• LTA Endorses Fajardo and Ibarra in the Upcoming Lennox School Board Election

    Last Thursday (10/8/15), the Lennox Teachers Association held our tradition public Candidate Forum, in which each of the four candidates running for the Lennox School Board of Education responded to questions either in person or through pre-recorded videos. After the forum, the LTA Rep Council discussed the merits of each candidate and input the Reps had gathered from teachers at their school sites. After much thoughtful discussion about the pros and cons of each candidate, their histories, and the direction they would likely take the district, Rep Council voted overwhelmingly to endorse the re-election of the two sitting School Board members whose terms are up – Angela Fajardo and Mercedes Ibarra. Fajardo and Ibarra each bring 8 years of experience to the position and know the district, our challenges, and where we need to go. It was that experience and continuity, that ability to hit the ground running and continue the work we’ve been doing rebuilding the district after the recession and turmoil of the last few year, that most impressed the Reps. As a union, we’ve developed a good working relationship with each of them; we look forward to continuing to work collaboratively with them, and the rest of the School Board, in the future to build the district our students and community deserve. In a field with several strong candidates, we believe that Angela Fajardo and Mercedes Ibarra are the best choices for Lennox. The Lennox Teaches Association proudly joins our sisters and brothers in the California School Employees Association in endorsing Angela Fajardo and Mercedes Ibarra for re-election to the Lennox School Board of Education.



  • Special Election for the Position of LTA 1st Vice-President of Contractual Affairs

    After several years of dedicated service to LTA and the teacher of Lennox, 1st Vice-President of Contractual Affairs, Sigrid Caballero, has stepped down. That leaves us with a vacancy we need to fill as soon as possible. We will hold a special election Tues, Nov 3 – Thurs, Nov 5. LTA Elections Chair, Ann Chaffey, has prepared a timeline (link) for interested members to submit their names to be included on the ballot.

    The Vice-President of Contractual Affairs serves as both our Grievance Chair and leader of the Professional Relations committee. It is also fantastic training for someone who would like to eventually be considered for the position of LTA President (and who wouldn’t want that?). There is one year left on the current 2-year term, so this special election will choose someone to serve out the remainder of the current term, and we’ll hold a regular election next May (2016) for President and both VP positions (Contract and Curriculum) for the full 2-year terms.

    From the LTA Bylaws, the full responsibilities of the Vice-President of Curricular Affairs are:

    • Serve as assistant to the President in all duties of the President;
    • Assume the duties of the President in the absence of the President (i.e., serve as “First” Vice-President);
    • Serve as co-coordinator of committee activities as directed by the President; and
    • Serve as Chairperson of the Grievance Committee and keep an accurate record of all grievances.
    • Serve as Chairperson of the Professional Relations Committee, preparing the agenda for meetings, facilitating meetings, and distributing minutes from meetings to the general Membership.

    And as part of the Executive Board:

    • Coordinate the activities of the Association;
    • Act for the Representative Council when school is not in session;
    • Direct the bargaining activities and grievance processing of the Association, subject to policies established by the Representative Council;
    • Approve by majority vote appointment, and by two-thirds vote removal, of Bargaining Team members;
    • Approve by majority vote appointment, and by two-thirds vote removal, of committee members, including chairpersons;
    • Recommend a budget for the Association to the Representative Council;
    • Adopt the Standing Rules of the Association;
    • Adopt grievance procedures;
    • Direct the grievance activities of the Association; and
    • Exercise all of the business and organizational powers and duties for the Association as prescribed by law and these Bylaws, subject to any restrictions that may be imposed by the Representative Council.

    The Vice-President of Contractual Affairs currently receives a stipend of $500 per year.

    If you’d like to be considered for the position of LTA 1st Vice-President of Contractual Affairs, please refer to the Elections Timeline and contact LTA Elections Chair, Ann Chaffey.



  • 2015 Bargaining Update #4 – Tentative Agreement!

    We have a tentative agreement!

    Your LTA Bargaining Team has reached a Tentative Agreement with the district.

    Tentative Agreement Highlights

    (download the complete text of the Tentative Agreement here)

     

    ARTICLE 6: COMPENSATION & BENEFITS

    ·       Increase salaries by 4% permanently plus a 1% off-schedule bonus paid in July to continuing employees (i.e., not for new hires next year), for a total salary increase of 9% over the last two years, with a 1% “bonus” each year

    ·       Increase extra-duty hourly pay rate to $36/hr

    ·       One-time increase in the district contribution to health benefits across all medical plans so the cost to employees will not increase even though the cost of all medical plans has risen by as much as 6%

    ·       Increase service credit for prior teaching experience to up to 10 years for all newly hired teachers and to all prior experience in any setting for new, fully-credentialed Speech and Language Pathologists (the Bargaining Team was unable to negotiate a retroactive adjustment for existing employees, but temporary teachers – because they are hire anew each year – will be able to take advantage of the new levels of prior service credit)

    ·       Increase the SLP stipend to $4,000/yr to attract and retain fully-credentialed specialists for these hard-to-fill positions

