SDEA Makes Strong Special Education Proposal

July 14, 2017

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 They have since withdrawn it.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

June 22, 2017

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

June 9, 2017

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 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!

SDEA came prepared to bargain, District did not!

May 26, 2017

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!

Who Should Have a Seat at the Table? All of Us? Or Just the Boss?

May 19, 2017

Bargaining Update

May 19, 2017

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

SDUSD Proposes Gutting Our Transfer Article and Seniority Rights

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


May 9, 2017

At the permanent member layoff hearing, laid off members and members designated to be “skipped” by SDUSD all received strong legal representation. At the end of the day all SDEA members were united around the fact that layoffs were arbitrary and destructive. Our attorneys clearly pointed out that the district laid-off FAR MORE members than their own projected worst case deficit deemed necessary.  In fact, the district’s CFO testified that they needed to reduce less than 500 certificated employees to address their projected deficit and yet issued close to 1,000 layoff notices.

The judge has issued his proposed ruling and found that the district did not have a valid case for skipping TK and Dual Language educators while upholding the district’s “skip” criteria for IB teachers. This ruling further illustrates that the layoffs were arbitrary and done without consideration for the impact on our schools and students. Regardless of whether or not the School Board adheres to the judge’s decision, a number of impacted members will have their layoff notices rescinded. We will not know who will be specifically impacted until after the school board vote on May 11th.

Please join your colleagues at the School Board actions on May 9th and 11th to demand that all layoffs be rescinded now.

In solidarity,

Lindsay Burningham

SDEA President

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

April 28, 2017

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!

SDEA Wins Layoff Impacts and Effects Settlement

April 10, 2017

The SDEA and SDUSD bargaining teams reached an agreement on protections for laid off members regarding transfer rights, year-round schools, packing and moving, and other items that affect laid off members’ working conditions. Highlights of the agreement include:

  • Any recalls that occur based on the SERP will take place by May 12, 2017.
  • Delay of the May Post and Bid to May 15, 2017.
  • Agreement to return recalled members to their jobs and their schools up until those vacancies are filled.
  • Year-round teachers can finish the school year in their own classrooms with pro rata pay.
  • Extension of Reduced Workload and Job Share deadlines.
  • A clear, fair recall process.

Click here to download the complete agreement.

What’s next?

Layoff impacts and effects bargaining is over, but we still have work ahead of us in our fight to say NO to LAYOFFS and YES to a L.E.A.R.N.! union contract that gives our kids and schools the resources they really need. At today’s layoff hearing, the District’s interim Chief Financial Officer testified that the District’s (alleged) deficit can be solved with fewer than 500 layoff notices—but the School Board and Superintendent Cindy Marten have issued almost 1,000! She also testified that even if more money than expected comes in, she recommends that it be put in the bank for future years instead of recalling educators now. That’s wrong for members, and it’s definitely wrong for our students.

The School Board and Marten must be held accountable for their bad decisions. The Board must vote whether or not to finalize permanent layoffs at their meeting on May 9. To make sure that they vote the right way, educators and parents are holding Town Hall meetings with all five School Board members and Superintendent Cindy Marten on April 26, 27 and May 1 from 4-6 the SDEA union hall (10393 San Diego Mission Rd.). These Town Halls are your chance to make sure District decision-makers hear your story! Schools are encouraged to adopt a Town Hall and pass out flyers to invite parents to attend as well. Wear red, bring a friend, and be ready to hold their feet to the fire!

SDEA leadership will continue to communicate with you regarding organizing opportunities as we fight the District’s unnecessary layoffs.

Together we are stronger!

School Board Town Hall!!!

April 5, 2017

The school board & superintendent are laying off 1 in every 7 educators, so…


Parents and educators are holding town hall meetings with Superintendent Cindy Marten and every school board member. We want them to hear from us about how laying off nearly 1,000 educators and making other slash-and-burn cuts negatively effects our students and communities.

Wednesday, April 26, 4-6PM

with Trustee Kevin Beiser

Thursday, April 27, 4-6PM

with Trustees Barrera & McQuary

Monday, May 1, 4-6PM

with Superintendent Marten & Trustees Evans & Whitehurst-Payne

We know these layoff notices are wrong! Their projected budget deficit is based on worst-case scenario predictions. The District 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 by 94%!

Educators have a better plan for our schools.

  1. We’re fighting back against layoffs.
  2. We’re standing up for a L.E.A.R.N. union contract that gives our kids and schools the resources they really need.

If you want to stand up against layoffs and for L.E.A.R.N., come to a Town Hall! Educators, parents, and students are welcome. We will be powerful, united, and we won’t back down until they do what’s right for kids and schools!

RSVP now!

Wednesday, April 26, 4-6PM

with Trustee Kevin Beiser

Thursday, April 27, 4-6PM

with Trustees Barrera & McQuary

Monday, May 1, 4-6PM

with Superintendent Marten & Trustees Evans & Whitehurst-Payne

San Diego Education Association (SDEA) is an educator-led, democratic union made up of more than 6,500 educators in San Diego Unified School District.

Support your Bargaining Team and Fight Layoffs!

March 13, 2017

Please join your SDEA Bargaining Team, Bargaining Commission, and SDEA leadership as we “sunshine” our initial proposal for the 2017-2018 bargaining campaign and call for NO layoffs at the SDUSD Board meeting TOMORROW (Tuesday, March 14th) from 4:30-6:00 PM.

  • Lower Class Size
  • Expanded Enrichment Classes
  • Attract and Keep the Best Educators
  • Resources for kids
  • No Destabilizing Schools

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