41 Early Childhood educators remain laid-off
- This year’s negotiations focused entirely on the 2012 layoffs. The bargaining team didn’t do anything about the approximately 200 educators who remain laid off from last school year (mostly nurses and counselors)
- This doesn’t bode well for SDEA’s commitment to getting back laid off educators who remain if the TA is ratified…
- If ECE layoffs aren’t recalled now, when will they be?
For the first time, SDEA tied our commitment to restoring laid-off educators to specific funding streams…
- The TA explicitly states that, “The ECE Program restorations will occur upon confirmation of the allocation of sufficient federal and state funds to provide for reappointment of unit members.”
- This means that ECE members will only be recalled if new funding is found.
- This also means that both the District and SDEA are agreeing that ECE programs should not “encroach” on the District’s general fund (when state/federal funds fall short).
- Why do we care if ECE encroaches on the general fund? GATE, Special Education and several other programs have encroached on the general fund for many years when their funding streams fall short, but SDEA has never sided with the District in justifying staffing cuts because of this issue!
How will ECE members be recalled when so many programs and centers have been eliminated?
- It’s unclear what the District or SDEA have planned here, but some questions to ask are:
- Assuming recalls equate to restoring ECE programs, what are the priorities? (State preschool? CDCs? Which geographical areas of the city? Who will decide and when?)
- What is the plan to restore all programs and positions?
- Will recalled educators be returned to their original sites?
This settlement sounds as though SDEA is focusing on “more important members” over ECE…
- It’s sad to even say this, but elements of the agreement are clearly pandering to certain groups in an attempt to get it ratified, for example:
- Veteran members (retirement bonus, possible top step increase).
- Laid off K-12 educators (recalled at the expense of even deeper concessions to the entire union, despite $71 million in already-available District funds that could but used to recall with no concessions).
- Members who value their healthcare above all else (the TA uses fear-tactics to suggest we could lose our healthcare in a year if we don’t agree to these concessions now – this is not true).
- “An injury to one is an injury to all.” What happened to this attitude? We need to fight for ALL ECE educators, for the educators who remain laid off since 2011, AND to protect our contract, healthcare and our salaries now and into the future.
Finally, voting “yes” on the ratification will have little effect on whether or not — or how many — ECE programs/positions are restored (because the number of furlough days is limited due to state funding). A “no” vote is the better thing to do because this is the only way to send the District and SDEA back to the table to negotiate a better deal that treats ECE members as equals.