fair and transparent, and a leave article that significantly expands parental and personal leave.

The top administration at SDUSD clearly believes in the second, top-down vision. The District’s transfer proposal would allow the District to transfer anyone, at any time in the year, for any reason! It completely guts seniority and all other protections for members currently in the contract, and gives unlimited authority on staffing decisions to Human Resources and site administrators. SDEA’s bargaining team truly wonders if the School Board had any clue “their” team would be making this proposal today. The words of the District’s proposal today sounded like they came right out of the mouth of Betsy DeVos— not what we would expect from a progressive Board that is rooted in labor.

N: No Destabilizing Our Schools through a Fair, Transparent Transfer Process

During the Bargaining Input Sessions, SDEA members stated loud and clear that the current transfer process does not work. It’s confusing, and it leads to more grievances than any other section of our contract. We need a transfer process that is clear, transparent, and involves the voices of all stakeholders—not just management.

SDEA’s Article 12: Transfer proposal includes:

  • The involvement of Governance Teams in the creation of school and program schedules for the following year, including excessing, vacancies and master schedules.
  • A separation of the involuntary and voluntary transfer process, with stronger seniority rights for excessed members and a meaningful bite at the apple for those who are voluntarily seeking a new position.
  • An earlier deadline for fall transfers, so schools aren’t reorganizing classes and losing teachers as late as Halloween.
  • More Governance Team Involvement in staffing decisions for multiple assignment and itinerant positions.
  • Clear rules and protections surrounding partial positions.
  • Expanded supports for moves between schools, or on your current campus.
  • Supports for members moved to a new subject, or more than two grade levels from your current grade level.
  • A $1,000 early notification bonus for members retiring or resigning.
  • Seniority protections when a school or program is reorganized.
  • A stronger, faster process for SDEA members to enforce violations of the transfer process.

In almost total contrast to what SDEA proposes, SDUSD proposes:

  • The removal of any and all due process rights for administrative transfers. If your principal thinks you’re a bad fit for your school, with three days notice, you can be removed. The only recourse is a non-binding meeting with your boss’ boss.
  • Excessed members would have the right to an interview, and that’s it. There is no guarantee of placement into any position you bid on.
  • Total elimination of seniority rights from the Post and Bid process.
  • Unlimited management rights for placement after the Post and Bid. If an excessed member doesn’t find a spot through Post and Bid, Human Resources can put that member anywhere they want.
  • The elimination of the October 31 deadline for transfers. The District could continue to excess members based on “site need” at any point in the year.
  • No requirement that excessing be tied to anything real, such as decline in enrollment. Principals can excess based on “site need” … as determined by the principal.
  • Multiple assignment members would lose the right to keep their own positions when rebundled.
  • Removal of all deadlines for itinerant member assignments, which could be changed at any point in the year.
  • A complete elimination of the ability of the union to look at the Post before it goes live, or attempt to problem-solve ahead of time.

SDEA’s bargaining team made it perfectly clear that the District’s proposal is the opposite of what SDEA members believe is right for our schools. We know that we will have a fight on our hands to win a transfer process that does not destabilize schools—and fight we will!

A: Attract and Keep the Best and Brightest with Competitive Leave Policies

SDUSD must offer leave policies that honor us as professionals, and compete with other local school districts.

SDEA’s Article 10: Leaves proposal includes:

  • Eight weeks of fully paid maternity leave for new mothers that does not come out of accrued leave.
  • Two weeks of fully paid bonding leave for all new parents that does not come out of accrued leave.
  • Ten more weeks of bonding leave using accumulated full-pay leave and then half-pay leave. (A new state law now provides 12 weeks of bonding using accumulated full-pay leave and then half-pay leave.)
  • Expand personal business leave from three days to 10 days.

SDEA’s proposal will allow SDUSD to compete with the Grossmont District, where our fellow CTA members recently won six weeks of fully paid maternity leave for new mothers. SDEA’s bargaining team reminded the District’s team that the United States is one of the only countries in the world that provides zero paid parental leave. The children of educators become the students we educate. Our proposal is right for our members, it’s right for our families, and it’s right for kids!

Also addressed were negotiations timelines and clean-up language regarding now-defunct “tracks” at year-round schools.

What’s Next?

  • Wear red next Thursday to show support for the L.E.A.R.N.! campaign and our fight against layoffs, as our team heads back to the bargaining table. See your site AR for stickers to wear as well!
  • Occupy the Ed. Center on Tuesday, May 30 — 4:15 at 4100 Normal St. There’s no reason the Board should not vote to recall every single one of Cindy Marten’s remaining 400+ layoffs that night!

