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

 

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