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:
- Emergency Union Meeting Packet
- Breakfast Club ACT RIGHT NOW Flier
- Petition for the SDEA/SDUSD Five Point Pledge
- Why Furlough Days Will Not Save Us
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