Not Everyone Will Be Recalled
Many laid off SDEA members learned today that the passage of the TA does not mean that they are guaranteed a recall after all. 83 K-12 educators will not be recalled unless 83 more senior teachers decide not to come back. These 83 K-12 educators are in addition to the 40 Early Childhood Educators who are also not planned for recall under the concessions TA.
The news that 83 of our fellow educators may not be recalled despite all of us taking a 10-17% pay cut was absolutely not how SDEA presented this TA to us. The TA FAQ that is still up on SDEA’s website clearly states: “More than 1,482 jobs are saved with this agreement which represents all K-12 educators who received final layoff notices. The District will recall 1,090 before June 30, 2012 and the remaining will be recalled by September 30, 2012.” The statement that all remaining laid off K-12 educators will be recalled is reiterated on the SDEA website in their June 29 layoff FAQ. The SDEA members we talked to on the voting days, who told us they were voting yes, were very clear that they thought their vote was going to bring back ALL of the teachers, nurses, and counselors who were laid off this year. Not most, ALL. The laid off members certainly thought so, too.
How Did This Happen?
Under the TA, we were told that of the 1,522 still laid off educators, 1,482 would be recalled. That was supposed to include ALL K-12 educators, and all but 40 ECE teachers. 1,090 of the laid off members would get a recall by June 30 (the first recall list), and the remaining 282 would be recalled by September 30 (the second recall list). So why is everyone not getting recalled after all?
Here is the explanation that at least one laid off member who is not being recalled has received after conversations with both the District and SDEA staff. There is apparently a third list of 83 members who may not be recalled at all. This is because there are 83 more senior people on leave status who may come back, and would be entitled to those positions. Remember, the Layoff Impacts and Effects Bargaining Agreement last year said that laid off members who were recalled could waive recall for one year. Those people, if they are more senior, are entitled to this year’s recalls.
SDEA is apparently telling the 83 members on the “third list” to go ahead and file for unemployment because they’re not necessarily coming back.
Did SDEA Know about This?
It’s unclear whether or not SDEA staff and leadership knew that 83 people might not get recalled when they told us that voting for the TA would bring everyone back. If they did know, and they didn’t tell us, that raises some real ethical questions about their inaccurate representation of the TA when they advised us to vote yes. If they didn’t know, that raises some incredibly disturbing questions about the capability of the people on the concessions bargaining team, particularly CTA Manager/Interim SDEA Executive Director Tom Madden… not to mention Bargaining Chair/Former SDEA President Terry Pesta, incoming SDEA Vice President Lindsay Burningham, and SDEA Field Organizer Morgan Thornberry. At the June Representative Council meeting, Madden told us he had more than 30 years of bargaining experience. After 30 years of bargaining, you should not be making this sort of mistake (if it was indeed a mistake). These kind of mistakes were not made under our past two locally controlled Executive Directors, raising further questions about the SDEA Board’s recent decision to give up local control of our Executive Director and hand the position over to a CTA manager.
This no-recall revelation also underscores a concern we had throughout the bargaining process: bargaining in a rush is dangerous. There was no reason we couldn’t have slowed down and used the kind of careful and methodical bargaining strategy that previously characterized our union for the past several years. We know that layoff health care could have been extended over the summer without the TA passing before June 30, because we, not the District, are paying to extend benefits. Under the TA, to extend laid off members’ benefits through September 30, we are using millions of dollars from a healthcare grievance settlement that was supposed to be paid out as a bonus check to all of us. Had our union resisted the District’s pressure to give concessions before June 30, and bargained with strength and not panic, we would have ended up with a much better deal, including ALL laid off educators ACTUALLY being recalled.
What Can We Do?
The SDEA members of the Breakfast Club Action Group remain committed to our founding mission statement, which includes NO LAYOFFS, as well as no concessions and strengthening our union by making it more transparent. It is unacceptable for every single educator not to be recalled, particularly given that we have all just “opened up our pockets” and handed the District five to nineteen more furlough days ON TOP OF a 7.16% straight pay cut.
There is a School Board meeting this Tuesday at 5 p.m., as well as an SDEA Board meeting this Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. Every single member of both Boards should not rest until this situation has been fixed, and the 83 “third list” members are recalled like we were all told they would be.