—By Shane Parmely, Twain CR and CTA State Council Candidate
During Q&A with the President during last week’s Rep. Council, I asked Bill Freeman about SDEA’s position about our retro check when we get our first 2% raise. SDEA is telling us that we will receive a retro check showing a 2% pay increase as of January 2013 when the District receives additional funds from the state no matter when the money comes in. But the language in our New Contract does not seem to support this claim (read HERE). Freeman didn’t answer, instead asking Tim Hill to answer the question later during his Executive Director’s Report.
Here is what Hill said:
SDEA’s “position” is that the 2% raise will be a retro check. Why?
- He looked at the bargaining notes, which say that the intention of the contract language is to make the first 2% raise retroactive, no matter when the money comes in. (Note: Bargaining notes, while handy, do not carry anywhere near the same weight that the actual finalized contract language does.)
- He said two School Board members support SDEA’s assertion that the 2% raise will be retro.
- He said SDEA members should be ready to organize as we go into bargaining next year.
What does this mean?
- Hill essentially acknowledged that SDEA’s “position” and what is written in the actual contract language don’t exactly match. Nonetheless, SDEA believes they have a strong argument. That’s a little comforting. However, an argument is different than clear contract language – just ask a high school teacher how that secondary class size cap of 36 is working out right now.
- The fact that SDEA is lobbying Board members about this means they know their “position” may not be the same as the District’s. And two Board members isn’t a majority!
- We might have to fight for the 2% retro check as we go into bargaining our next contract during next school year. Hill is right — we do need to organize for next year’s bargaining. But we should be in a position to fight to gain ground, not barely hang onto the gains we’ve already made. This is why so many of us feel like SDEA leadership let us down last summer.
What should we do?
- Keep the pressure on our union and our District. Many teachers voted for the TA because they thought the 2% January raise was a done deal if Prop 30 passed. And the District certainly has the money for it. So let’s make that happen!
- Vote for strong new SDEA Board members to lead our union in the upcoming contract negotiations. Ballots will start arriving at our homes as early as next Monday, March 4 so start talking with your friends and colleagues about this election. Read about the slate of candidates we recommend and download the flyer HERE.