Keeping Our Eyes on the Prize

In fewer than 48 hours, SDUSD’s School Board will vote whether or not to issue final layoff notices to 1,655 of our SDEA members. That’s $124 million worth of educator layoffs alone, to fill a $122 million worst-case scenario budget hole. That is on top of the 1,000 classified layoffs the Board has also approved, and instead of the $33 million dollars in Central Office cuts the District said they would make in their March 15 Second Interim Report to the County.

These layoffs are not and have never been about solving a real fiscal problem. These layoffs are about the District’s efforts to scare its employees out of the contract deal they negotiated with us fair and square two years ago.

If we are going to keep our pay, our benefits, and our jobs, we have to get to work and keep our eyes on the prize. What is the prize?

  • The School Board must recall every single layoff.
  • The School Board must honor the contract it negotiated with us two years ago.

The Board will likely recall around 500 educators tomorrow night, and use that as proof that they’re working in good faith. We cannot let them off the hook. Remember, at least 500 of those 1,655 layoffs never should have been issued in the first place! CFO Ron Little admitted that in sworn testimony during the layoff hearing.

If the School Board wants to make a real show of good faith, they’ll recall 1,000 layoffs at a minimum. Why that number? Because the District has publicly admitted they haven’t taken into account attrition (average 250 a year), and we know they’re planning to carry a surplus of tens of millions of dollars into 2013-2014. There is not a single real reason stopping the District from recalling 1,000 layoff notices on Tuesday night – and even that is just a start.

It’s crucial that SDEA members hang together in making these demands of the District right now. The District’s end game is to divide us so that we fight among ourselves instead of fighting them.  While we understand the sentiment behind the recent suggestion that SDEA members rally outside of the SDEA office on Tuesday afternoon and demand that leadership ask us how we feel about concessions, we fear that the District is all too ready to capitalize on the opportunity to divide us. We agree that members’ voices should drive the decisions made by our union leadership, but our efforts in holding our union leadership accountable cannot come at the expense of fighting our external battles. Does anyone think it’s a coincidence that they moved their meeting start time to 7 p.m. this Tuesday after the SDEA rally email went out? Let’s not play into their hand.

(Plus, as much as we might wish it would work, trading five more furlough days in exchange for recalling all of the layoffs is simply not an option –Click here to find out why and also read Why No Furlough Days).

That’s why this Tuesday night is all about taking our message of No Layoffs, No Concessions directly to the School Board. We want those School Board members to look out at the auditorium and see a sea of red t-shirts, and know that their constituents expect them to do the right thing.  The members of the Breakfast Club will be keeping our eyes on the prize Tuesday night, demanding that the School Board restore our jobs and honor the contract they signed with us two years ago. We hope to see you at the Ed. Center!

Over the next few days we will send out materials that you can use to support your conversations with colleagues.  We are encouraging all schools to hold an emergency SDEA meeting in order to educate and motivate our members.  During these last few weeks, every conversation counts!

One thought on “Keeping Our Eyes on the Prize

  1. Wake up. SDUSD had to issue more layoff notices then required to cover the fact that 60 year old music teachers who haven’t studied math since the Apollo space flights come out of the woodwork with math credentials to bump out younger teachers with masters degrees who have been teaching great math classes for the last 6 years.

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