• Tag Archives bargaining
  • 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


  • We Have A Tentative Agreement!

    download Bargaining Update #5

     

    Your LTA Bargaining Team – led by Lisa Rubio (Huerta), with Justin Catalán (Moffett), Gary Moore (LMS), Jim Nadler (LMS) and Andrew Staiano (CTA) – has reached a Tentative Agreement with the district.

    Tentative Agreement Highlights

    ARTICLE 6: COMPENSATION & BENEFITS

    • Increases salaries by 2% permanently, retroactive to July 1, 2016, for a total salary increase of 11% over the last 3 years.
    • Increases extra-duty hourly pay rate to $40/hr.
    • Three-year MOU changing the fully district-paid health plan to the lowest cost employee + 1 plan (currently Kaiser Base), and applies that same dollar amount to all other plans, until June 2019.

    for 2016-2017

    Plan Coverage Total

    Cost

    District

    Contribution

    Employee

    Contribution

    Kaiser Base (Tier I) Employee $492.07 $492.07 $0.00
    Employee + 1 $984.14 $984.14 $0.00 < 2016-2019 MOU “reference plan”
    Family $1,392.56 $984.14 $408.42
    Kaiser Plus (Tier II) Employee $547.11 $547.11 $0.00
    Employee + 1 $1,176.30 $984.14 $192.16
    Family $1,613.99 $984.14 $629.85
    Health Net Base (Tier I) Employee $611.22 $611.22 $0.00
    Employee + 1 $1,314.13 $984.14 $329.99
    Family 1,803.12 $984.14 $818.98
    Health Net – EOA (Tier II) Employee $655.56 $655.56 $0.00
    Employee + 1 $1,409.44 $984.14 $425.30
    Family $1,933.90 $984.14 $949.76
    Health Net – PPO Employee $1,416.82 $984.14 $432.68
    Employee + 1 $3,046.33 $984.14 $2,062.19
    Family $4,159.67 $984.14 $3,175.53

    ARTICLE 7: WORK YEAR & HOURS OF EMPLOYMENT

    • For 2017-2018 and 2018-2019, district will offer 2 voluntary PD/planning days before school starts in August, paid at $350 per day, with at least 3 hours for individual planning time, and 2 voluntary PD/planning days during the school year, paid at $350 per day, with at least 1½ hours per day for individual planning time. [MOU]
    • For 2017-2018 and 2018-2019, maintains at least 75% of preschool/elementary PE time for teacher-directed planning and collaboration (the LCAP currently calls for 2 PEs/week, so 75% = approx. 6 out of 8 PEs/month). [MOU]
    • For 2017-2018 and 2018-2019, maintains 1 period of planning time for middle school teachers. [MOU]
    • Clarifies and reorganizes some existing language defining the teacher work day, student dismissal times, minimum days, and super minimum days.
    • Rejects district proposal allowing staff meetings to end at 4 pm.

    ARTICLE 9: CLASS SIZE

    • For 2017-2018 and 2018-2019, maintain the following grade-span student-teacher ratios [MOU]:
      • TK-1      20:1                                                    o   4-5                       27:1
      • 2-3      24:1                                                    o   6-8                       29:1
    • Includes “overage stipend” compensating teachers whose grade-span and individual class-sizes exceed the averages above ($100 each for 1st and 2nd students over and $200 each for 3rd and 4th students over).

    ARTICLE 10: LEAVE PROVISIONS

    • Accepts district-proposed language updating maternity leave and family leave to reflect changes in state and federal statutes.

    ARTICLE 14: PEER ASSISTANCE AND REVIEW PROGRAM

    • Eliminates language on state-funded PAR program.

    ARTICLE 15: STAFF DEVELOPMENT BUY-BACK DAYS

    • Eliminates language on state-funded buy-back days.

    ARTICLE 18: SCHOOL LEADERSHIP

    • Accepts district proposal to schedule SLT meetings after school, removes “staffing priorities” from the SLT purview, and rephrases “consensus” language; rejects district proposal to eliminate “student discipline policies and school safety” from SLT purview.

    ARTICLE 25: TERM

    • Postpones opening full contract for renegotiation until 2019-2020 school year, reopening 3 articles plus compensation in 2017-2018 and 2018-2019.

    If anyone has any questions, the Bargaining Team will conduct two question-and-answer sessions, one Thursday, September 22, after school in the LMS library, and one Monday, September 26, after school in the Jefferson cafeteria; all unit members are welcome to attend either meeting.

