2019-2020 Bargaining Update #1

Summary

  • Weds., May 22 bargaining meeting canceled by district, teams met as scheduled on Mon., June 3.
  • Based on the state budget and STRS contribution savings, LTA proposed that next year’s 1% one-time, off-schedule salary increase be made permanent and that the sunsetting health benefits MOU be continued for 1 more year.
  • District informed LTA that LACOE would be appointing a Fiscal Advisor to the district with “stay and rescind” authority, and that further discussions of salary and benefits changes would have to wait until they had a better understanding of the district’s budget.

 

Report

On Monday, June 3, your LTA Bargaining Team – Lisa Rubio (Huerta), Gary Moore (LMS), Jim Nadler (LMS), Justin Catalán (TOSA), Andrew Staiano (CTA staff), and Bargaining Chair, LTA VP of Contractual Affairs, Brian Guerrero (TOSA) – met with the LSD team – Hiacynth Martinez (Personnel), Lissett Pichardo (LMS principal), Eric Medrano (SpEd) and Steve Andelson (attorney).  This was the first meeting between the two teams this bargaining cycle (the district had previously canceled the first scheduled meeting on Wednesday, May 22 due to unanticipated scheduling conflicts).

Both teams have sunshined a number of articles to negotiate (see below), but the focus of this meeting was on revisiting salary and benefits for 2019-2020, as agreed in the March 5 Agreement.  On March 5, the two teams agreed to a 1% one-time, off-schedule salary increase for teachers in 2019-2020 (to be paid in December) and reached no agreement for 2019-2020 on health benefits, but agreed to revisit both topics after the state budget became more clear in May, with the intention of possibly doing better on salary and reaching an agreement on health benefits.  Once published, the May Revise of the state budget did not increase funding for K-12 education significantly (pre-K, SpEd and college did see increases), but Governor Newsome is proposing STRS relief to districts.  Since 2014, the amount of money that teachers have contributed to their STRS retirement accounts each month has increased, and the amount that districts must contribute has increased even more.

  2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
teacher contribution 8.15%

of salary

8.15% 9.2% 10.25% 10.25% 10.25% 10.25% 10.25%
district contribution 8.25%

of salary

8.88% 10.73% 12.58% 14.43% 16.28% 18.13% 19.10%

So, while it’s great that our STRS retirement accounts are seeing larger deposits from school districts, it also means that districts have faced large expenses that they haven’t been getting additional money from the state to pay for.  Gov. Newsome has proposed “relief” to this situation by slowing the rate of increase districts’ STRS contributions for 2019 and 2020.

  2018 2019 2020
district contribution BEFORE 16.28% 18.13% 19.10%
district contribution IN MAY REVISE 16.28% 16.70% 18.10%
reduction/”savings” 1.43% 1.00%

This “relief” would save the Lennox School District approximately $630,000 in 2019-2020 and $440,000 in 2020-2021, which would be just enough to cover the costs of continuing the health benefits MOU for 1 more year (±$600,000 in 2019-2020) and the first year of moving the one-time 1% salary increase from 2019-2020-only to permanent (±$320,000/year in 2020-2021) to permanent.  Plus, there is an intrinsic fairness to the proposal; money that was going to go into teachers’ retirements and isn’t anymore should go toward their salary and benefits now.

At this point, the district bargaining team informed your LTA Bargaining Team that questions had been raised regarding the accuracy of the 2nd Interim Budget Report (which your LTA Bargaining Team had used as the basis for their proposals), and that the LA County Office of Education would be appointing a Fiscal Advisor to the district with “stay and rescind” authority, and that further discussions of salary and benefits changes would have to wait until they had a better understanding of the district’s budget.  Your LTA Bargaining Team reminded the district that, per the March 5 Agreement, both teams had an obligation to work “in good faith” to resolve salary and benefits issues before June 30, 2019, and that to simply say they couldn’t bargain right now would be a violation of that Agreement and could result in LTA filing an unfair labor practices complaint with the state Public Employee Relations Board (PERB).  The district team assured your LTA Bargaining Team that they were making every effort to clarify the district budget situation and would respond to LTA’s proposals as soon as possible.

