SDUSD Going After BIG Concessions in Classified Contract Negotiations

SDEA might not be bargaining right now, but almost every other union in our District is — and the proposals adopted unanimously by the School Board last week constitute a direct assault on our fellow workers’ healthcare, salaries, leave, transfer, and union business rights. Not only should we care because these proposals hurt our fellow workers in SDUSD, which they absolutely do, we should care because these are the same deep concessions the District is going to come after from our union in one short year.

On Tuesday, April 9 the School Board approved the first four sets of proposals below, and did a “first reading” of the fifth. You can take a look at all five proposals by clicking each below:

All five proposals (crafted by Jennie Carbuccia, the new “labor friendly” Executive Director of Labor Relations/friend of Richard Barrera) include practically identical language. Here are the major red flags:

  • “Total compensation” instead of separately bargained wages and benefits. This is a big deal. All five proposals begin with a preamble that includes the phrase “total compensation” with regard to our wages and benefits. “Total compensation” means tying pay and benefits together into a “total cost” model. This is a classic and well-known union busting bargaining proposal. Wherever used, “total compensation” has the effect of playing pay and benefits against each other, ultimately driving down wages and cutting healthcare. This is Nasty Employer 101, and NOT what we should be seeing from our “pro-union” School Board — the one we just campaigned to reelect!

  • Turning back the healthcare clock to 2003-04. In all five the District “proposes to study District-offered Health and Welfare Benefits” and how costs today compare to the 2003-04 school year. They further propose to use this information to “bargain any recommended changes resulting from the study.” This is code for “get rid of VEBA.” We’ll be writing more in the days ahead about why this is a bad idea, but the bottom line is that every other district has gone down this path has seen a year or two of cost-savings followed by sky-rocketing costs… which are, of course, passed directly on to the members (particularly if we’re now living under a “total compensation” model).

  • No more “Personal Business” days. In all five proposals, the District seeks to eliminate personal business days. So if you want to attend your kid’s first day of kindergarten, go to a wedding, spend a day with relatives from out of town… no more of that.

  • More District control over transfers. In all five proposals, the District seeks more control over where employees work. They include the very typical rationale of “to meet immediate school based needs,” implying that our right to work where we choose is inherently in conflict with the needs of children.

  • Limiting union release time and other vaguely worded proposals of take-backs on union rights. Under the Employee Organization Rights section of the CSEA proposals, the District asks for, “changes related to work release of unit members.” We take this to mean they don’t want union representatives to be released from work for the critical work of representing members. And the fact that one of the first things Barrera’s pal Carbuccia is doing in her new post is seeking to scale back union rights says a lot about both of them.

These proposals didn’t just land here from outer space. They were carefully crafted by SDUSD staff based on the priorities of the School Board. They are Richard Barrera’s priorities. They are Kevin Beiser’s priorities. They are Scott Barnett’s priorities. They are John Lee Evans’ priorities. And they are Marne Foster’s priorities.

So what can you do now that you know all this?

  • Vote against Kevin Beiser’s political recommendation when it comes up at the SDEA Rep. Council. These very issues were raised at the SDEA Board meeting on April 10. But the majority of the SDEA Board still voted to recommend Kevin Beiser for a “friendly endorsement” in his 2014 bid for School Board (Michelle Sanchez abstained and Barry Dancher voted against). That endorsement must be approved by the Rep. Council. Let’s not vote for our union to endorse a candidate who is actively going after our classified members’ healthcare and union rights!

  • Write to School Board Members.

  • If you want a team of fighters bargaining our next contract, vote for the Breakfast Club candidates in the upcoming run-off (or re-run) elections.

  • Talk to classified workers at your site. Make sure they’re aware of what’s at stake and find out how you can stand with them and fight against this attack.

The only way the classified unions are going to be able to stave off these attacks is if we stand with them. If they give up their healthcare and other core rights this year, ours are as good as gone the next.


3 thoughts on “SDUSD Going After BIG Concessions in Classified Contract Negotiations

  1. This is why, as mentioned in Rosemary Pang’s piece, we need professional negotiators working with us next year. The district isn’t using untrained, part-time negotiators. Neither should SDEA.

  2. Pingback: NEW: SDEA Board Overturns Another Breakfast Club Election Victory, Endorses Kevin Beiser | The Breakfast Club Action Group

  3. Pingback: NEW: Freeman’s Majority Slipping, BARELY Passes Resolution Praising Work of Election Committee | The Breakfast Club Action Group

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