    ARTICLE 7: WORK YEAR & HOURS OF EMPLOYMENT

    ·       For 2015-2016 and 2016-2017, district will offer 3 voluntary PD/planning days before school starts in August (8/12-8/14), paid at $300 each; at least 3 hours will be teacher-directed planning time [MOU]

    ·       For 2015-2016 and 2016-2017, district will offer 3 voluntary PD/planning days during the school year (most likely on Saturdays or during vacations), paid at $300 each; at least 1 hour of each day will be teacher-directed planning time [MOU]

    ·       For 2015-2016 and 2016-2017, at least 75% of preschool/elementary PE time will allow for teacher-directed planning and collaboration (the LCAP currently calls for 2 PEs/week, so 75% = approx. 6 out of 8 PEs/month) [MOU]

    ·       For 2015-2016 and 2016-2017, establish 1 period of planning and collaboration time for middle school teachers [MOU]

    ·       Clarify and reorganize some existing language defining the teacher work day, student start and end times, minimum days, super minimum days, and flex calendars; clarify and reorganize existing language on adjunct duties, as well as Back-to-School Night, Open House Night and after-school Parent Conferences

    ·       Reject the elimination of student dismissal times specified in the contract

    ARTICLE 9: CLASS SIZE

    ·       For 2015-2016 and 2016-2017, establish grade-span student-teacher ratios [MOU]:

    o    TK-1                 20:1                                          o   4-5              27:1

    o    2-3                   24:1                                          o   6-8              29:1

    ARTICLE 10: LEAVE PROVISIONS

    ·       Teachers will notify the district of absences via “district established procedures,” i.e., Aesop

    ARTICLE 21: SPECIAL EDUCATION

    ·       Clarify and reorganize existing language on regular ed teachers’ rights regarding student IEPs

    The Bargaining Team will conduct a final question and answer session Tuesday, June 16, after school at 3:30 pm in the LMS library; all unit members are welcome to attend.  The ratification vote on the Tentative Agreement will take place at school sites on Wednesday, June 17, and if/when approved by the LTA membership and LSD Board of Education, the new payscale could be implemented as soon as the second check of the new school year (August 5th).

    Thank you to the Bargaining Team for all your hard work on our behalf.

    download Bargaining Update #4



  • 2015 Bargaining Update #3

    The LTA Bargaining Team has again presented comprehensive proposals to the district, making a good-faith effort to reach an agreement. In particular, the LTA team proposed signing 2‑year MOUs on some of the more significant changes – summer and mid-year pupil-free days, planning time at preschool, elementary and the middle school, class-size ratios and caps – allowing the district to limit the financial impact of these proposals to that which has already been budgeted in the current LCAP plan. The district reacted favorably, responding with 2-year MOU proposals of their own on summer PD/planning and planning time for preschool, elementary and the middle school teachers. This is significant progress and means that the teams may be as close as negotiating final language on these pivotal issues at the next bargaining session.

    Progress was also made in the area of compensation, though less dramatic. The LTA team reduced its demand for a 7% salary increase to 6% in recognition of future funding uncertainty as Prop 30 tax increase expire and to help off-set the district’s increased CalPERS obligation in coming years. The district modified its original offer of a 1% permanent “on‑schedule” salary increase plus a one-time 4% “off-schedule” increase to a 2% on-schedule increase plus a 3% off‑schedule increase. They also offered to increase the hourly rate from the current $34/hr to $36/hr; LTA continues to demand $40/hr in recognition of all the overtime work teachers are doing to support the district as we transition to the Common Core. Finally, the district is still resisting any increases to employee benefits, but has at least shown a new willingness to discuss cleaning-up and clarifying some issues with existing contract language on benefits.

    As always, the LTA team is committed to improving the learning environment for students and the working conditions for teachers in Lennox. We believe our proposals will help meet the needs of teachers and assist the district in the era of Common Core and LCFF/LCAP. It is our desire to reach an agreement before the end of the school year, but not at the expense of achieving important goals that will help our students, benefit our members, and be consistent with the priorities of the Lennox community. Members of your Bargaining Team will be visiting all schools during the weeks of June 1-5 and June 8-12 to give you a more detailed update and answer any questions you may have; please plan on attending, and remember to wear your blue LTA t-shirts again on June 12 when the Bargaining Team meets with the district one last time before the school year ends.

    download the LTA bargaining proposal #2 (5-28-15)

    download the district’s counter-proposals #2 (5-28-15)

     

    LTA Proposal #2 Highlights (changes from LTA proposal #1 in red):

    ARTICLE 6: COMPENSATION & BENEFITS

    ·       Increase salaries by 6%; increase extra-duty pay rate to $40/hr

    ·       Increase health benefits across all medical plans, evening out contributions so the district contributes the same amount to the plans of each carrier (currently Kaiser and Health Net), and establish a mechanic so that district contributions to employee-only, employee-plus-one, and family medical plan options increase each year relative to a reference plan in their own category

    ·       Increase service credit for prior teaching experience to 10 years (and adjustment salary schedule placement for current teachers who had more than 5 years of prior experience when first hired)

