URGENT: We Have a Plan to Save Jobs and the Contract but Time Is Short!

What is the emergency?

Support for the work that the Breakfast Club Action Group has been doing to save our contract and our jobs has been growing the past two weeks, but unfortunately so has momentum for opening our contract without even waiting till the state budget comes out in June. We don’t know if you read the news this past Friday, but the leadership of our union, the District, and the local Labor Council united around one message: Time to concede now. The following all ran on Friday:

  • Email from School Board President John Lee Evans: “Contrary to what some people have said, the District does not have large reserve funds or hidden pots of money. … The fact is that 1,085 positions have been eliminated to balance our unrestricted general fund budget with additional cuts in child development and other funds.  They will not be coming back unless we come up with an agreement between the District and SDEA.  To save these jobs in time, we need to begin discussions on possible solutions right away to meet the deadline for the budget in a few weeks.”
  • Voice of San Diego: “[Labor Council head Lorena] Gonzalez said she has been involved in the annual battle over pink slips for the last three years, but that this year things are clearly different. There are no magic bags of money that are suddenly going to appear from the state, she said. The school district may have some cash stashed away, but it’s not enough to solve the crisis, she added.”
  • Union-Tribune: “Freeman wants to survey the membership about potential concessions in the next ‘two or three days.’ … ‘We will talk to the school district and we do share the concerns of the community and of Lorena’ [Freeman said].”
  • NBC: “In the meantime, the district and the union could be in formal talks next week, Freeman said.”

Giving concessions before the June 30 budget has even come out yet is sheer absurdity, but against all logic, that seems to be where things are headed. At an emergency meeting of the SDEA Board held this past Friday evening, the Board approved a member survey regarding concessions (the same survey Freeman told the Union-Tribune he would be conducting earlier that day), as well as an analysis of the District’s budget. These are steps you take when you are about to concede. Is our union really giving up this early after hardly putting up a fight all spring? Why in the world would the District recall one single educator – even the ones they themselves say they can afford – when our union president is telling the Union-Tribune he’s about to launch a concessions survey?

Enough is enough.

Efforts to right the ship from inside SDEA are unfortunately falling on deaf ears with SDEA’s current leadership, so the Breakfast Club has worked with former Executive Director Craig Leedham (just ousted from SDEA for being too “hard-line” for the current leadership) to develop an alternate plan that keeps our contract closed and brings back all of the layoffs, and we’re taking our plan directly to members this week. We believe that through the issuance of 550 convert-able temporary contracts next fall, the District could recall every educator today without a single cent in additional concessions, and could reassess their situation after the ballot initiative in November. Read our 3 Step Plan to No Layoffs, No Concessions, and then get involved.

To gain support for our three-step plan, we’re launching a petition that we will be presenting to the leadership of SDEA, the School Board, and the public during the week of June 4. The goal here is to get the District and the union to put on the breaks (instead of tumble off the cliff together and take our contract with them) and to wait until real information is available (e.g. June state budget, September enrollment, November ballot initiative) before making rash decisions that will do irreversible damage. Our timeline is incredibly short if we want to save our healthcare and our paychecks, so we’re hoping that folks will have an emergency union meeting to go over the information and action plan, and get signatures on the petition. The petition can either be signed online, or signed in hard-copy form and returned in accordance with the instructions at the bottom.

Here are the available resources for you to help get signatures at your school:

Also, be sure to attend this week’s meetings of the SDUSD Board (5 p.m. on Tuesday, May 29 at the Ed. Center) and SDEA Board (4:15 p.m. on Wednesday, May 30 at the SDEA Office). Our elected leadership is most likely to act in ways that reflect our will if we show up. That’s democracy in action, and it’s important.

We truly believe it’s not too late to get things back on track if we move quickly and act TOGETHER.

-The Breakfast Club Action Group

7 thoughts on “URGENT: We Have a Plan to Save Jobs and the Contract but Time Is Short!

  1. I like how you are about saving our jobs. I don’t see why we would not make some sort of concession to save many of our jobs. Your 3 step plan is great but why would the district bring us back if there is no money. So your saying the district can bring us back give us pay raises when there is no money! It really makes no sense to me. If you look at the agendas for tonight board meeting and it says under the May revise that the Nov initiative will not give money to schools. So then those with temp contracts would lose their job. Are any of the teachers who formed this group sitting on a pink slip? I’m afraid as many teachers are that your ideas are to get teachers on your side because you don’t want concessions because you will lose out on your pay raise. Are we saving jobs or trying to save your pay?

    • Lynn, in answer to your question, there are members of The Breakfast Club who have been pink slipped. The Breakfast Club’s plan is to get the layoffs recalled as well as prevent our contract from being opened. The District’s budget numbers are not accurate and there is a lot we won’t know until the budget is finalized at the end of June. The November initiative will give money to schools which is why the passage of it could prevent further cuts. The District is presenting this as an either or issue – concessions or layoffs. It’s not that black and white and one of the goals is to get them to look at other means of filling the budget gap. The goal is to get every job back while preventing our contract from being opened. Please see our five point plan on our website that can be viewed by clicking on the petition link for further details about our goals.

  2. First you complain that Freeman is not listening to the will of the members. Now you complain that he’s going to send out a survey to assess the will of the members. You can’t have it both ways!
    As for the newspaper articles – well, let’s face it: They need to sell those rags, and sensationalism is a good a tactic as any. Of course the reporters are going to speculate about concessions and roll-backs – that’s the only way they can get their stories printed.
    Your FIVE POINT PLAN has a few inherent flaws, if the conversations I’ve seen in the media between the teachers is any indication:

    You want SDEA to:
    1)”…not open our SDEA union contract. This includes any
    “side deal” that would change our contractual pay or benefits.
    ** And if a majority of the members who respond to the survey say they’re OK with a side letter, or one or more concessions…will you be willing to support your union at that time?

    2) “We will immediately adopt and demand that the District
    implement the Breakfast Club Action Group’s “Three-Step
    Plan to No Layoffs, No Concessions”, or launch an equally
    viable organizing plan to win back every single one of the 1,534
    laid off educators without concessions, as we have before.”
    ** Define “immediately.” Before the members are asked about your “plan,” or after? Or, would you prefer that your plan be adopted without hearing from the will of the people? Again, you can’t have it both ways.

    3) “We will hit the ground running with a democratic and
    aggressive bargaining campaign to secure a strong contract
    when this one expires at the end of next year.”
    ** Why not let your elected leaders handle one crisis at a time. Why not help them get all of your educators, nurses, counselors, and school staff recalled first…THEN start working on next year’s contract. To me, that sounds more reasonable.

    4) “We will halt all efforts to discourage debate within our
    democratic union, including changing the SDEA Bylaws to
    sanction members of “subversive” groups.”
    ** DEBATE: (N): A formal discussion on a particular topic in a public meeting or legislative assembly, in which opposing arguments are put forward.
    From what I’ve read, there’s no debate going on between your two groups at all…I read about a steady plan from your union, and read only speculation and innuendo from your group. That doesn’t lead to anything constructive; it only forms a rift between your union and you.

    5) “We will bring back SDEA Executive Director Craig Leedham…”
    ** The jury is still out on his termination, so I doubt that this will fly.

    Am I missing anything?

  3. Pingback: Member Blog Post: Our Union, Our Democracy – A Message from the SDEA Vice President « The Breakfast Club Action Group

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