10 thoughts on “Facts About Your Union

  1. Pingback: Member Post: A Open Letter from Camille Zombro « The Breakfast Club Action Group

  2. We need to spread some educated ways of thinking about this whole mess. This website is doing a great service to everyone. I’m sick of feeling guilty about not taking budget cuts in order to fix what is not our responsibility. Hopefully, it is not reckless to think about things this way, but given the track record of this district, I don’t trust their olive branch of partnership one bit.

    We need to keep talking to each other about the reality of how hard it is to obtain job rights and benefits. We also shouldn’t be shy about voicing our opinions about this highly political issue, and being extremely open-minded when doing so. The old adage that politics is a discussion topic to be avoided is not true in our case. As union members — people who thankfully have the right to assemble, and have fought for the ability to bargain collectively with our employers (remember when only single women could teach?) — we must talk to each other and present controversial ways to each other in order to figure out what we can do. We are teachers, not economists, so let’s start changing people’s minds and getting the truth out to the public.

    Why does the public opinion of education suffer? People are not aware of how small the budget for education is. Did you know that the percentage of the federal budget that goes to education is 2%? I’m pretty sure that’s not where the problems lie in this country’s economic downturn, but it’s probably where the solution lies. Check this Policy website for an easy to read breakdown of the federal budget to give yourself a quick education: http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=1258

    At the California state level, this negativity towards education just seems worse. The governor now seems to be pitting voters against teachers, taking an aggressive position that unless we don’t vote to increase taxes, education cuts will continue. I don’t think we are living outside our means, as Governor Brown put it today in the New York Times. Maybe he is, in his fancy designer tree house, but I live in a 480 square foot house in North Park — and I’m thankful that I can afford it.

    Without talking about these issues in an open, honest, and safe forum such as this, I don’t see why we even has a union to start with. We might as well just throw our hands up and let the district do whatever they want if we are just going to sit on our laurels, waiting for some magical person to tell us what to do.

    Anyway, that’s my two-cents, and I’m glad to see so many other concerned people contributing to this site, as well as taking the time to read this. Major kudos to the Breakfast Club, and you for caring.

    • I agree with you, Aaron, that we need to encourage discourse on the matters at hand: SDEA, SDUSD, fighting layoffs, and preserving the teaching profession. Yesterday, I had a great conversation with a fellow teacher. He believed that there SHOULD BE concessions, whereas I differed in opinion. However, the beauty of our debate was that my friend brought up some good points that made me think about why I am promoting the agenda of The Breakfast Club. Likewise, I introduced to him some information that made him think about his stance, as well.

      It’s healthy for us to have this dialogue; it’s refreshing to hear other points of view. This is the way our union should be conducting itself internally. Nevertheless, I am adamant about no concessions and no layoffs. I understand that by giving concessions it may help to alleviate the overcrowding of classrooms and the overworking of remaining teachers for the next academic school year. But I do know that I have made great financial sacrifices to invest in my education in order that I may someday better my life chances. At this point in my career, I am not willing to devalue myself. I’ve worked too long and too hard to throw it all away. SDEA should be externally advocating for us for these same reasons.

      • The problem with this website is this discourse should be happening at SDEA!. Never in the Live of our membership has such a balant disregard for our association has been displayed the by Camille. You need to ask yourself what is her bottom line? POWER!!!! If you think you really matter to her you are mistaken.

  3. As an aside, I must laugh because I suggested 6 years ago that SDEA make a more interactive website with an open forum for member comment. Now it happens! And well-done too. Thanks!

  4. Why have all have my posts regarding the ability to open the contract been erased? There was nothing improper about them. If it is true that there is an attempt to silence members by SDEA’s Board, you are acting no differently be removing my posts clearing showing you that there are options to discuss possible concessions without risking the possibility of being imposed on…

    I will post AGAIN and hope you do not remove my post:

    We all know there’s more money than the District is saying and I’m sure you can: 1) protect teachers from being laid off (for this year at least); and 2) help students maintain quality teachers in classrooms by meeting the District somewhere between the lines drawn in the sand, but it’s simply NOT true that you cannot have discussions to consider concessions without inviting the possibility of impasse. You are sure to avoid the possibility of impasse by agreeing to a side letter similar to the following:

    Memorandum of Understanding

    By way of this Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”), the San Diego Education Association (“Association”) and the San Diego Unified School District (“District”) hereby agree:

    1. This MOU shall be in full force and effect commencing May 29, 2012;

    2. This MOU shall expire and be of no further force or effect as of June 30, 2012;

    3. The District and the Association shall meet and negotiate over matters within the scope of representation, as defined by Government Code Section 3543.2;

    4. For the term of this Agreement, the District shall not “declare that an impasse has been reached between the parties in negotiations over matters within the scope of representation” (see Government Code Section 3548);

    5. For the term of this Agreement, the Association shall not “declare that an impasse has been reached between the parties in negotiations over matters within the scope of representation” (see Government Code Section 3548);

    6. Modification(s) to matters within the scope of representation, as defined by Government Code Section 3543.2, shall become effective upon the execution of tentative agreement(s);

    7. Tentative agreement(s) shall: 1) be reduced to writing; 2) specify the modification(s) to be made; and 3) signed, but not executed, by representatives of both the Association and the District;

    8. Tentative agreement(s) shall be executed upon approval by both the District Board of Education and Association membership;

    9. Effective immediately prior to the expiration of this Agreement, all proposal(s) shall become null and avoid; and

    10. Effective immediately prior to the expiration of this Agreement, all Tentative Agreement(s) shall become null and void.

    Agreed to May 29, 2012 by:

    Bill Freeman
    Association President

    Bill Kowba
    District Superintendent

    • As regards to reopeners you might want to ask about “our” friend Lorena Sanchez on the Labor Council article in the Voice of San Diego did. If you haven’t read the article go to the Voice of San Diego web page. This is a “friend” of education whom Camille has us join. This is a group we will be paying close to $100,000.00 of our dues monies too next year. And your afraid that Bill is pushing for concessions!!! Out of his own lips he said no concessions but he will not allow us to go down either.


    I have a few questions.

    1. Why the eleventh hour? Is it because Camille Zombro was voted out and now the union can push this through?

    2. How convenient that there is a vote in the summer when people are on vacation and not checking their district email.

    3. We already know about their lame union home phone survey conducted while we were all in our classrooms teaching!
    Did they really want to know what we thought? I doubt it.

    4. I never take the first price that the car dealer quotes me either! I bargain and negotiate. Isn’t that what we are paying the union to do?

    5. This is not about who is getting laid off-this is about respect for the job we all do. Why was the union trying to divide members?

    6. We all deserve respect and this first version is not all it could be. What is wrong with getting the best deal and going back to the bargaining table in good faith?

    7. Why am I suspicious? I keep getting emails from the union and the district sounding like it is all over. But we still have to VOTE!!



    That is why I am voting NO!

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