    The ratification vote on the Tentative Agreement will take place at school sites on Monday, September 26, and Tuesday, September 27, at lunch and after school. Once approved by the LTA membership, the Tentative Agreement should go to the School Board for approval on October 7, and once approved by the School Board, the new payscale could be implemented as soon as our second paycheck in October. Teachers will receive a separate retro check for the difference between the old payscale and the new payscale for the time they have already worked this school year. Benefits deductions will be adjusted going forward, and anyone who has effectively “overpayed” because the cost of their selected plan has gone down will have those overpayments credited toward future payments this year (and if the cost of your plan has dropped to zero, you will receive a refund). Unfortunately, it is too late to change plans this year, but you will be able to change plans next year if you want to take advantage of the lower rates for the employee + 1 and family plans for the duration of the MOU.

    Thank you to the LTA Bargaining Team for all your hard work on our behalf.

     

    download the LSD 9/20/16 AM counterproposal

    download the LTA 9/20/16 AM counterproposal

    download the LSD 9/20/16 PM counterproposal

    download the LTA 9/20/16 PM counterproposal

    download the final LSD/LTA tentative agreement


  • Bargaining Update #4 – 8/29/16

    NO CHANGE IN HEALTH BENEFITS

    Your LTA Bargaining Team – led by Lisa Rubio (Huerta) and made up of Justin Catalán (Moffett), Gary Moore (LMS), Jim Nadler (LMS) and Andrew Staiano (CTA staff) – met with the district bargaining team today. The district team consists of Dr. Hiacynth Martinez (Chief Personnel Officer), Kevin Franklin (Chief Financial Officer), Polo Marquez (Felton VP) and Steve Andelson (attorney).

    Based on conversations with members and the results of the most recent bargaining survey, one of LTA’s main objectives today was to reach an understanding with the district aboutpermanentlylowering the cost of health benefits. Because the open enrollment window closed Friday, we knew we had a very limited window of opportunity to come to an agreement lowering the cost of benefits and giving members an opportunity to make changes to their plan choices. We offered to accept the district’s estimate of the cost of LTA’s benefits proposal as equal to a 1% increase in salary, and to reduce our salary proposal from 5% to 4%. The district rejected this offer, instead proposing to instate LTA’s benefits proposalfor one year only,and to increase salary by a mere 0.5% for one year,off the salary schedule. The district resisted all efforts to decouple the discussion of health benefits and salary, and insisted that any agreement today include both benefits and final salary increase amounts. Despite close analysis of the district’s cost estimates demonstrating that more money is available, the district held firm to its proposal of one year of health benefits, a one-time 0.5% “bonus,” and no permanent salary increase. As much as your LTA Bargaining Team wanted to reach an agreement on benefits today, a one-year respite in health benefit costs coupled with a meager – and temporary – increase to salary is both unacceptable and insulting. We simply could not agree to that. So, sorry folks, it looks like there will be no improvement in health benefits this year.

    In regard to other proposals, the districtrejected:

    • stipends for combo classes and middle school teachers with 3 or more preps,
    • increasing the work year by 7 pupil-free days, stating that there are no plans for professional development beyond June 2017 when the current PD MOU expires,
    • continuing elementary PE/planning and the LMS planning period beyond the expiration of the current planning time MOU in June 2017,
    • creating permanent super minimum days for scoring,
    • maintaining lower class sizes once the current class-size MOU expires in June 2017, and
    • lowering special ed case loads.

    The district alsomaintainedtheir proposals to:

    • allow principals to extend Wednesday meetings until 4 pm to address unspecified “unforeseen circumstances requiring immediate attention,”
    • limit the scope of teacher participation in school decision-making via School Leadership Teams, and finally,
    • delay reopening the entire contract for renegotiation until 2019, two years later than the contract currently stipulates.

    Clearly this has been a disappointing day, particularly with regard to the district’s shortsightedness on important issues like health benefits, professional development, planning time and class sizes. It is also clear we will need to step up our efforts to educate the district, school board and community on the importance of these issues and the ways that they benefit not only teachers, but students as well. The district’s compulsive focus on the cost of these programs, rather than their benefit to students and teachers, has convinced us that some of these issues will be better dealt with during the next bargaining cycle. We, therefore, made the difficult but strategic decision to postpone further discussion about elementary PE/planning, the LMS planning period, and lower class sizes until early 2017.

    Our final proposal of the day:

    • offered to drop demands for an increase in health benefits in exchange for a full 5% permanent salary increase (if we can’t save people money on benefits, we can at least make up some of the difference in salary),
    • maintained demands for stipends for combo classes and middle school teachers with 3 or more preps, and a $40/hour teacher hourly rate,
    • proposed increasing the the work year by 5 pupil-free days (which would result in a 2.7% working raise),
    • rejected the district’s vague proposal for meetings until 4 pm,
    • maintained proposals lowering special ed case loads.

    Be on the lookout for communications from the Organizing Team in the next few weeks on how you can help support our continuing bargaining efforts.

