— By Shane Parmely, Run-off Candidate for CTA State Council and Twain HS CR
This write-up of the March 20 SDEA Rep. Council is organized a little differently. This Rep. Council included several ways members can be involved and have our voices heard and those items are up top. The remainder of the post covers informational items. (Note: The March Rep. Council was chaired by SDEA Vice President Lindsay Burningham. SDEA President Bill Freeman was not in attendance.)
Spring Organizing Campaign for Our Two Percent Raise
When the meeting was called to order, I asked that a New Business Item be included on the March Rep. Council agenda, and made a motion (seconded by Breakfast Club slate Board member-elect Peter Burrell) calling on SDEA to launch a spring organizing plan to have our first two percent raise realized this year. Prop. 30 has passed, we are not facing layoffs, and our union absolutely has time to hold our School Board accountable for their budget. Already our “pro-union” School Board has fallen into a pattern of spending money on giving raises to administration, creating an expensive new position in Human Resources, and giving a raise to brand new Superintendent Cindy Marten. If the District has this money now, why are they not restoring our pay?
In our new contract/summer TA, we were supposed to receive our first 2% raise as of January 2013. Clearly, that has yet to happen. The motion Rep. Council passed requires “that SDEA implement a spring organizing campaign that includes accountability sessions with Board members to discuss pay restorations and other issues facing rank and file members.” The motion passing is just the first step. In order for it to work, we all need to participate. And the first step is making sure SDEA actually follows through on the motion. The next Rep. Council is in a week and a half, on April 17, and we look forward to a report on the plan that SDEA’s current leadership and staff have put together.
SDEA Bargaining Commission
Are you interested in participating in the bargaining process for our new contract? If so, Executive Director Tim Hill directed members to contact him and SDEA President Bill Freeman to let them know you want to join the SDEA bargaining commission. Several dozen members will be selected to form a representative sample of our membership. The bargaining commission will be responsible for helping the bargaining team set SDEA’s bargaining priorities. Hill’s email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Freeman’s email is email@example.com.
SDEA Budget Meetings
Do you want to know how SDEA spends your dues? Do you want to have input on how those dues are spent in the future? If so, attend one of the upcoming SDEA budget meetings on April 15 or April 24 at 4 p.m. Also, look for an upcoming write-up of the budget meeting held shortly before Spring Break.
Professional Development Day to Offset a Furlough Day
Two days have been selected for the Professional Development day to offset a furlough day called for in our new contract/summer TA: June 13 for traditional schools and June 17 for year round schools. The day will consist of a majority of common District-wide training (probably on Common Core or Powerschool), and two hours of site-selected content. This topic generated quite a bit of discussion. According to a substitute teacher who spoke, during the campaign for the TA ratification last summer, SDEA Vice President Lindsay Burningham told substitutes that they would be able to participate in the Professional Development day. But now SDEA’s position is that substitutes are not in fact eligible. The substitute stated that this was his deciding factoring on how to vote for the agreement, and was upset by Burningham’s back-peddling. An AR from San Diego High School objected to SDEA’s designation of specific PD dates and content. He pointed out that at previous Rep. Councils, SDEA’s position was that the contents and date of the PD would be site based, and that his school had already designed the PD and selected a day in May. Burningham said the only recourse was to appeal to the Area Superintendent. Another member wanted to know if the length of the PD will be our regular reporting day, or a full eight hours. Burningham stated she was not sure, but that the pay would be equal to a full day’s pay.
CFO Stan “Data” Dobbs Apologizes to SDEA Members after Our Petition!
Burningham acknowledged that our grassroots petition, endorsed unanimously by the SDEA Rep. Council, had the impact that we wanted. Dobbs apologized to SDEA members for his misrepresentation of teachers’ salaries in our District. This is a good lesson for SDEA to re-learn: When we organize and put pressure on the District, we can make a change.