No Furloughs for Bill Freeman

With all the talk of “shared sacrifice” and doing our part, one would think this rhetoric should reach all the way to the top in SDUSD… It finally did, though later than it should have. But now even the Superintendent and other certificated big wigs at the Ed. Center ended up taking the same deal SDEA negotiated. Heck, even the SDEA staff have agreed to furlough days. That’s everyone, right?

Wrong.

SDEA President Bill Freeman has not ever taken, and is not scheduled to take, any furlough days.

You read that correctly. Of the thousands of SDEA members—every single one of whom has been affected by furlough days—just one SDEA member stands apart: Bill Freeman.

The SDEA President is paid based on a much longer work year, as outlined in SDEA governing documents. That’s fair enough because the President works weekends, through the summer, and during vacations (though this is not unlike many other SDEA members). But it seems downright hypocritical for a union leader to negotiate furlough days for everyone else while maintaining an exemption for himself.

This flaw was pointed out to Freeman when he first took office in 2010, but he never took the steps to change our governing documents in order to take the furlough days himself. For the past two years while we’ve all been taking five furlough days, our union president has not. And now, while the SDEA Board is busying itself to make plenty of other changes to these same governing documents (to silence dissent, limit the duties of the elected Secretary, limit member communication, centralize power in the hands of the SDEA Board majority — you can read more HERE), there seems to have been no action taken to correct the fact that Freeman is currently entering his third furlough-free year.

It’s not like there is no precedent for this. When SDEA’s former Vice President Camille Zombro was released to organize charter schools she also worked a longer calendar, but she took the furlough days like everyone else. We assume newly released SDEA Board member/charter organizer Iris Anderson will do the same.

Update December 12, 2012 :  SDEA Board member/Charter Organizer Iris Anderson has confirmed with us that she is working on the regular 10 month schedule and will be taking furlough days. 

So what about Bill? Ask him yourself: freeman_b@sdea.net.

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