Dear Editor – Union Bargaining Update

Dear Editor,

Your CCFT bargaining team (Casey Chabola, Amy Maldonado, Natalie Gualtieri, Claudette DuBois, David Mielke, and Kevin Cronin) met again with the CCUSD Management team on Thursday, May 19.

CCUSD presented us with a proposal that calls for 7 unpaid furlough days for next year. This proposal is more costly to our bargaining unit than their first “pay cuts” proposal and thus is a “regressive” proposal. This is the fourth regressive proposal that we have received from CCUSD this year. As you know, CCUSD’s original proposal to us would have cost our unit, collectively, about $800,000. Each of their successive proposals has been more costly to us and thus are regressive proposals that are prohibited by state law.

In bargaining, proposals can only move in one direction. We couldn’t, for example, come back to the table next week and reduce our furlough day proposal from 6 days to 3 days. That would be regressive bargaining on our part. Our primary goal right now is to get a settlement, but once the dust clears we may file another “unfair labor practice” charge with PERB, the Public Employment Relations Board.

CCUSD is in financial trouble, but we’re doing our part. This year we’re taking 5 unpaid furlough days and we’ve offered to take 6 unpaid days next year. On Thursday, we proposed “snap back” language that would require CCUSD to rescind some of these days if state revenues improve. (The “good news” this week about state revenues isn’t as good as it seems. Apparently, all this means for CCUSD is that we’ll be getting state funds more quickly, but that the overall picture remains grim.)

CCUSD also said “NO” to the other parts of our proposal:

* Exempt OCD teachers from the furlough days————-NO
* Complete a retirement incentive analysis for next year——-NO
* Add state maximums for special ed classrooms and specialists’ caseloads to our contract————NO
* Make whole those teachers who were harmed in the “rounding” process for furlough day deductions- –NO
* Add increased elementary conference days and “meeting-free” wednesdays to our contract———-NO

If you thought that our offer of a second year of furlough days might lead CCUSD to agree to some of our other issues, you would have been wrong. Also, we’re still waiting for a single significant cut to our administrative staff. Apparently, our suggestion that expensive administrators work just 11 months instead of 12 months has fallen on deaf ears.

On a more positive note, CCUSD has agreed to provide us with an annual update of our unused sick leave and they are working with us on the elementary conference days and the “meeting-free” Wednesdays. The primary hold-up on here is that we want these days added to our contract; CCUSD wants us to have to bargain them each year. We’re also making progress on revising our stipend schedule.

The teams meet again on June 6.

Dave Mielke

www.culvercitysymphony.org

1 Comment

  1. You may or may not like or agree with Michelle Rhee (or even know who she is), but I borrow this quote from her because it is the spot-on truth, and hits at the core difference between what the CC teachers’ union (sometimes) says it is doing, and what the CC school board (of which I am a member) actually does and holds as its main responsibility and mission:

    “The job of a teachers’ union is to protect the pay and privileges of its members. They are doing exactly what’s expected of them. The problem, though, is that the unions have such an excessive influence over our schools. In contrast, the voices of kids and families are sometimes barely audible. Think about it — a lot of the policies and practices that govern our educational system are there because teachers unions secured them to benefit the adults in our school system, not the kids. I believe there has to be another voice advocating just as hard for the rights and needs of children.”

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