• Category Archives state budget
  • 2017-2018 Bargaining Update #2

    The 2017-2018 negotiations cycle continues! On Wednesday, June 14, the LTA Bargaining Team, led by veteran negotiator Lisa Rubio (Huerta) and including Jim Nadler (LMS), Gary Moore (LMS), Justin Catalán (TOSA) and Andrew Staiano (CTA staff), met with the LSD team, made up of Hiacynth Martinez (Personnel), Kevin Franklin (Fiscal Services), Eddie Garcia (Pupil Services), Lissett Pichardo (LMS principal) and Steve Andelson (attorney). This was the first meeting between the two teams this cycle. The LTA Bargaining Team presented specific language proposals that we feel will greatly improve the learning conditions of students and the work conditions of teachers.

    LTA Initial Proposal Highlights:

    ARTICLE 6: COMPENSATION & BENEFITS

    • No proposal on salary yet due to continuing developments in the state budget.
    • Establish a fixed enrollment window for benefits open enrollment ending Sept 15 of each year.
    • Add “dependents” to retiree benefits eligibility.

    ARTICLE 8: ASSIGNMENTS & TRANSFERS

    • Clean up and clarify assignment and transfer definitions.
    • Clean up and clarify processes for voluntary, principal-initiated, and superintendent-initiated transfers.
    • Increase release time given to teachers for room changes, assignment changes, and transfers, adding one additional day to each scenario, and permitting (by mutual agreement with principal) paid overtime rather than release time.
    • Eliminate “under most circumstances” from language pertaining to flying TOSA and certificated administrator vacancies, requiring the district to fly all such openings.

    ARTICLE 9: CLASS SIZE

    • Include students with IEPs in the class-size calculations of their general education teachers to prevent bloated classes when students with IEPs “mainstream.”
    • Clarify that special education classes, intervention classes and other classes with artificially low class sizes should not be used when calculating the overall class-size average for LMS.
    • Calculate the class-size averages of DL and non-DL classes separately, and require that classes in both programs meet contractual and MOU class-size averages, to avoid inter-program disparities and unequal educational environments for students.

    ARTICLE 11: EVALUATION

    • Change the frequency of evaluation for permanent teachers with 10+ years of experience and prior satisfactory evaluations from up to every three years to up to every five years.

    Additionally, the LTA Bargaining Team suggested forming a joint exploratory committee to review the district’s new special programs (the School of Engineering, the School of Dentistry, the Lennox Virtual Academy, etc.), and explore their contractual implications.

    The district team also reviewed their proposal (but did not present specific language).

    LSD Proposal Highlights:

    ARTICLE 6: COMPENSATION & BENEFITS

    • No proposal on salary due to continuing developments in the state budget.
    • Clarify that the number of days in a work year (used to calculate the 75% of a work year required to advance on the salary schedule) should be all work days [183] as opposed to instructional days [180]; i.e., that unit members must work 137.25 or more days, not 135, in order to advance on the salary schedule.
    • Amend and update Appendix B: Relative Position Salary Guarantee.

    ARTICLE 7: WORK YEAR & HOURS OF EMPLOYMENT

    • Modify language to specifically permit voluntary after-school meetings on Fridays.
    • Establish contractual SpEd preschool and TK dismissal times.

    ARTICLE 8: ASSIGNMENTS & TRANSFERS

    • Eliminate the contractual requirement to fly TOSA and certificated administrator vacancies.

    ARTICLE 17: PRIOR WRITTEN APPROVAL FOR COURSEWORK

    • Clean up and clarify language describing unit member responsibility to obtain prior approval for coursework; eliminate provisions for retroactive salary increases when prior approval was not obtained.

