Negotiations Update – August 16, 2013

The little progress we’ve made with our negotiations is disappointing. Although we have reached agreement on some contract articles, the most important topics, wages, preparation time, and class-size have not been resolved. In fact, the district has delayed and postponed discussions on any topic that involves money. All through these negotiations we have been met with one excuse after another about why the district would not discuss any financial topics. First they told us, after the Governor’s January budget proposal, that his statement was only a suggestion and they refused to attach any credence to it. When facts supporting the Governor’s suggestions started to surface in February, March and April, they told us they had to wait until the Governor’s May Revised budget was released before they could talk money with us. Continue reading

Negotiations Update

August 13, 2013

WHY DID PVFT REJECT THE DISTRICT’S PACKAGE PROPOSAL?

Over the last two years, in preparation for negotiations, PVFT members identified 3 priorities for contract negotiations:

• SMALLER CLASSES/CASELOADS
• INCREASED PREP TIME
• COMPETITIVE SALARY

PVFT negotiators led by chief negotiator Jack Carroll felt strongly that they could not accept the District’s packaged proposal in June because it neglected to address these 3 priorities. So the negotiations team rejected the 7% raise offered by the District in June for the following reasons:

• TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT: The 7% salary increase was tied to very unfavorable givebacks and no improvement in contract language in articles pertaining to our 3 target areas; furthermore, it was presented as a take it all or leave it all (just as the previous 4% offer was). No salary increases for the 2014-15 school year even though the state budget calls for large increases in school district revenue.

• COMPETIVE SALARY: The salary increase was not offered to all our unit members. Adult Ed and Early Childhood, the lowest paid members of our unit, were excluded even though their management, administrators and clerical staff were included.

• PREP TIME: Preparation time on restructured Wednesdays in the elementary grades, as protected in our current contract, would no longer be protected under the District’s proposal. Also no relief from endless meetings for middle or high school.

• SMALL CLASSES: Class size was reduced only in 1st grade. No additional reductions for the 14-15 school year either.

• CASELOAD CAPS: no language was included in the proposal and no response to PVFT proposal to reduce caseloads, either for Specialists or P.E. Teachers.

DID WE LOSE OUT ON A SALARY INCREASE?

Our PVFT negotiators feel strongly that the District’s “take it or leave it” proposal locks in the cuts of the past five years. It is imperative that preparation time and class caseload sizes are corrected in order to ensure the best learning conditions for students and improved working conditions for our members. The District has been hiding revenue forecasts showing they can afford more than just a 7% increase. We need your support to move the District toward a more equitable and transparent agreement.

Press Release, “The rest of the Story…”

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The recent announcement by PVUSD describing their long awaited counter proposal to PVFT was intentionally deceptive. The statement that “The District made this offer with the understanding that this Tentative Agreement would not close negotiations on Salary or the other Articles currently subject to negotiations” can be contrasted with the actual language of their proposal, “Workload and hours shall be amended as attached and implemented in the 2013-2014 school year.” Subsequent discussions during negotiations confirmed that they were not proposing to continue negotiations on this.

Furthermore, this article of the contract, that would no longer be open for negotiation, would in fact REDUCE TOTAL preparation time by either 60 minutes per week or 135 minutes per week, depending on the grade. This, too, was confirmed in subsequent discussions during negotiations. This level of deception is consistent with the misrepresentations regarding available school funding on which this inadequate proposal was based.

We also asked why first grade was chosen to be the sole beneficiary of class size reduction. They answered that the District had available classrooms next year only for the first grade despite the fact that PVFT told the Board, Human Resources and the District’s negotiating team, as early as January to begin planning for this infusion of money. By all accounts, our Board did not plan for the coming changes in California school funding and instead relied on the advice of their business office, who insisted on using outdated budget assumptions, to do nothing.

In response to the District’s “Press Release” to employees, PVFT has prepared “The Rest of the Story…” Non-italic, underlined print was added to the District’s “Press Release” and the portion dealing with CSEA was deleted.

 

  Continue reading

Negotiations Update

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 The district made an offer yesterday that even they recognized as inadequate. They describe it as a “first phase” and made it clear that they knew it wasn’t enough but they were willing to keep talking to us in the fall. They hoped that the actual state budget to be passed in a month would be more money for the District than they were willing to recognize now. But they were unwilling to negotiate any “what if” contingencies about this assured, significant revenue increase.

