On Wednesday, November 28, the 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), Kevin Franklin (Fiscal Services), Lissett Pichardo (LMS principal) and Steve Andelson (attorney). This was the second meeting between the two teams this bargaining cycle.
The meeting began with a review of the district’s three proposals – prorating starting sick days for teachers who begin working after the start of the year, moving the deadline to notify teachers of evaluation from the end of the 2nd week to the end of the 3rd week, and changing the requirement that classroom air filters be changed 4x per year to 2x per year using higher quality air filters. The LTA Bargaining Team said they would need to see the technical specifications of the new air filters (vs. the old air filters) before even considering a change to the air filter change schedule, and also pointed out that it’s not just air filters, that the vents and air conditioner housing need to be cleaned regularly as well.
Next, the LTA Bargaining Team informed the district that – based on feedback from the membership – LTA has an interest in continuing all four current MOUs (improved health benefits, paid voluntary PD opportunities, elementary and middle school planning time, and class sizes) with a few revisions, as well as achieving a fair, reasonable and sustainable salary increase for our members. Given that there wouldn’t be any updated information on the district’s budget until the 1st Interim Report is published in mid-December, the two teams agreed to review the MOUs and the aspects LTA proposed modifying.
MOU #1 – Health Benefits
- Maintain the current MOU language as-is for an additional 3 years (i.e., district would continue to offer one Employee + 1 plan 100% district-paid and would continue to contribute that same $ amount to all other plans).
MOU #2 – Paid Voluntary PD
- LTA Instruction and Professional Development Committee (IPD) should give input on what professional development is needed and what topics would benefit teachers most.
- Otherwise, maintain the current MOU language (i.e., 4 paid voluntary PD opportunities, 2 in summer and 2 on Saturdays in fall/winter; 3 hours PD, 3 hours planning time; paid at $350 each) for an additional 3 years.
MOU #3 – Planning Time, Elementary and Middle School
- Move planning time, both elementary and middle school, to the Contract as permanent language.
- Add language guaranteeing SpEd preschool teachers the same amount of planning time as kindergarten teachers.
- Otherwise, maintain the current MOU language (i.e., at elementary, 75% of planning time would continue to be teacher-directed and no more than 25% can be principal-directed, and at LMS, teachers would continue to have a daily [or once-per-cycle if on block schedule] planning period).
MOU #4 – Class Sizes
- This MOU is the most complicated and needs (from LTA’s perspective) the most revision.
- No specific proposals were made, although the LTA Bargaining Team discussed its concerns regarding class sizes and the current MOU language with the district’s team:
- The base class-size ratios (20:1 in TK-1, 24:1 in 2-3, 27:1 in 4-5, and 29:1 in 6-8) are okay.
- The district may need some flexibility regarding grade-span averages, but the current maximum class sizes (+4 if the grade-span average exceeds the grade-level class-size target) are too high.
- The current over-enrollment stipend system seems to encourage the district to maximize enrollments from Day 1 rather than leaving space to grow as new students enroll throughout the year.
- Apart from negotiations, the LTA/LSD Class-Size Committee has been meeting on specific issues that impact class sizes (the impact of the dual language program on non-DL class sizes, and the impact of increased inclusion of students with IEPs in GenEd classes at elementary and middle school). This committee will make recommendations to the two bargaining teams, who will consider those recommendations when revising the Class Size MOU.
As always, the 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 is tight and we continue to applaud the district’s cost-cutting measures to grow the reserves and make funds available for programs and initiatives that have a direct impact on teaching and learning. We believe the bargaining process can, with continued member support and participation, result in achieving the result teachers want and students need.
The two teams have scheduled their next bargaining session for Thursday, December 13.