— by Michelle Sanchez, Garfield High School CR
SDEA member Rosemary Pang and I attended the SDEA Budget hearing on April 15, and the budget committee presented back to us the suggestions we made from the first hearing: More funding toward bargaining; using the increased training fund from last year and using some of that for bargaining; instead of members going to CTA training have CTA trainings come to us at SDEA; clarify the SDEA website and use the SDEA calendar for ALL meeting/trainings for SDEA members; special education funding — pay the remaining percentage of the autism authorization for impacted members. I’m glad they at least took notes.
This time, we asked about the President’s furlough days (or lack thereof). The ONLY SDEA member who has NOT taken furlough days is our President, Bill Freeman. We made the suggestion that the President also take furlough days along side us in solidarity. Treasurer Manual Gomez wrote down the suggestion…
Pang stressed the importance of having a professional negotiator for the upcoming year. We have heard many members feel that an Executive Director (who is our lead negotiator) that reports to CTA and NOT SDEA may have a conflict of interest. CTA wants to keep membership up (dues dollars up) at any cost — including encouraging members to make continued wage sacrifices. We asked if it were possible to have an Executive Director employed solely by SDEA as in previous years. Members would feel confident in a lead negotiator that is solely responsible to SDEA members.
Training and conferences have also been a great concern, since it seems that only a select few members know about and attend these union-funded opportunities. We suggested that all training/conferences/community outreach events (lunches/dinners) be listed online so all members can attend if they desire. Members asked that we raise the possibility of having an equitable amount of monies spent on different cultural events. If these training, conferences, and community outreach events are not listed anywhere or easily accessible, as is the case now, how are members supposed express interest to the President (the final decider on attendees)?
Which lead us to next item: Who is being released from the classroom, with SDEA dues dollars, and to do what? We asked that SDEA make this informaiton public to members.
There is one more budget hearing coming up on Wednesday, April 24 at 4 p.m. at the SDEA office. It is quite fascinating to know how your dues dollars are being spent! I hope to see you there!