To summarize their offer: No retroactive pay raise this year and only a 4% raise next school year; they want to keep high class-sizes and caseloads in all but one grade level and they want even more time for mandated meetings! They urged us to accept this offer immediately even though they waited nine weeks to respond to our initial proposals, stating they couldn’t counter until they saw the State’s May Budget Revision. What makes this particularly puzzling is that they are NOT using this eagerly anticipated May Revise as the basis for their counter proposal!

The revenue forecast they did opt to use as justification for this poor offer is obsolete and does not reflect the passage of Prop 30, Measure L and the greatly increased school funding being debated in the Legislature.

We are prepared to offer a counter proposal and before concluding our meeting requested the District’s soonest available date. Their response was they did not have dates available at that time and would get back to us. We are still awaiting their call.

You can contact our office at 831-722-2331 with any questions. Click here to email school board members to let them know what you think. 

On a lighter note, we’re having our annual PVFT party this Friday, May 31th from 4-6 at Jalisco’s. Food, drinks and great people! Don’t miss it! Here’s the link to a flyer you can print and post all over the place! Click here for Directions

 

Closed Session Meeting

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Scores of teachers, parents and support personnel from the Pajaro Valley Unified School District attended a closed session meeting of the Board of Trustees to express their support for smaller class sizes, salary improvements and increased preparation time for teachers during the public comment section of the closed meeting. The PVUSD has been stalling negotiations on these three important items, but with the release on Tuesday of the Governor’s May Revise, many feel the district is able to adequately meet the demands of parents and employees.

You can view a presentation on the status of our negotiations Closed Session Meeting.

In Addition, on May 17, the Legislative Analyst Office released an overview of the Governor’s May revision. From what we gather, this appears to be better news on top of good news!

Contract Campaign 2013

The current PVUSD-PVFT Contract is for school years 2009-2012, which means it is now “expired.” This does not mean we have no contract; the terms of this contract remain in force until new contract langauge is approved. What this does mean is that the entire contract is up for negotiation this year —and negotiations are now under way!

April 10 Update: Time is running out and our school year will soon come to a close. It’s been more than two weeks since we made a proposal to the district asking for lower class sizes/caseloads, increased salary and prep time. Today, in negotiations, the district had no response! If they drag their feet, our school year will end without a contract to ratify. There is NO excuse for this! The district needs to start planning for smaller classes now! Please click on the link below to send a letter to the Board of Trustees to ask them to “MAKE THE DISTRICT NEGOTIATE”! See the link below under Time to Take Action to respond.

It is Time to Take Action! Read on below

Jack Carroll is our Chief Negotiator on the team of six teachers representing PVFT in negotiations. He has prepared three slideshows to be presented to both the School Board and our site Representative Council:

  • Fat City makes the point that PVUSD should spend down its excessive reserves; that the reserve represents millions of dollars that should be spent supporting the students, teachers and schools of PVUSD.
  • District Comparison presents a series of statistics (using the latest data from www.ed-data.org) comparing PVUSD to 36 other California school districts whose enrollment is +/- 25% of PVUSD’s enrollment and with Hispanic or Latino as their largest ethnic group.
  • Compare These Ending Balance Projections, which looks at the District’s numbers and compares them with numbers that reflect the new fiscal reality following the passage of Prop 30 and the Governor’s budget proposal. See below for this presentation.

Jack presented “District Comparison” to the Board of Trustees at their 2/27 meeting and presented “Fat City” to the School Board at their 3/13 meeting. The picture below shows Jack presenting to the Board, with visible and vocal support from many teachers: Continue reading

Union Election Results

April 8, 2013: Ballots are being sent to all Site Reps, for members to ratify the proposed amendments to the PVFT Constitution and By-Laws! Your rep will communicate with you this week about voting to ratify these changes. To recap, the changes to increase representation on the Executive Council of departments and schools not previously represented (e.g. ECE, ME, SELPA, Charter Schools), to remove the “Zone” VP positions, and a few minor non-substantive wording changes. Your site rep has the exact wording of all changes. Please vote this week or next (by April 19at the latest)!