SDEA Proposals:

SDUSD Proposals:

Tentative Agreement

District Withdraws Proposal to Cut Enrichment/Prep Time, Backs off of Plan to Centralize Prep Time Teachers for Now

Bargaining Update

April 28, 2017


Bargaining our next union contract is officially underway, and SDEA members are already making headway at the bargaining table. In anticipation of our first bargaining session yesterday, SDUSD sent over a proposal a week ago that would have completely eliminated the elementary enrichment/prep time program. In addition to cutting crucial enrichment for our students, their proposal would have slashed elementary educator prep time from roughly ten hours a month to less than four hours a month. Yesterday, in response to member pressure, SDUSD withdrew that proposal entirely. The District also agreed to honor our contract and cease any attempts to centralize elementary enrichment/prep positions for the 2017-18 school year, likely resolving the class action grievance and Unfair Labor Practice Charge that SDEA filed over their plan.

These immediate victories come on the heels of the first SDEA Town Hall, which was held the evening before bargaining began. More than 100 educators, parents and students showed up to call on School Board member Kevin Beiser to undo the District’s proposed cuts to prep time, recall layoffs, and commit to supporting SDEA’s L.E.A.R.N. contract campaign to secure the schools our students deserve. The pressure continued last night, with over a 100more showing up to make the same demands of School Board members Richard Barrera and Mike McQuary.

The SDEA bargaining team is building on the momentum union members are generating. SDEA’s first bargaining proposal, presented yesterday, would nearly double the elementary enrichment and prep time program. The SDEA Article 8: Hours proposal would also strengthen secondary prep time meeting prohibitions, expand protections for emergency coverage, expand the nurse and counselor work year by three days, strengthen shared decision making, and provide clear rules and supports for grade level/subject changes and on-site classroom moves.

While the District backing down on elementary enrichment and prep time now is a good first step, the District is only conceding this for the 2017-18 school year. SDEA’s bargaining team believes the District may still propose drastic changes to the elementary enrichment program for future years. Plus, the District’s bargaining team is already showing some red flags with bargaining behavior. They canceled our second bargaining session, which has been on the books for months. SDEA’s bargaining team expects the District’s bargaining team to show up prepared and bargain in good faith on the days we say we’re going to, and will be holding the District accountable if they don’t.

We bargain again on May 19. SDEA’s bargaining team will be prepared to make proposals on Leaves and Transfer.

All of this means we need to keep the pressure on! There is one more Town Hall on May 1 from 4-6 p.m. at the SDEA office (10393 San Diego Mission Rd.). Be there to make sure Superintendent Marten and School Board members Whitehurst-Payne and Evans commit to recalling layoffs and supporting our L.E.A.R.N. campaign at the bargaining table.

Together We Are Stronger!

Let’s say NO to layoffs and YES to L.E.A.R.N.!

District administration is creating a budget crisis to push through cuts that are bad for kids. They are planning to layoff 1 in every 8 educators, get rid of enrichment classes, and slash supports for our neediest students. Creating an environment of panic and instability is an opportunity to push through the cuts and reorganizations top administrators want, but that parents, educators and our school communities oppose.

These cuts are based on worst-case predictions, and they’ve been wrong every time. District administration doesn’t really know what its budget will be until June. Right now they are just guessing, and they have a long history of guessing wrong. Last year their budget was off by 48%, and in 2014-15 it was off by 94%! That’s $79 million! That’s why we are fighting back against teacher layoffs and slash- and-burn cuts.

Educators have a better plan for our schools. Educators aren’t getting distracted by this inflated crisis—and we don’t want parents to be, either. To move us forward, we’re launching a campaign to fight for a union contract that gives our kids and our schools the resources they really need.

Let’s join the contract fight to


Lower class size! Lower class sizes for every classroom means our students will get the attention they need to learn.

Expanded enrichment classes! Kids need art, PE, music and more to learn and grow. Plus, the time kids spend in enrichment classes gives their teachers time to plan and prepare.

Attract and keep the best educators! Our kids deserve the best, but San Diego educator pay is near the bottom half of all educators in the county. That’s why we’re fighting for competitive pay and benefits.

Resources for kids! We need more wrap-around resources, like counselors, nurses, and special education support, to make sure all of our kids get everything they need in order to learn.

No destabilizing schools! We want to start off the school year with teachers in place and ready to teach — no more last minute changes. Staffing policies should create stable schools and be fair.