Members Want FACTS on Our Raises, Other “Union Notes” Analysis

The last two editions of SDEA’s “Union Notes” emails have raised some issues that are worth looking at. Here are the highlights, with full analysis below.

  • SDEA disappointingly vague on when our Prop. 30 raises are actually coming.
  • SpEd bargaining finally inches forward.
  • SDEA loses big on nurse/counseling ratios (which means students lose big).
  • Our 2010-2013 contract is now online here.

The “Union Notes” Headline:

What Does the Passage of Prop. 30 Mean to SDEA Members? It Means We Are Better Off This Year! (Nov. 9)

What does this mean?

Here are the questions that have been filling the Breakfast Club inbox since Prop. 30 passed: When are we getting our raises? Are we really getting the first 2% raise in January like the summer agreement said we would?

Unfortunately, while the Nov. 9 “Union Notes” is full of feel-good rah-rah fluff, there are absolutely no concrete details that would suggest the union thinks a real raise is really coming. The closest they get to addressing our January raise is this: “All of our K-12 educators have been recalled and we have a contract that clearly protects our healthcare, spells out salary and furlough restorations for our entire membership, salary increases for our most experienced members, and a commitment to prevent further cuts to our membership and schools.”

First of all, that’s not true. There are many K-12 educators still laid off (see nurse/counselor story below). And are we the only ones who find it distressing that the union has apparently completely written off the laid off Early Childhood Educators? Second of all, what does that mean? We already know the summer agreement “spells out salary and furlough restorations.” What we want to know is whether it’s actually going to happen this time, or if SDEA will once again let the District bully us into giving up our paychecks.

We can already hear the excuses the School Board will start coming up with to explain why we need to defer our bargained raises again. In fact, the day after the election, both SDUSD Board President John Lee Evans AND SDEA President Bill Freeman warned that Prop. 30 doesn’t mean we won’t face more cuts this spring. (Clearly the person writing the SDEA Union Notes and the SDEA President aren’t on the same page…)

There is only one way our raises will happen: SDEA members need to be ready to push our union leadership to push the District to honor our contract. The upcoming Nov. 14 Rep. Council is our first opportunity. Let’s make sure our ARs and CRs tell the SDEA Board that we expect them to hold firm this time around, and not let the District leverage layoffs against concessions. No matter what Freeman and Evans want us to believe, Prop. 30 means our District’s budget is on the mend. We’ve done our part, now they need to do theirs.

The “Union Notes” Headline:

Update on Autism Added Authorization (Nov. 9)

What does this mean?

The good news is that SDEA finally got the District to agree to provide this training, which many special education teachers will need in order to keep their positions. The bad news is that because SDEA took so long getting this done, most of us have already paid out of pocket to get it ourselves, and apparently SDEA hasn’t gotten the District to agree to pay us back. We hope SDEA won’t let those of us who were responsible and prompt get left out in the cold. This is exactly the sort of thing that should have been settled as part of our summer bargaining, where we had leverage, not left till the last minute. We hope the SDEA bargaining team holds firm this time until the District agrees to do the right thing.

The “Union Notes” Headline:

Judge Denies SDEA Petition to Arbitrate Grievance on SDUSD Understaffing of Nurseand Counselor Positions, Puts Student Well-being at Risk (Oct. 31)

What does this mean?

This means the nurse/counselor staffing language in our union contract is no longer worth the paper it’s printed on. SDEA filed this grievance over the fact that the District told schools they could ignore the nursing and counseling ratios in our contract. That directly led to the layoff of hundreds of nurses and counselors — many of whom are still laid off despite our concessions. Now this grievance is apparently dead in the water. This means our students will continue to not have the nurses and counselors they need, and it also bodes poorly for SDEA’s efforts to enforce our contractual class size language.

It could not be more obvious that the way to protect our core rights is not by relying on bargaining or legal maneuvering — it’s by building and showing strength. The District doesn’t care what’s in our contract unless we make them. Our union has stopped showing the District a posture of strength, and so the District knows it’s open season on us and our contract until that changes. Read this blog post about why making nice with the District is the key to making sure these sorts of contract violations become more, not less, common.

And what in the world is wrong with John Lee Evans? He is a psychologist, and should know better than anyone how important these supports are for students. It is disappointing that the man who just won reelection on an “I Saved 1,500 Jobs” platform doesn’t think the jobs of counselors and nurses are worth reinstating.

The “Union Notes” Headline:

Check Out the SDEA Website for Updated Contract and Other Resources (Oct. 31)

What does this mean?

It means our 2010-2013 contract is finally now up online! Take a look at the salary schedules to see what you should be getting paid right now. A union contract is a snapshot of how strong your union is when you settle. Compare this contract to the agreement we reached last summer. Then think about what you want our union to look like when we go right back into bargaining when our contract expires next school year.

One thought on “Members Want FACTS on Our Raises, Other “Union Notes” Analysis

  1. Pingback: NEW: SDEA Board Report: District Looking at Teach for America Contract? « The Breakfast Club Action Group

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