March 4, 2013: One hundred and eighty two ballots were returned, and the results are:

  • Union President: Francisco Rodriguez was re-elected for his 4th 2-year term as our Union President. Congratulations Francisco!
  • Union VP for Grievances: Sarah Henne was elected to be our new VP for Grievances. Congratulations Sarah!
  • CFT Convention Delegates: The slate of delegates was approved; the following people will represent us at this year’s CFT Convention:
    • Ted Altenberg (AJHS), Liliana Barrios (Migrant Ed), Connie Bishop (PVHS), Don Brown (WHS), Bertha Carlos (Amesti), Jack Carroll (PVFT), Kate Freels (Mintie White), Alex Gatica (Migrant Ed, Ann Soldo), Jennifer Goodheart (Bradley), Sarah Henne (PVFT), Sean Henry (SpEd, Duncan Holbert), Lowell Hurst (Retired), Nancy Jackson (Starlight), Kathleen Kilpatrick (Nurse), Sara Leonard (Valencia), Abel Mejia (WHS), Ari parker (Bradley), Francisco Rodriguez (PVFT), Leah Sugarman (Alianza), Lynne Siqueiros (H. A. Hyde), Anne Twichell (Mar Vista), Lucia Villareal (Migrant Ed, AHS), Miriam Wyman (Freedom), Mamiche Young (Freedom).
  • Amendments to the PVFT By-Laws and Constitution: The required signatures were received, and a separate ballot will be distributed for the approval of the suggested amendments to the PVFT By-Laws and Constitution.Look for that sometime in March.

PVUSD-PVFT Teacher Evaluation Committee

Part of the School Improvement Grant (SIG) asks for changes in the Teacher Evaluation system, but in negotiations the District agreed with PVFT that there should be one uniform evaluation system for all schools, rather than one for the SIG schools and another for everyone else.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between PVUSD and PVFT (signed 5/1/12) includes the establishment of an Evaluation Committee to review the current system and make recommendations to the District. Any changes will then be formally negotiated, and incorporated into Article XVIII of our Collective Bargaining Agreement (“contract”), to take effect in school year 2013–2014.

Here’s a brief overview of the Evaluation Committee:

Committee Members

The committee include teachers, PVFT officers, site administrators, and district administrators; they are:

  • Teachers:
    • Ted Altenberg, AJHS (edward_altenberg@pvusd.net);
    • Don Brown, WHS (don_brown@pvusd.net);
    • Susan Gallagher, EAHMS (susan_gallagher@pvusd.net);
    • Jennifer Khan, MacQuiddy (jennifer_khan@pvusd.net);
    • Sara Rigler, MacQuiddy (sara_riggler@pvusd.net).
  • PVFT Officers:
    • Francisco Rodriguez, President (president@pvft.net, 722-2331);
    • Jack Carroll, Executive Director and Chief Negotiator (executivedirector@pvft.net, 722-2331);
  • Site Administrators:
    • Rick Ito, RHMS (rick_ito@pvusd.net, 728-6341);
    • Ulli Kumerrow, Radcliff (ulli_kumerrow@pvusd.net, 728-6469);
    • Elaine Legoretta, WHS (elaine_legoretta@pvusd.net, 728-6390);
    • Guillermo Ramos, Hall District (guillermo_ramos@pvusd.net, 728-6371 )
  • District Administrators:
    • Dorma Baker, Superintendent (superintendent@pvusd.net, 786-2135);
    • Ylda Nogueda, Ass’t Superintendent for Elementary (ylda_nogueda@pvusd.net, 786-2133);
    • Murry Schekman, Ass’t Superintendent for Secondary (murry_schekman@pvusd.net, 786-2395);
    • Sharon Roddick, Ass’t Superintendent for HR (sharon_roddick@pvusd.net, 786-2145);
    • Kim Sweeney, SIG Coordinator (kim_sweeney@pvusd.net, 786-2100 x2502)
  • Facilitators:
    • Mike Heffner, New Teacher Center (mheffner@newteachercenter.org);
    • Colleen Stobbe, New Teacher Center (cjstobbe@live.com).

Committee Meetings:

The Committee has eight sessions scheduled: October 25–26, November 5 and 9, December 17–18, and January 28–29.

Initial Findings:

One of the first orders of business was to identify criteria against which our current teacher evaluation system should itself be evaluated -as well as any future modifcations to the teacher evaluation system. Consensus was reached on the following criteria:

  • Meaningful
  • Consistent with Equitable Application
  • Streamlined/Concise
  • Collaborative
  • Promotes Growth
  • Supportive
  • Transparency
  • Calibrate-able
  • Evidence-Based

During the course of the October and November meetings, one thing became clear: While the current evaluation system is a good one overall, the documents explaining it are confusing. At the November 5 meeting, initial progress was made on editing the evaluation documents; at the November 9 -meeting, initial edits were reviewed and revised again. Committee members are confident that everyone -teachers and their evaluators- will benefit next year from improved documents, that will be clearer and more concise.

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