Tentative Agreement Reached
On Monday, May 7, after 8 meetings and almost a year of negotiations, the LTA Bargaining Team, led by veteran negotiator Lisa Rubio (Huerta) and including Priscilla Avila (Moffett), Justin Catalan (TOSA), Gary Moore (LMS), Jim Nadler (LMS) and Andrew Staiano (CTA staff), reached a Tentative Agreement 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 Tentative Agreement includes several significant gains for teachers – additional release time for many classroom and assignment changes, evaluations up to every 4 years for veteran teachers, clarification of the course approval process for salary advancement, etc. It also creates a committee made up of both teachers and administrators to continue looking for solutions to class size issues resulting from the greater inclusion of students with special needs in general ed classrooms as well as imbalances between class sizes in dual-language and structured-English-immersion classes. With regard to salary, the Tentative Agreement also secures for teachers what is effectively a 2.5% salary increase for 2017-2018 (to be paid in July, retroactively to July 1, 2017) and a 1% on-going permanent salary increase. It’s not a huge raise, and we recognize that some of you will be disappointed, but after much analysis of the district’s budget, the LTA Bargaining Team felt that this was as much as the district would be able to agree to. As we’ve said before, this year’s negotiations were much more about accounting than they were about organizing. The district tends to spend most of the money it receives from the state each year and not hold back large amounts in reserve, and this year’s LCFF increase was the smallest we’ve seen in 5 years (it was still and increase, just a very small one). How much we can get for salary increases through bargaining and negotiations is very closely tied to how much “new money” the district brings in each year (see the attached table). Overall, it’s a good package of contract language improvements and a small but reasonable salary increase given the budget.
Now that the two teams have reached a Tentative Agreement, the next step is for teachers and the School Board to review the TA and approve it (the county office of education will also have to review the TA and confirm that it’s sustainable and won’t cause the district any future financial hardship, a process called an “AB1200 review”). Your LTA Bargaining Team will hold an information meeting next week to answer member questions about the Tentative Agreement and provide insight into the negotiations process:
Tentative Agreement Info Session
Monday, May 14, 3:30 PM – LMS Library
Voting to ratify the TA will begin at Monday’s information meeting at LMS, and will then continue at school sites through Wednesday, May 16 in the afternoon. Votes will be counted and results announced Wednesday night.
Summary of the May 7, 2018 Tentative Agreement
ARTICLE 3: ASSOCIATION RIGHTS
- District will provide all newly hired teachers with a 1/2-day new employee orientation within the first month of school, of which, 1 hour will be reserved for LTA to meet with the new bargaining unit members; district will also inform LTA of all new certificated hires during the year so the Association can reach out to new bargaining unit members.
- District will provide LTA with new teacher contact information within 30 days of hiring.
ARTICLE 6: COMPENSATION & BENEFITS
- Increase salaries by 1% permanently, retroactive to July 1, 2017, with retro checks for the 2017-2018 school year to be paid no later than July 20, 2018; all teachers employed by the district as of June 21, 2018 will also receive an additional one-time payment equal to 1.5% of their current salary, also to be paid no later than July 20, 2018.
- Establish a consistent benefits open-enrollment window, ending August 25 of each year.
- Update language regarding what activities qualify for work-year credit [Appendix A] and which districts will be used for relative salary comparisons [Appendix B].
ARTICLE 8: ASSIGNMENTS & TRANSFERS
- Teachers will be notified of the next year’s assignment 6 days prior to the last day of school (rather than 5 days prior).
- Teachers who request and are granted voluntary transfers that take effect during the school year shall receive 1 day of release time to pack and unpack (previously 0 days); teachers who are subject to involuntary transfers shall receive 2 days of release time to pack and unpack (previously 1 day).
- Teachers subject to room changes during the school year shall receive 5 days’ notice and 2 days of release time to pack and unpack (previously 1 day); teachers subject to assignment changes (but not room changes) during the school year shall receive 5 days’ notice and 1 day of release time to prepare (previously 0 days).
- LTA withdraws proposal requiring district to fly all TOSA and certificated management vacancies, and district withdraws proposal to eliminate the requirement to fly any TOSA and certificated management vacancies; current language requiring the district to fly TOSA and certificated management vacancies “under most circumstances” will remain.
ARTICLE 9: CLASS SIZE
- MOU forming a committee composed of 5 teachers and 5 administrators to address class-size issues and impacts resulting from the greater inclusion of students with special needs in general ed classrooms as well as imbalances between class sizes in dual language and structured English immersion classes. The committee will make recommendations to the LTA and district bargaining teams by December 1, 2018.
ARTICLE 10: LEAVE PROVISIONS
- Update parental leave language to be consistent with current CA EdCode (section 44977.5).
ARTICLE 11: EVALUATION
- Teachers who have been with the district for 10 or more years and whose previous evaluation was satisfactory or better may, by mutual agreement between the teacher and principal, be evaluated every 4 years (rather than the current “every 3 years”).
ARTICLE 17: PRIOR WRITTEN APPROVAL FOR COURSEWORK
- Approval of Course Work forms must be submitted for approval 14 calendar days before courses begin, and transcripts must be submitted within 3 weeks of course completion. In cases where transcripts are not submitted on time, advancement on the salary schedule shall not take place until the beginning of the school year following submission of transcripts, and no salary scale advancement credit will be granted for courses that did not receive prior approval.
- Continuing education credits offered at district-approved conferences shall be automatically eligible for salary scale advancement credit without additional prior approval.
In the current environment, salary and contract negotiations have become almost a constant, on-going process. The state budget and LCFF allocations look good for next year, better than they were this year. Almost immediately after we finalize this Tentative Agreement and the School Board approves it, the LTA Bargaining Team will sunshine their proposals for further salary increases for the 2018-2019 school year, and as soon as that’s done, we’ll begin working on successor agreements to the 2016-2019 MOUs on class sizes, elementary PE and planning time, the LMS planning period, voluntary PD and planning days, and maintaining increased district contributions to our health benefits. As always, teacher input, participation and support are appreciated and necessary for us to continue to enjoy the successes we’ve achieved over the last few years. On behalf of the LTA Bargaining Team and the whole LTA leadership team, thank you.