Associated Calexico Teachers members say that despite a healthy reserve balance and end-of-year surpluses the last several years, the Calexico Unified School District consistently refuses to bargain fairly. “If there is indeed a fiscal crisis, then why is the district continuing to spend funds for outside consultants, unnecessary legal fees and inflated ‘phantom’ expenses?” says ACT President Enrique Cervantes. “They have ample reserve funds, yet they are spending less and less on direct services to students.” ACT members are rallying at school board meetings, conducting informational picketing throughout the community, and meeting with groups of parents and citizens. “We are determined to do whatever it takes to get better services for our students and a fair contract for ACT members,” says Cervantes.
Belmont-Redwood Shores Teachers Association members will be enjoying raises soon. The chapter reached a tentative agreement on a contract providing a 3.5 percent raise on the salary schedule, retroactive to July 1, 2011. Educators also won an additional one-time 2 percent payment to help pay for an increase in their health benefit premium. The agreement, which came on the second day of a session with a state mediator, was expected to be ratified by mid-March.
Elk Grove Education Association has gone to the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) to initiate the fact-finding process over health care and lottery compensation issues reopened under the 2010-12 collective bargaining agreement. EGEA continues to believe that the best way to resolve these issues is through the negotiation of the 2012-13 contract.
Fullerton Secondary Teachers Organization members have ratified a new two-year agreement that includes two furlough days each year. Although no employee health care contribution is required in the first year, the second year calls for a hard cap of 105 percent. A new position for special education caseload managers will limit student numbers to 65. “The contract also includes language that would require any increase in unrestricted funds to go toward buying back furlough days,” says FSTO President Mary Wild.
Knights Ferry Teachers Association has been certified to fact-finding after rejecting an offer that would have meant accepting five unpaid furlough days and a permanent 2.24 percent salary cut, resulting in an overall 5 percent decrease. The six-member association has also filed an unfair labor practice charge alleging the district engaged in regressive bargaining and refused to participate in good faith in the impasse procedures established under the Educational Employment Relations Act. While the teachers in the 120-student district are among the lowest-paid in Stanislaus County, the full-time release principal/superintendent received a 3 percent raise.
Oak Park Teachers Association in January ratified an agreement that includes a retirement incentive of $25,000, has no furlough days, and protects class sizes.
Paso Robles Public Educators is at impasse. The school district is asking for six furlough days this year and nine for 2012, which would remain each year until renegotiated out. PRPE has already offered significant concessions to help the district deal with its current financial issues. A mediation session Feb. 29 failed to achieve a settlement; a second session was scheduled for March 12.
Ross School District Teachers Association negotiated a 2 percent salary schedule increase retroactive to July 1, 2011. Teachers in this Marin County district ratified their new contract agreement in January.