State of the Union 2017

October 11, 2017

As delivered by SDEA President Lindsay Burningham at the October 2017 SDEA Fall Leadership Conference

Good morning everyone, and welcome to our 2017 SDEA Fall Leadership. For those of you here today who I may not have met, I am Lindsay Burningham, kindergarten teacher and SDEA President. It is hard for me to believe that I am in my fourth and final year as SDEA President and delivering my last State of the Union address to all of you. When I became a kindergarten teacher just over 13 years ago, I never would have imagined I was going to be the president of SDEA, but I want to thank all of you for giving me the opportunity to be in this position. We have accomplished a lot together in the last 3 years and we have a lot of work to do in the year ahead!

I would also like to thank each one of you for choosing to be here today. I know that on a Saturday morning, the last place you probably want to be, is back at school. But you’re here, and if you’re here, it’s because you are dedicated to each other, our union, public education and especially to our students. Thank you for giving up your time to build your skills as a union leader and build the capacity of our union to win the fights ahead.

I also want to thank you for stepping up and being a union representative and leader in SDEA. I know that being a representative of this union isn’t easy, it takes courage and hard work. What you do for our members, is more than just advocating for their rights under the contract and more than just attending a meeting with them. What you do for our members is lead them to build strength in themselves, and when you do this, it allows our members to help their students and school communities to do the same. It’s the perfect combination of both teaching and doing; it is the reason we all chose to be educators, our belief and faith, that public education is a means to a better world.

We all know the last school year was challenging, and after all our hard work and commitment in the 2016 election, we still awoke to face a stark and an unknown reality, not only for Public Education, but for our entire existence as we know it. A reality grounded in immense insecurity at the national level stemming from the election of a President and the appointment of a Secretary of Education who believe public education should either be privatized or dismantled. We also experienced our own homegrown insecurity, created by the district’s decision to make slash-and-burn cuts to its own budget, a decision that not only led to issuing over 900 layoff notices to our members and colleagues throughout the district, but also instilled fear and insecurity in our students and their families.

Today, even though we succeeded in bringing back all our members, we are still fighting to undo the damage created by such an ill-advised decision. None the less, through all this insecurity we remain united and committed to our students, their families and our educators. You rose to face the challenges that were placed before us, head on. Last year, we conducted over 125 bargaining input sessions and launched our SDEA L.E.A.R.N.! bargaining campaign for the schools our students and educators deserve. Through the L.E.A.R.N.! campaign, we are committing to advocate for the resources and support that our educators and students need both in and outside the classroom. The priorities you shared in the bargaining input sessions have become the foundation for our bargaining proposals. If you are to succeed in the classroom, you need the resources and supports to get you there.

SDEA also joined forces with more than 50,000 educators, from large urban school districts across the state and created the California Alliance for Community Schools. An alliance committed to fighting against the privatization of our public schools, through joining organizing efforts with labor and community partners across the state. This alliance of education unions currently represents the largest cities in the state, from the Oakland Education Association to the United Educators of San Francisco and the United Teachers of Los Angeles. These large urban school districts face many of the same challenges we face in San Diego, from disinvestment in schools and communities, especially those with the greatest needs, to educational policies that discourage authentic teaching and learning, and the rapid expansion of privately managed and unregulated charter schools at the expense of our neighborhood schools. As we stand up and stand strong to face these challenges and win, we will be doing so united with over 50,000 fellow CTA members and public education warriors across the state.

As we all know, life is not without its challenges, and one major challenge comes from the appointment of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court of the United States.

In 1977, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Abood v. Detroit Board of Education decision, which established a public employee union’s right to collect “Fair Share”. Fair share is the idea that everyone who enjoys the benefits and protections of the union contract should, in fairness, contribute to maintaining the contract. Current Supreme Court rulings acknowledge that it’s not fair for some people to get union benefits for free while others pay. Whether it’s the General Legal Service program that provides our members with outside legal representation, or the funding necessary to advocate for the rights of educators and students at both the National, State and local levels, our union’s ability to collect our “fair Share” of dues has been a major component in SDEA’s ability to fight back all threats to public education that would harm our members and students. The appointment of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court and Supreme Court case Janus v. AFSCME will change all of that, when it is expected to be upheld in June 2018.

The law would continue to require public sector unions like SDEA to bargain and enforce the contract for everyone, but would allow individuals to decide whether to pay or not pay their fair share for those benefits. Lawsuits like Janus are being funded by the same billionaires who stand to profit from privatizing public schools once our unions die. Public sector unions are the single strongest and most effective defender of public services. With our unions out of the way, the path will be clear to convert or replace public schools with for-profit charters and other money-makers that are good for billionaires, but bad for kids, bad for our communities and bad for educators who deserve to live a stable, middle class life.

If you want to see what life looks like for educators without fair share, look at our sisters and brothers in Michigan and Wisconsin where state legislators have recently killed fair share. Many members think they will get the same benefits without paying union dues, and stop paying. The union then becomes too weak to effectively bargain and enforce the contract. Wages decrease. Health care premiums skyrocket. Basic workplace protections around hours, safety, class size and other supports vanish. Overnight, educators in Michigan and Wisconsin went from having a 150-page contract to a 15-page handbook, which in one local required female teachers to wear skirts and pantyhose to work. I don’t want my employer dictating what I wear, do you? If SDEA members don’t band together to protect our union, this could be our new reality within a year.

Unlike Michigan and Wisconsin who faced these attacks overnight, we know they are coming. We have time to prepare and we have time to stand together, stand united and stand up for our union and public education.

The challenges we face today, are not unique to these times we live in. This union has faced similar challenges before, and we’ve always come out the other side stronger and better equipped to represent our members, students and public education.

But, if we are to succeed in our endeavors, we will need to evolve, and we are going to need everyone! It is not a matter of if, but when public sector unions will lose Fair Share fees, with the strong likelihood that it will happen around June 2018. At the same time, schools in San Diego Unified face a steady decline in enrollment due to charter schools. The solution to both these problems is one and the same. We must organize!

We must organize to build a union so powerful that every member understands the value of their membership, and we must organize with parents in our school communities so that they understand the value of their local public schools.

Despite good conversations and stated commitments to creating an organizing culture at SDEA, the reality remains that the bulk of our work continues to be representational. Why? Because the fundamental structure of our union roles and responsibilities remain those of a representational union, not an organizing union.

If we want an organizing union, we must create leadership and staff structures that allow and support organizing. We cannot continue to have a handful of members and staff doing all of the work within our school sites and our union. We must walk the hallways of our buildings, talk to our fellow members, build relationships and get them more active and engaged in the work we all do.

Although member dues are necessary to do the work we do, they are not the key to our success. Our success and the future of our union is, and always will be in our members ability to unite in defense of themselves, their students, their communities and the future of public education. We are over 6,000 members, every one of us connected by our profession and passion for public education.

All of you here today, could have decided to be somewhere else, but you didn’t. You chose to be here, and for that, you are your Union’s greatest asset. I am immensely grateful for everything you do every day for your students, your school and SDEA and I want to thank you in advance for all the work you will be doing in the year ahead as we build a stronger SDEA to win the fights ahead. You are SDEA! We are ALL SDEA!





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:

Bargaining Update: Special Education and Wages

September 30, 2017

Bargaining Highlights

September 22, 2017

  • 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

September 11, 2017

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

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

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