    ·       Grant full service credit for all experience in any setting to fully-credentialed Speech and Language Pathologists (and adjustment salary schedule placement for current SLPs who had more than 5 years of prior experience when first hired), and increase the SLP stipend to $4,000/yr to attract and retain specialists for these hard-to-fill positions

    ARTICLE 7: WORK YEAR & HOURS OF EMPLOYMENT

    ·       For 2015-2016 and 2016-2017, district would offer 3 voluntary PD/planning days before school starts in August, paid at $300 each; at least 50% of each day would be teacher-directed planning time [MOU]

    ·       For 2015-2016 and 2016-2017, add 3 pupil-free work days to the calendar during the year, paid at the per diem rate; at least 50% of each day would be teacher-directed planning time [MOU]

    ·       For 2015-2016 and 2016-2017, establish 100 minutes of preparation time/wk for preschool and elementary teachers [MOU]

    ·       For 2015-2016 and 2016-2017, establish 1 period of preparation time for middle school teachers [MOU]

    ·       Eliminate morning yard duty

    ·       Extend “first Friday” minimum days to all first Fridays, not just 9/yr

    ·       Clarify and reorganize existing language defining the teacher work day, student start and end times, minimum days, super minimum days, and flex calendars; clarify and reorganize existing language on adjunct duties, as well as Back-to-School Night, Open House Night and after-school Parent Conferences

    ARTICLE 9: CLASS SIZE

    ·       For 2015-2016 and 2016-2017, establish grade-span student-teacher ratios [MOU]:

    o    TK-1                 20:1                                          o   4-5              27:1

    o    2-3                   24:1                                          o   6-8              29:1 with a planning period

    ·       For 2015-2016 and 2016-2017, establish class-size maximums, in most cases 2 higher than the averages above [MOU]

    ARTICLE 21: SPECIAL EDUCATION

    ·       Increase teacher input on district special education program with the LTA/LSD Special Education Committee meeting monthly

    ·       Create caseload caps for SDC teachers, and lower existing caps for RSP teachers and Speech and Language Pathologists

    ·       Clarify and reorganize existing language on regular ed teachers’ rights regarding student IEPs

     

    District Counter-Proposal #2 Highlights (changes from District Counter-Proposal #1 in red):

    ARTICLE 6: COMPENSATION & BENEFITS

    ·       Increase salaries by 2% permanently, plus a one-time, off-the-salary-schedule bonus of 3%

    ·       Increase in the extra-duty pay rate to $36/hr

    ·       Willing to discuss clarification and reorganization of existing language, better definition of which plan is the “reference plan,” but no increase in health benefits

    ·       Agree to increase service credit for prior teaching experience to 10 years (but no adjustment for current teachers who had more than 5 years of prior experience when first hired)

    ·       Agree to grant full service credit for all experience in any setting to fully-credentialed Speech and Language Pathologists (but not retroactively but no adjustment for current teachers who had more than 5 years of prior experience when first hired), and increase the SLP stipend to $4,000/yr

    ARTICLE 7: WORK YEAR & HOURS OF EMPLOYMENT

    ·       For 2015-2016 and 2016-2017, district would offer 3 voluntary PD/planning days before school starts in August, paid at $300 each; at least 50% of each day would be planning time, though not necessarily teacher-directed planning time (same as last year’s model) [MOU]

    ·       Reject LTA proposal to add 3 pupil-free work days to the calendar during the year, paid at the per diem rate

    ·       For 2015-2016 and 2016-2017, establish weekly prep time for preschool and elementary teachers (exact number of minutes not specified) [MOU]

    ·       For 2015-2016 and 2016-2017, establish 1 period of “planning and collaboration” time for middle school teachers (no guarantee, though, that it would be teacher-directed planning and collaboration time) [MOU]

    ·       Maintain the number for Friday minimum days at 9/yr

    ·       Reject LTA proposal eliminating morning yard duty

    ·       Agree to clarify and reorganize existing language defining the teacher work day and flex calendars, but reject LTA proposals to clarify student start and end times (including minimum days); district proposes allowing schools (principals and SLTs) to determine start/end times

    ·       Agree to clarify and reorganize existing language on Back-to-School Night, Open House Night and after-school Parent Conferences, and willing to discuss LTA proposals to clarify adjunct duties

    ARTICLE 9: CLASS SIZE

    ·       For 2015-2016 and 2016-2017, establish grade-span student-teacher ratios [MOU]:

    o    TK-1                 20:1                                          o   4-5              27:1

    o    2-3                   24:1                                          o   6-8              29:1 with a planning period

    ·       Reject all class size caps

    ARTICLE 21: SPECIAL EDUCATION

    ·       Agree to clarify and reorganize existing language on regular ed teachers’ rights regarding student IEPs

    ·       Allow Director of Special Ed and LTA/LSD Special Ed Committee to determine the number of times per year it will meet

    ·       Reject caseload caps for SDC teachers and lowering of existing caps for RSP teachers and Speech and Language Pathologists

     download a copy of the LTA Bargaining Update #3