 

Articles Sunshined (Opened) by LTA

ARTICLE 6: COMPENSATION & BENEFITS

  • Make 2019-2020 temporary salary increases permanent.
  • Maintains districts current increased contribution to teacher health benefits.

ARTICLE 9: CLASS SIZE

  • Establish contractual language clarifying how the district calculates average class sizes at the middle school, specifically, that it will not include special education classes in the calculation of overall average class sizes (dues to they’re necessarily small size, if SpEd classes are included in the overall class-size average calculation, they artificially bring down the average, causing general ed classes to grow significantly larger).
  • Establish class-size parameters for elementary PE in line with class-size norms for regular elementary classes.

 

Articles Sunshined (Opened) by District

ARTICLE 3: ASSOCIATION RIGHTS

  • Review safeguards concerning LTA posting of materials.

ARTICLE 4: GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES

  • Review applying grievance procedures to LTA contract violations.

ARTICLE 6: COMPENSATION & BENEFITS

  • Review conditions for salary schedule advancement.

ARTICLE 8: ASSIGNMENTS & TRANSFERS

  • Update contract language.

 

As always, your LTA Bargaining Team is committed to improving the learning environment for students and the working conditions for teachers.  We understand that the district’s budget situation is uncertain and look forward to working with both the district and the LACOE fiscal advisor to find solutions that restore fiscal discipline to district spending without negatively impacting students or teachers.  We believe the bargaining process can, with your continued support and participation, result in achieving the result teachers want and students need.

download LTA Bargaining Update #1 (6-3-19)

download LTA Initial Sunshine

download LSD Initial Sunshine

download LTA Proposals, 6-3-19

Note 1: The district later provided a copy of the letter from LACOE to the district appointing a fiscal advisor.

download LACOE letter to LSD appointing fiscal advisor (5-29-19)

Note 2: LACOE later amended its letter to the district regarding the appointment of a fiscal advisor.

download amended LACOE letter to LSD appointing fiscal advisor (5-31-19)

Posted in assignments, association rights, bargaining, class size, district budget, grievances, health benefits, LACOE, Lennox School District, salary, transfers | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

2019 LTA Spring Elections – Announcement of Winners

Ballots have been cast and results tallied for the 2019 LTA Spring Election.  Congratulations to all those who have been elected/re-elected to represent our fantastic Lennox teachers on the LTA Representative Council and our Executive Board!  And many thanks to our Elections Chair, Kylie Liu, and the whole Elections Committee for their dedication and quick work.

Executive Board

Secretary

  • Cecilia Palma-Santos (re-elected)

Treasurer

  • Issa Hernandez (re-elected)

Site Representatives

Buford (2 positions)

  • no declared candidates; write-in candidates will be contacted, beginning with those who received the most write-in votes

Felton (2 positions)

  • Maria Euyoque (re-elected)
  • Natalie Reyes (re-elected)

Huerta (2 positions)

  • no declared candidates; write-in candidates will be contacted, beginning with those who received the most write-in votes

Jefferson (2 positions)

  • no declared candidates; write-in candidates will be contacted, beginning with those who received the most write-in votes

Moffett (2 positions)

  • Mary Colburn (elected)
  • write-in candidates for the second position will be contacted, beginning with those who received the most write-in votes

LMS (4 positions)

  • John Chaffey (re-elected)
  • Issa Hernandez (elected)
  • Maria Saldaña (re-elected)
  • Monica Velasco (re-elected)

SpEd Preschool (1 position)

  • no declared candidates; write-in candidates will be contacted, beginning with those who received the most write-in votes

TOSAs (1 position)

  • Marvelyn Garcia (elected)

CTA State Council

In addition to our local LTA election, our president, Priscila Avila, has been elected by teachers in 5 school districts/associations to represent Lennox, Lawndale, El Segundo, Hermosa Beach and Ocean Charter School on the CTA State Council.  Congratulations, President Avila!

