By Shane Parmely, Twain CR and Candidate for CTA State Council
One of the most common points of skepticism SDEA members are sharing with The Breakfast Club is that many people don’t believe SDEA’s promise that we’ll ever see a retro check back-dated to January 1, 2013. Many members thought they’d get a raise as of January if Prop. 30 passed. That’s sure what it sounded like SDEA leaders were telling us when they were trying to get us to volunteer for the Prop. 30 campaign — but that obviously didn’t happen. Now our union is assuring us that we’ll get a raise backdated to January 1, along with a retro check, just as soon as new money arrives, no matter when that is. Take a look at the last page of this Powerpoint presentation about Prop. 30 up on SDEA’s website. It couldn’t be more clear: we’re getting a back-dated raise just as soon as the money arrives, right?
I really hope that’s true. But as I’ve been doing some research, it looks like yet again, we may have been misled by our union.
This past December, I wrote about speaking to the SDUSD Board and described their confused reaction when I warned them that teachers in our District believed they would be receiving a two percent pay increase in January 2013 because Prop. 30 had passed. They looked at me like I had two heads. For good reason, obviously, because that raise didn’t happen in January. Then at the January Rep. Council (which I was unable to attend) and again at the SDEA Board Meeting on Feb. 6, SDEA Executive Director Tim Hill and SDEA President Bill Freeman reassured everyone that we will be getting a retro check for that two percent raise so long as additional money comes in before July 2014. Actually, the phrase I noticed being repeated when discussing this issue is, “it is our position” that SDEA members will receive the two percent pay increase in the form of a retro check. While that might be their “position”, that’s not what Our New Contract says.
Here is what is actually in our New Contract, with the relevant portion emphasized (link to the summer Tentative Agreement HERE):
“3. Removal of Furlough Days, Restoration of Deferred Salary Raises and Additional Salary Increases
a. With available funds from 57% of any permanent ongoing increase in the then current fiscal year over and above the District’s funded Base Revenue Limit per Average Daily Attendance (BRL/ADA) set by the State Budget for fiscal year 2012 – 13 ($5321.11 as the base for the term of the Agreements) the following will occur in order:
i. First, the salary increase scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2013 will occur up to 2% based on available funds. If there is additional ongoing BRL/ADA authorized for the 2012-13 fiscal year, and the District actually receives the revenue after July 1, 2013, a retroactive salary payment will be made from January 1, 2013 forward the retroactive payment and implementation of this salary increase will occur when the revenue is actually received.”
Just like SDEA’s Powerpoint, that’s crystal clear. Unfortunately, what the TA and Powerpoint say are the exact opposite of each other. What the TA actually says is that we get a retro check ONLY if the ADA goes up for this school year, NOT if it goes up next school year. I don’t think SDUSD will be getting any additional BRL/ADA funds from the state for this current fiscal year. Do you? It certainly wasn’t in the Governor’s speech in January. He’s proposing to increase funds next year, not this year. That means NO RETRO CHECK.
Whether or not SDEA members were in favor of making concessions last summer, The Breakfast Club encouraged everyone to vote “no” exactly because the pay restoration language in this thing basically guarantees we won’t see a pay increase until July 2014. Oh… well I guess there is that 1% increase that educators on the top step will finally receive in July 2013 after having six+ years of stagnant wages. So there’s that. Yay?!
So I went to the Feb. 16 School Board meeting, and I asked the District to speak up and provide clarity for the thousands of us that would like to be able to financially plan our futures. And just like I did in December, I told them what our union has been telling us, and asked them to shed some light on the subject. I’m still waiting for someone to answer.