District Budget Shows Funds to Restore Our Raises NOW

By Patricia Thomas, La Jolla HS AR

According to the District’s own budget, SDUSD has the money to honor ALL of our salary restoration and restore the furlough days right now!

Four years ago, we negotiated with the District that our work year would be reduced from 184 days to 179 days (a 2.7% drop in income for us), and this was to last for two academic years, 2010-2011 and 2011-2012. Four years ago, we negotiated that the five furlough days would be reinstated as of July 1, 2012, a 2% raise to take effect on July 1, 2012, a further 2% raise to take effect on January 1, 2013, and an additional 3% raise to take effect July 1, 2013.

As everyone knows, the economy of California did not improve as much or as quickly as anyone would want. In March 2012, the District said they would honor our Contract, but at the cost of the jobs of 1,500 of our members. In response to the District’s claims, SDEA members voted 2-to-1 to adjust our Contract with the June 2012 Agreement, which I will call “J12A” below.

In the J12A, we agreed to several items contingent on the passage of Prop. 30:

  • The five furlough days were extended for at least one more year through 2012-2013,
  • The first 2% raise to take effect on July 1, 2012 would slide to January 1, 2013.  In essence, we forgave 6 months of that 2% raise, and
  • The furlough days, the second 2% raise, and the 3% raise were to be restored as soon as the money became available from Sacramento.

Since then, what has happened? We worked hard to pass Proposition 30, the economy of our state has improved, the quarter percent sales tax increase is being collected, and Governor Brown and the Legislature passed a change in the per pupil funding formula used by the State to pay school districts. SDUSD is going to see a significant increase in per pupil funding from this change!

Nonetheless, we have had to fight to get the District to honor our Contract! Even by a little bit! Given the passage of time, the 2%/2%/3% increases have ceased to be “raises” and now must be considered “salary restoration.”

In the meantime, the 2013-2014 calendar STILL has two furlough days! We have to wait until September 30, 2013, to see the first 2% salary restoration.  And the District refuses to say when all furlough days will be restored, when the second 2% salary restoration will happen, and when the 3% salary restoration will happen.

The cost of honoring the existing terms of our Contract is approximately $25 million. Now, the District’s own budget says that the June 30, 2013 balance in the General Fund, Unrestricted, was $46 million — that’s way more than the $25 million it would have cost to restore our salary AND add back the furlough days during 2012-2013, without having issued a single layoff! It seems that the District’s claims in March 2012 that they needed those concessions to survive without layoffs were not true.

Their budget now predicts a June 30, 2014 balance in that fund of $69.6 million! They have also planned building a $36.6 million “Economic Uncertainties” account. In one year! What for? The rules for California Public School District budgeting do not require this!

They are doing this simply to have another excuse to not respect our Contract!

SDUSD now has the money to honor ALL of our salary restoration and restore the furlough days! Why do they continue to say that they can’t afford to live up to the commitments they made to our students and to us four years ago?

The money is coming into the District! We must be more insistent in getting the District to honor our Contract! They need to tell us the date our second 2% salary restoration will come into effect, the date to which it will be retroactive, the date our 3% salary restoration will come into effect, and the date which that will be retroactive.

At our AR meeting of September 11, 2013, how about someone making a motion something to the effect of:

“By September 20, 2013, SDEA will meet with SDUSD with the intent of acquiring the following information:

  • The date our second 2% salary restoration will come into effect,
  • The date to which it will be retroactive,
  • The date our 3% salary restoration will come into effect,
  • The date to which that will be retroactive, and
  • The date the remaining furlough days will be restored.

Such meeting will be repeated every two weeks until the District supplies these dates.”

This effort on the part of SDEA to have the terms of our 2010-2013 Contract (since extended by the J12A-to-30-June-2014 Contract) is completely separate from the 2014 Contract negotiations which the Bargaining Team start to negotiate during the Spring of 2014. We can bet that the District will try to conflate these two efforts. We must not let that happen!

Having the 2010-2013/2013-2014 Contract honored and negotiating the next Contract are two different issues and should be worked on by different teams of people.

(Note: You can click HERE for the members of Breakfast Club’s detailed analysis of the District budget.)

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