Posted in Buford, CTA, EBoard, Felton, Huerta, Jefferson, Lawndale, Lennox, LMS, Moffett, preschool, Rep Council, State Council, TOSAs | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Open Letter to the Board of Trustees of the Lennox School District and the Lennox Community

April 17, 2019

As our schools, district and community continue to reel from the shock of the sudden resignation and departure of our (former) superintendent, Kent Taylor, we now look to the Board of Trustees for leadership.  It will ultimately fall to the five members of the Board of Trustees to select a new superintendent for the Lennox School District, and this will undoubtedly be a difficult decision, maybe one of the most difficult – but also most important – decisions each of you will make while serving as a Trustee.  This will be our 5th superintendent in less than 9 years, and whoever is selected must bring stability, wisdom and experience to our district.

As you all know, Lennox is a unique community and we have unique needs.  We all feel urgency in filling the superintendent position so we can continue the important work of educating our students, but I also want to urge the Board not to rush this process.  Please, take your time.  Advertise the position widely and consider many different candidates from many different backgrounds.  Seek stakeholder input to find out what parents, teachers and other district employees hope for in our next superintendent, and allow stakeholders (or at least stakeholder representatives) to be part of the screening and interview process and to go on site visits to talk candidly with people who know and have worked with finalists.

On this point, let me be absolutely clear.  As President of the Lennox Teachers Association, representing the dedicated educators who work to do what’s right and what’s best for our students and community every single day, and as an ally and an advocate for our parents who are our partners in education, I must insist that parents, teachers and other district employees be involved in the process of selecting our next superintendent. If he or she is to be welcomed by these different constituencies and seen as the legitimate leader who will guide us into the next decade, stakeholders must have a significant role to play in this process.

Out of change comes opportunity and out of adversity grows unity. Let’s take this next step together and find Lennox the superintendent our students deserve.

Sincerely,
Priscilla Avila
President, Lennox Teachers Association

Posted in District Office, Lennox School District, School Board, superintendent | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

2019 LTA Spring Elections – Announcement of Candidates

List of Declared Candidates for 2019 LTA Spring Elections to be held May 9-10, 2019

 

Executive Board:

Secretary (1 position)

  • Cecilia Palma-Santos

Treasurer (1 position)

  • Issa Hernandez

 

Site Representatives:

SpEd Preschool (1 position)

  • (no candidates)

Buford (2 positions)

  • (no candidates)

Felton (2 positions)

  • Maria Euyoque
  • Natalie Reyes

Huerta (2 positions)

  • (no candidates)

Jefferson (2 positions)

  • (no candidates)

Moffett (2 positions)

  • Mary Colburn

LMS (4 positions)

  • John Chaffey
  • Issa Hernandez
  • Maria Saldaña
  • Monica Velasco

TOSA (1 position)

  • Marvelyn Garcia
Posted in Buford, EBoard, elections, Felton, Huerta, Jefferson, LMS, Moffett, preschool, Rep Council, TOSAs | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

2019 LTA Scholarships

The Lennox Teachers Association is pleased to announce two scholarship opportunities for Lennox students!

The LTA Mary Davis Scholarship
• Named for long-time School Board trustee and child advocate, Mary Davis.
• Four $100.00 scholarships to purchase books for summer reading and high school.
• Open to all 8th graders attending Lennox Middle School.
• Award recipients will be notified in June 2019 and awards will be presented at the Lennox Middle School end-of-the-year award ceremony.

application

flyer

The LTA College/University School Scholarship
• Two $1,000.00 scholarships to help with college/university expenses.
• Open to all high school seniors who graduated from Lennox Middle School and are currently living within the Lennox School District boundaries (regardless of legal citizenship/residency status).
• Students must be in good academic standing and must be enrolled in a college/university by the Fall of 2019.
• Criteria for selecting award candidates will include academic and leadership achievements.
• Award recipients will be notified by mid-May 2019 and awards will be presented at recipients’ high school end-of-the-year award ceremonies.

application

flyer

All applications are due Saturday, May 4, 2019, mailed to:

LTA Scholarship Committee
Lennox Teachers Association
P.O. Box 2231
Hawthorne, CA 90251

Application received after the deadline WILL NOT be accepted.

Attached are the applications for each scholarship, as well as flyers you can post to help publicize the scholarships.  Please help spread the word and encourage eligible Lennox students to apply!

Lennox Teachers Association
Supporting Teachers, Supporting Students

Posted in Animo, CVUSD, Dreamers, Hawthorne, Inglewood, Lawndale, LMS, scholarships, Wiseburn | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment