Negotiations Update 5-16-18

Negotiations Update 5-16-18
Posted on 05/16/2018

Where we ended:

In short, we ended the day with resolution on all issues but one --that being an additional 30 minutes of collaboration every other week.

As part of a package proposal, we were able to reach agreement on many items including:

Three year contract expiring June 30, 2021
5% increase on all salary schedules (allocation to be mutually determined), hourly schedules, and Schedule B
Additional steps on the Home and Hospital schedule
$1,000 annual stipend for Special Education teachers
Increase in stipend for Athletic Trainer
Article 3-Children's Center
Article 5-Complaints Against Teachers
Article 7-Early Retirement
Article 9-Benefits
Article 10-Evaluation
Article 11-Extra Duty (with the exception of the extra collaboration time as noted above)
Article 12-Grievance
Article 23-Calendar
Article 25-Hours
How we got there:

The ETA and District had a full day of negotiations on May 16, meeting for close to 12 hours. We did not reach a full and final agreement, but the parties explored many options and were very close to resolving a three year contract.

At the beginning of the day, the parties heard more information about academic expectations of the State of California for the students in our unduplicated count (homeless, English language learners and those of poverty). Michael Davies Hughes provided information on the status of achievement in our District and the facts indicating we are at high risk of becoming a district subject to state intervention. As with fiscal matters, the State is in the process of developing a program to intervene in districts if the achievement gap and various state indicators fall below state standards. As a result of these mandates from the State, ECS is at a point where we must actively address and see improvements in the various indicators of student achievement. This is the purpose of the District's Accountability Plan (LCAP) and the reason the District has been proposing the use of LCAP funding to support the addition of a professional development day, additional collaboration time and the addition of supplemental service time.

Although the parties had been exchanging package proposals for a three year closed contract in the prior meetings, the ETA initiated a change in approach by proposing a one-year contract that included a 3.5% increase in salary and the ten hours of supplemental services plus changes to the dental/vision plans, a stipend for special education teachers , changing the pay structure for Home and Hospital teachers, changes in how coaches are paid (Appendix B) and a limited term addition of involuntary transfer language. Under this proposal the salary increase and other cost items would continue after one year but the supplemental service section would terminate.

The fundamental issue the parties discussed at the May 16 session and most prior sessions is that the use of LCAP funding must be tied to additional/changed services and cannot be used for general salary increases.

In response to the one-year proposal, the District offered a multi-year contract that included terms for the first year (reopeners in subsequent years) and an option for a two-year closed contract. The one-year provisions included the 3.5% salary increase and 10 hours of supplemental services plus adjustments to dental and vision plans and district language proposals on transfers, and other items. The option for a two-year plan added a 2% increase, an ongoing professional develop day and special education stipends. Neither of these package proposals were acceptable to ETA.

Then based on a subsequent package proposal by ETA, the parties began to revisit the concept of a three-year closed contract. The closed contract concept would mean all issues would be resolved for 3 years, and further negotiations would not be held on the contract for that period.

By the end of the day/evening, the parties had exchanged package proposals-both in writing and with verbal suggestions and clarifications containing similar provisions on all elements except for the increase of collaboration time and on transfer language. These mutually agreed upon terms include a 5% salary increase (with some discussion about how to apply) plus an improvement in dental and vision coverage, a special education stipend and improvement to the schedule for Home and Hospital teachers. The District expressed the willingness to accept the ETA's language on transfers but wanted collaboration time to increase by one hour (instead of two) per month (half hour each session). This was not acceptable to ETA.

At this point, it is unclear whether the parties will try to meet again or determine the need for assistance by the State Mediation service. There are no further dates calendared for negotiations. For clarification, if the parties are not able to reach an agreement prior to July 1, the law provides that the current contract , in general, remains in effect.