Guest Blog Post: Why Vote No?

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

Please consider sharing the following information with your contacts before this weekend.

A NO vote guarantees a positive outcome for the majority of SDCS teachers per the following scenarios:

Scenario 1) The No votes prevail and the TA is rejected.

The District will have to honor the negotiated contract. Everyone gets their salary increase and some teachers will also receive a step-and-column increase. The pay increase would approximately be in the $5000 to $6000 range.

Should the Governors Tax Initiative pass in November, teachers close to retirement will have earned their highest compensation year for STRS eligibility and have the loss of only five furlough days. Depending on your retirement situation, this scenario should yield the largest retirement benefit.

Should the Governors Tax Initiative be rejected by voters, an additional fourteen furlough days will be used. Depending on your salary, the loss would be in the range of $3000 to $8000.

Scenario 2) The No votes do not prevail and the TA is implemented.

Those teachers who chose to retire will receive a $25,000 incentive. In reality, the incentive will be reduced by your effective tax rate (a 28% tax rate reduces the incentive to $18,000).

Should the Governors Tax Initiative pass in November, teachers at the top of the salary schedule will receive a 1% salary increase. This would be approximately an additional $50 a month (the equivalent of a full tank of gas).

Should the Governors Tax Initiative be rejected by voters, an additional fourteen furlough days will be used. Depending on your salary, the loss would be in the range of $3000 to $8000.

As many of you have observed, the TA is an insult to our profession and especially to our most veteran teachers.  The salary and benefits of a retired teacher are almost $90,000 why such a low early retirement incentive? Veteran teachers teach thirty or more years, endure seven years of the oppressive Bersin administration and a strike, yet the best that the District and SDEA can offer is $25,000 incentive and maybe a 1% raise? Ya basta! Tama na! Enough already!!

We can control the outcome of the upcoming vote on the Tentative Agreement (TA) by voting as a unified voting bloc.  We need to HOLD THAT LINE and vote NO on the TA.

-Frank Lucero

5 thoughts on “Guest Blog Post: Why Vote No?

  1. Frank – In my opinion, you left one important fact out of your first scenario: Sure, the district will have to honor the contract…but only for the people still employed. The 1500+ that will be fired on July 1 will not be around to benefit from the reinstatement of our pay, the continuation of our health care benefits, nor the pleasure we would have received from returning to our classroom in the fall. Instead, the 1500+ of your brothers and sisters will become part of the unemployed masses…all for the hope that the district will miraculously find hidden money and that some of us will be back in the fall.
    This agreement guarantees that I’ll have a job, health care, and the potential for increase earnings. Can you guarantee that for me?

  2. By design, I did not include the pink-slip teacher situation (but I did write “the majority” which implied that some would not benefit from a NO vote) because that has already been well documented by SDEA communications and the local media.

    Your situation is not a function of a NO vote but a function of years of fiscal mismanagement at the District level, funding priorities at the state level, and the unwillingness of the Board Trustees to make unpopular decisions (e.g. closing small schools).

    From the feedback I have received from colleagues, a NO vote is a statement about the unfairness of the Tentative Agreement process: lack of communication to the rank-and-file SDEA members, secrecy, lack of input by teachers, opening a closed contract when we were told otherwise, misrepresentation of fact regarding the TA, the future ramifications of opening a closed contract, and INCOMPETENT representation by the SDEA bargaining team.

    How in the world did our bargaining team agree to 19 of a possible 20 furlough days when UTLA negotiated only 10 days to save 4,000 jobs? As a math teacher, I teach my students quantitative reasoning, and I can tell you the numbers just don’t work out! And I fear that this is only the beginning. What next? Our health benefits?

  3. Frank: re the furlough days: UTLA bargained 10 days; we bargained 5. All of the districts in CA are now subject to the possibility of further days, depending on whether or not the two tax initiatives pass -up to an additional 14 days. that means that UTLA MIGHT end up with 24 days of furlough, while we MIGHT end up with 19. They bargained this and got back 1/2 of their education force. We bargained this and got back all but 41 of our education force. Which deal looks better?

    I’m intrigued by your 2nd paragraph – you make numerous claims about secrecy, misrepresentation, etc. I’d be interested to know your sources for these claims, so that I may attempt to present an alternate point of view.

  4. Dennis: For your information, Governor Brown authorized a maximum of 20 furlough days; therefore, the maximum number of furlough days for both LAUSD and SDCS is 20. Your assertion that LAUSD will have up to 24 furlough days is completely off target.

    UTLA negotiated 10 furlough days (2012-2013) to save 75% (4,000 positions) of their pink slipped teachers (see June 18th article in LA Times). In comparison, SDEA gave away a fairly negotiated raise, instituted five furlough days for two years, and (unlike UTLA) included *contractual language* for an additional 14 furlough days should the governor’s tax initiative fail to pass. In return, we supposedly recall all teachers, two-thirds of whom would have been recalled anyway when you take into account the 500 who the Board admitted never should have been pink slipped and the positions vacated by retirees and those on leave of absence.

    The numbers just don’t work out. One theory is that the TA front loads nineteen furlough days so the District has the funds to avoid layoffs in the near future. Then, as the economic situation worsens, and with furlough days maxed out, all we will have left to negotiate are health benefits.

  5. Dennis: For your information, Governor Brown authorized a maximum of 20 furlough days; therefore, the maximum number of furlough days for both LAUSD and SDCS is 20. Your assertion that LAUSD will have up to 24 furlough days is completely off target.

    UTLA negotiated 10 furlough days (2012-2013) to save 75% (4,000 positions) of their pink slipped teachers (see June 18th article in LA Times). In comparison, SDEA gave away a fairly negotiated raise, instituted five furlough days for two years, and (unlike UTLA) included contractual language for an additional 14 furlough days should the ONE (not two) tax initiative fail to pass. In return, we supposedly recall all teachers, two-thirds of whom would have been recalled anyway when you take into account the 500 who the Board admitted never should have been pink slipped and the positions vacated by retirees and those on leave of absence.

    The numbers just don’t work out. One theory is that the TA front loads nineteen furlough days so the District has the funds to avoid layoffs in the near future. Then, as the economic situation worsens and with furlough days maxed out, all we will have left to negotiate are health benefits.

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