    The two teams are scheduled to meet again September 20 and October 13.

    download the full text of LTA’s morning proposal

    download the full text of the district’s proposal

    download the full text of LTA’s afternoon proposal

    download Bargaining Update #4


  • Bargaining Update #3 – 8/2/16

    Your LTA Bargaining Team – led by Lisa Rubio (Huerta) and made up of Justin Catalán (Moffett), Jim Nadler (LMS) and Andrew Staiano (CTA staff) – met with the district bargaining team during summer to hear the district’s initial bargaining proposals and responses to LTA’s proposals from June. The district team consists of Dr. Hiacynth Martinez (Chief Personnel Officer), Kevin Franklin (Chief Financial Officer), Polo Marquez (Felton VP) and Steve Andelson (attorney).

    District Proposal Highlights:

    ARTICLE 6: COMPENSATION & BENEFITS

    • District made no specific salary or benefits proposals/counterproposals, but provided their estimates of the cost of various LTA proposals:
      • 5% salary increase = $1,685,000
      • Increase teacher hourly rate to $40/hour = $108,000
      • LTA benefits proposal,i.e., district fully pays the lowest costemployee + 1plan, and applies that same $ amount to all other plans = $375,000
      • $2,000 stipends for combo classes at elementary and 3-or-more preps at LMS = $70,000

    ARTICLE 7: WORK YEAR & HOURS OF EMPLOYMENT

    • District made no specific counterproposals to LTA’s proposal to add 7 pupil-free days paid at theper diemrate to the teacher work calendar (3 summer PD/prep days, 1 PD/planning day per trimester, make spring parent conference day a pupil-free day rather a super minimum day); district estimated the cost of 7 pupil-freeper diemdays at $1,075,000/year. Significantly, district made no proposals about what to do when the current MOU creating 3 voluntary summer PD/planning days and 3 voluntary mid-year Saturday PD/planning days expires at the end of the 2016-2017 school year (the current MOU, btw, cost the district about $522,000/year).
    • District accepted (in principle) LTA proposed clean-up to Articles 7.4, 7.4.1, 7.5, 7.6.1, and 7.6.2, clarifying and better defining student dismissal times and minimum days.
    • District rejected LTA proposal to dismiss LMS students at 1:38 pm on Wednesdays (when elementary schools do). Rather, district counter-proposed giving principals at all schools the authority to extend the teacher workday to 4:00 pm on Wednesdays, as needed, to “address unforeseeable issues that require immediate attention.”
    • District rejected LTA proposal to a) make elementary PE/planning time permanent, and b) make 100% of PE days teacher-directed; district also rejected LTA proposal to make LMS planning period permanent. In both cases, district cited the cost of the programs (estimated by the district at $2,050,000/year… although, those costsarealready part of the current budget…).
    • District rejected LTA proposal to add 3 super minimum days for scoring to the contract.
    • District rejected LTA proposal to eliminate morning yard duty.

    ARTICLE 9: CLASS SIZE

    • District made no specific counterproposals to LTA’s class-size proposals, but estimated the cost of reduced class averages at $1,000,000.

    ARTICLE 10: LEAVE PROVISIONS

    • District proposed updating language on maternity leave and family leave to reflect changes in state and federal statutes.

    ARTICLE 14: PEER ASSISTANCE AND REVIEW PROGRAM

    • District proposed eliminating the entire article because the state no longer funds PAR.

    ARTICLE 15: STAFF DEVELOPMENT BUY BACK DAYS

    • District proposed eliminating the entire article because the state no longer funds “buy back days.”

    ARTICLE 18: SCHOOL LEADERSHIP

    • District proposed narrowing the scope of School Leadership Teams to only those topics listed in Article 18, removing references to “school-wide, grade-level or departmental issues.” District proposal also removes staffing priorities, student discipline policies, and school safety from the list of SLT topics, and moves SLT meetings to after school rather than during the workday.

    ARTICLE 21: SPECIAL EDUCATION

    • District made no specific counterproposals to LTA’s caseload proposals, but estimated the cost of reduced caseloads at $340,000.

    ARTICLE 25: TERM

    • District proposed not opening the full contract for negotiations until 2019-2020 (rather than 2017-2018, as currently required), and opening just 2 articles + compensation/ benefits in 2017-2018 and 2018-2019.

    Meeting with the district during summer has helped move negotiations forward, but as anyone concerned about the increase in the cost of health benefits can tell you, the enrollment window for next year is fast approaching. Your LTA Bargaining Team will make every effort to reach an agreement with the district as soon as possible, maybe even a partial agreement dealing with benefits, but not at the expense of achieving important long-term goals that will help our students and benefit our members. We will try to bring down our insurance costs for this year, but we’re fighting for a permanent improvement to our health benefits, and it is more important to get it right than to get it quick. Until we negotiate an agreement with the district, each of you will need to select the health benefits plan that best meets your family’s needs and that you can afford based on the current prices.

    The two teams are scheduled to meet again August 29, September 22 and October 13.

    download full text of district proposals

    download Bargaining Update #3