Teacher & Employee Unions Release Statement on CCUSD Calendar Negotiations

This joint statement from Association of Classified Employees and the Culver City Federation of Teachers is being published here to continue our coverage on the CCUSD school calendar, and the challenges as seen from one side of the bargaining table. 

On Wednesday April 12, CCUSD presented an unreasonable calendar proposal to the Culver City Federation of Teachers (CCFT) and Association of Classified Employees (ACE) regarding the 2023-2024 and 2024-2025 school year calendars. As a result, Culver City does not have a calendar for the next school year. At minimum, we do not even know what the first day of the 2023-2024 school year will be. Labor is acutely aware of the burden this places on our families’ ability to plan the upcoming year.
In early February, as is normal procedure, both CCFT and ACE bargaining units presented to the district a calendar based on feedback from staff, obtained via a district-wide employee survey. Labor also kept CCUSD leadership informed about the results of this survey.

CCUSD responded in March with a calendar that adds three pupil-free professional development days to the school year, though at time of negotiation, they could not explain what these days were for, or whom they serviced. This confounded union leaders, as we clearly expressed these days were unnecessary, would create financial burden, as well as additional days of child care needed by Culver City families and staff. In the spirit of collaboration, labor suggested a better tactic would be to improve existing development days, while also stressing that both bargaining units have rejected these three days outright, based on feedback from members.

As per CCUSD’s former Asst. Superintendent of Business Services, adding additional working days to the calendar would not be fiscally responsible, and in fact is something the district could not afford in the long term.

CCUSD did not offer any data as to why these days were needed. No Assistant Superintendents stated they asked the Superintendent for additional days and only one Assistant Superintendent stated they were looking for more time for professional development. The Superintendent also takes his directives from the Board of Education.

Despite being invited into Wednesday’s bargaining session, the Superintendent was not in attendance to help the parties move forward. Previous superintendents have routinely entered bargaining to avoid these types of situations. Labor remains interested in engaging in negotiations around the calendar and all other outstanding issues. We hope that the Superintendent will take a more active role to provide CCUSD families with resolution regarding a calendar as we move into the summer break.

Labor is deeply committed to professional development and continued growth and improvement as educators. We are focused on closing achievement gaps, connecting with each and every student from Pre-K through adult school, inclusion, restorative practices and trauma-informed care, to name just a few of the stated goals of CCUSD. To this end, both bargaining teams made the suggestion that the district use the currently allocated professional development days throughout the school year, and improve the current professional development offerings, instead of adding more days. As labor leaders have stated in many forums, CCUSD’s commitment to its own tenets is not clear. Professional development in many areas has been not only superficial, but also optional. More robust professional development is a question of quality, not quantity.

CCUSD administration has decided to hold the staff and entire community hostage by not having a calendar. 

Debbie Hamme, President, Culver City Association of Classified Employees

Ray Long, President, Culver City Teachers Union 

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