It’s time for our union to raise the bar on their definition of “victory” and start fighting to get our raises back NOW.
Last week, four SDUSD School Board members voted to investigate a budget without layoffs. Instead, they are selling off unneeded property and taking natural attrition into account for the first time in years. In response, SDEA — our union — immediately declared victory on their Facebook page. VICTORY.
Victory would be getting a solid no layoff commitment with a promise to reinstate educator pay NOW. Not sometime next year when money shows up. NOW. That’s what other teacher unions all over our San Diego County and California are getting. So why not us?
The SDUSD Board vote doesn’t mean our union won. First of all, the Board can absolutely still vote for layoffs before the deadline. And second of all, the Board vote just proves what thousands of us knew last spring: SDUSD never needed those 1,000+ layoffs last year either. What was stopping the District from selling that same property and using attrition last year, leaving our contract intact? Nothing. Nothing, except the knowledge that our current union leadership would give away our raises. Go back and re-read John Lee Evans email in which he states that he had known since November 2011 that Bill Freeman would be willing to “make a deal” (see VOSD article HERE).
Well, now it’s time for SDEA to get those raises back. Prop. 30 passed — thanks to SDEA members. Prop. Z passed — thanks to SDEA members. The District got a huge payroll break for the past seven months — thanks to SDEA members.
After three years of pay cuts, it’s time for San Diego’s educators to be fairly compensated!!
Our union used to have the best contract in the state. Now we have one of the worst. Not only did our union pre-bargain the second-worst deal in the state of California if Prop. 30 had failed (see Ed Source article HERE), but now that it has passed, we are being quickly surpassed by other districts who are seeing their raises and furlough days reinstated RIGHT NOW. Big districts like LAUSD immediately took layoffs off the table and canceled all of this year’s furlough days just days after Prop. 30 passed (see link HERE). Meanwhile, our School Board only just took initial steps against layoffs and is continuing furlough days this year and possibly next year too because our new contract (a.k.a. the summer TA) says they still can.
Districts all over San Diego County are getting pay raises reinstated right now with the passage of Prop. 30 (source is last week’s CTA San Diego Service Center Council meeting):
- Grossmont: Six furlough days canceled this year, and paid back with interest.
- Fallbrook: 2% raise this year, retroactive to this past July.
- Cajon Valley: Five furlough days canceled this year.
- San Marcos: Only two furlough days this year.
Three years ago, our union was the leader of the San Diego County teacher union pack, leading the rest of the county’s unions to strong settlements. Now we’re buried right in the middle, despite having by far the largest membership.
What’s the difference? Strong union leadership.
Enough is enough.
We call on our District to immediately implement:
- A continued commitment against layoffs.
- An immediate reinstatement of this year’s five furlough days, with a corresponding 2.7% pay restoration.
- No furlough days next year.
- An immediate January 2% raise. (SDEA tells us it will be retroactive no matter when the District sees additional money from the state. We’ll believe it when we see it.)
- A clear timeline for when our next 2% and 3% raises will go into effect during the 2013-2014 school year.
These are incredibly reasonable demands, especially now that Prop. 30 has passed. Remember, this is what the District is supposed to be paying us right now because that’s what they bargained with us in the first place.
We call on our union leadership to immediately hold the District accountable for these reasonable demands, and to quit declaring “victory” until it happens.
And we call on the rest of our fellow union members to vote for new SDEA Board members in this March’s election who will make sure that these things happen.
It’s time for all of us to come out swinging!