    State Budget

    In other news, the state budget continues to evolve. We’ve made great progress in the last few years and are WAY ahead of the projections on LCFF funding and closing the gap between where we were in 2013-2014 and the targets for 2020-2021. At this point, we’re at about 87% of “full funding” from the state. Original budget estimates were that we’d close 73% of the remaining gap next year, but then, in the Governor’s January Budget, the gap closure dropped to 24% – still an increase in funding compared to this year, but not much. COLA was estimated at 1.48%. Then, in the May Revise, the gap closure went back up to 44% and COLA was adjusted to 1.56%. The Governor also proposed over $1 billion dollars in one-time monies for school districts for professional development, new teacher induction, instructional materials, and technology. The only catch was that it wouldn’t be paid out until May 2019. 2019! So… basically useless for long-term planning because who knows what could happen to that money before it actually gets sent to school districts. However, just last night, as details about the final state budget were becoming clear, it started looking like the pay-out date for that billion dollars will be moved up to 2018. Great news, if it happens. The State Legislature will vote on the final budget Thursday, and then our Bargaining Team can begin to analyze the approved state budget and its impact on Lennox. Once they have a better idea of what the district’s 2017-2018 budget will be, they can determine how much of a salary increase would be fair to teachers, balanced with the needs of students, and sustainable by the district. They will strive for as much of a raise as possible, but, in the interest of managing expectations, remember that even with a good state budget, the growth we’ve seen over the last few years is slowing down and salary gains will probably be modest this time around.

    Regardless of what the state budget looks like, the LTA Bargaining Team is committed to improving the learning environment for students and the working conditions for teachers in Lennox. We believe the proposals we’ve made will help meet the needs of teachers and assist the district to better meet the needs of all students. The two teams have scheduled their next bargaining session for Tuesday, August 15, just before we return to school. As is always the case, it is our desire to reach an agreement as soon as possible, but not at the expense of achieving important goals that will benefit our students, help our members, and be consistent with the priorities of the Lennox community.

    download Bargaining Update #2

    download LTA Intitial Proposal (6-14-17)

    download LSD Sunshine

     


  • 2017-2018 Bargaining Update #1

    The 2017-2018 negotiations cycle has begun! Your LTA Bargaining Team will again be led by veteran negotiator Lisa Rubio (Huerta) and includes Justin Catalán (TOSA), Gary Moore (LMS), Jim Nadler (LMS) and Andrew Staiano (CTA staff). The LSD team will include Hiacynth Martinez (Personnel), Kevin Franklin (Fiscal Services), Polo Marquez (Felton AP) and Steve Andelson (attorney).

    Your LTA Bargaining Team sunshined the contract articles we will be opening this year at the February 28th School Board meeting, and the public hearing on our sunshine will be held on March 14th. We hope the district will sunshine the contract articles they wish to open at that time as well.

    LTA Sunshine Articles:

    ARTICLE 6: COMPENSATION & BENEFITS

    ARTICLE 8: ASSIGNMENTS & TRANSFERS

    ARTICLE 9: CLASS SIZE

    ARTICLE 11: EVALUATION

    download the full LTA Sunshine

    As is the case every year, one of the Bargaining Team’s top priorities will be to secure a fair and reasonable increase in our salaries. They will analyze the district’s budget with the help of CTA staff, and will strive for as much of a raise as possible. That being said, in the interest of managing expectations, please be aware that the increases in the district’s budget we’ve seen over the last few years – which have allowed us to achieve raises totaling 11% over the last 3 years – are slowing down. The budget isn’t shrinking (we fought too hard to pass Prop 55 to let that happen!), but it’s not growing much either. Right now the Governor is projecting a COLA (cost of living adjustment) of only 1.48%, and among other costs, the district will have to contribute an additional 2% to our STRS retirement plans next year. You can probably do the math on that and predict what the district is going to propose. We are hoping for stronger budget growth when the Governor presents the May Revise to the state budget (in May), but prepare yourself for the possibility that salary gains will be more modest this time around.

    Your LTA Bargaining Team is committed to improving the learning environment for students and the working conditions for teachers in Lennox. We believe the proposals we will make this year will help meet the needs of teachers and assist the district to better meet the needs of all students. As is always the case, it is our desire to reach an agreement as soon as possible, but not at the expense of achieving important goals that will benefit our students, help our members, and be consistent with the priorities of the Lennox community.

    download LTA Bargaining Update #1


  • 2016-2017 Bargaining Update #1

    The LTA Bargaining Team this year is led by Lisa Rubio (Huerta) and includes Sigrid Caballero (SpEd preschool), Justin Catalán (Moffett), Jim Nadler (LMS) and Andrew Staiano (CTA staff). The LSD team includes Hiacynth Martinez (Personnel), Kevin Franklin (Fiscal Services) and Steve Andelson (attorney).

