This past Friday night the SDEA Board held an emergency meeting. With only 24 hours notice, THIRTY SDEA members showed up to observe the meeting and participate during the member comment section. Major outcomes of the public session of the meeting included the following:
- The Board voted to conduct a survey of members to “take the temperature” regarding concessions. SDEA President Bill Freeman stated that every member would be surveyed. The questions will be developed by CTA or NEA, and then finalized by the SDEA Board during closed Executive Session. Freeman stated the survey would not be conducted electronically.
- The Board voted to approve an analysis of the District budget.
Absent from the discussion was any mention of SDEA’s plan to stop both the layoffs and concessions (which was also absent from the minutes of the previous meeting, which were approved that night)… meaning no plan has been discussed by the board for the last month. After these agenda items, the observing members were asked to leave so the Board could move into a closed Executive Session. We left, and apparently the Executive Session lasted just a few minutes, and then the Board returned to open session and continued to deliberate with the members observers having left.
During this second open session, one Board member raised the issue of recent SDEA Board member behavior at the monthly Representative Council meeting, where several SDEA members of the Breakfast Club were verbally and physically assaulted. The Board member said that such behavior from fellow Board members is unacceptable given the fact that the Board just fired Craig Leedham for yelling at people. This comment underscores our fears that Leedham was fired without just cause, as he and other Board members have publicly stated, in order to remove his “hard-line” union influence.
Further disturbing is that the responsible SDEA Board members have yet to apologize to their victims, nor has SDEA leadership taken any acts to censure them despite the filing of multiple formal complaints.
The SDEA Board will meet again this Wednesday, May 30. The more of us who attend, the greater the likelihood that the Board’s decisions will reflect the will of the members. We’ll see you there!