    On April 26th, the LTA Bargaining Team sunshined the contract articles it will be opening this year, and the required public hearing on the sunshine was held on May 24th. On May 24th, the district also sunshined the contract articles they will be opening, and their public hearing will be held at the School Board meeting on June 14th.

    As you may have noticed, the bargaining process has moved more slowly this year than in recent years. This is primarily because the School Board canceled Board meetings in March, April and May, which delayed the sunshine/public hearing process for both LTA and the district. Fortunately, all of our MOUs with the district are for both the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 school years, so current language about class sizes, planning time, and summer PD will be in effect for one more year. Additionally, negotiating salary and benefits in the fall may work to our advantage because there are a number of uncertainties right now regarding the state budget. School Services of California (the company most school districts look to for budgetary forecasts) has warned of a possible financial downturn, as well as questions about the continuation of Prop 30, and has advised school districts to bargain conservatively. Once the final state budget is passed in June, and we have a better idea about the likelihood of the Children’s Education and Healthcare Protection Act (the successor to Prop 30) passing, we may be in a more favorable bargaining environment.

    LTA Sunshine Articles:

    • ARTICLE 6: COMPENSATION & BENEFITS
    • ARTICLE 7: WORK YEAR & HOURS OF EMPLOYMENT
    • ARTICLE 9: CLASS SIZE
    • ARTICLE 21: SPECIAL EDUCATION

    download the full LTA Sunshine

    District Sunshine Articles:

    • ARTICLE 6: COMPENSATION & BENEFITS
    • ARTICLE 10: LEAVE PROVISIONS
    • ARTICLE 18: SCHOOL LEADERSHIP
    • ARTICLE 25: TERM
    • The district has also proposed eliminating ARTICLE 14: PEER ASSISTANCE AND REVIEW PROGRAM and ARTICLE 15: STAFF DEVELOPMENT BUY BACK DAYS because the state no longer funds these programs.

    download the full LSD Sunshine

    The LTA Bargaining 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 as soon as possible, 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.

    download this Bargaining Update #1


  • Get Out The Vote!

    Greeting Everyone-

    I’m writing to nag you one more time.  WE NEED VOLUNTEERS ON SATURDAY, SUNDAY, MONDAY and TUESDAY.

    Volunteering Flyer

    Prop 30 is going to be unbelievably close.  The good news is that, based on CTA’s latest tracking polls, it’s moving towards 50%.  The bad news is we’re not there yet and there are only a few days to go.  Our Prop 32 effort is holding its own, but it is still closer than we would like.  UNLESS WE ALL WORK ON GETTING OUT THE VOTE THIS WEEKEND, NOVEMBER 8 COULD BE A DAY OF TERRIBLE REGRET.

    For this reason and more, I am asking for 8 volunteers for each of the GOTV dates leading up to the election – Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.  That’s only 1 per school per day.  You can call or walk, but we need volunteers working to GOTV (Get Out The Vote).  If we can get more than 8 each day, that would be great, but LTA’s share of the effort is 8.  CTA has to plan and allocate the volunteers where they will be most effective, so I need to know the names of the volunteers by THIS THURSDAY at about 5pm.  It’s more of a “thank you” than an incentive to volunteer, but if you do volunteer for 3 or more hours, you will be entered in a drawing to win one of two iPad minis.  But don’t volunteer for the iPads, volunteer because it’s the right thing to do, and because none of us wants to wake up next Wednesday morning asking ourselves if we could have done more.

    Volunteering Flyer

    The Lennox School District could lose $3 MILLION if Prop 30 doesn’t pass, opening up the possibility of 15 additional furlough days next year (on top of the 5 we have already have – that would be an 11% salary cut on furloughs alone!), plus changes to our benefits and even deeper RIFs than last year.

    Please let me know by THIS THURSDAY AT 5PM if you are able to volunteer.

    So, please folks, we need you one last time.  We cannot let this election slip through our fingers!

    Thanks for everything,
    Brian Guerrero
    President, Lennox Teachers Association