Negotiations Update 6-12-18

The parties met for the second day of 2018-19 successor negotiations on June 12, 2018. Major topics discussed were:

  • Compensation
    • The District’s offer of the equivalent of a 6% increase in compensation, to take effect July 1, 2018, remains on the table.
    • The cost of CSEA’s compensation proposal is still being calculated, but appears to be in excess of a 15% increase in compensation for a one-year deal.
    • Additionally, CSEA’s compensation proposal contains other items that represent a cost to the District, including a stipend for “training,” reducing the number of years between longevity increases and adding an additional “band” on the salary schedule, and compensating unit members for degree attainment.
  • Hours and Overtime – The parties exchanged proposals addressing lunch periods, compensatory leave, and the distribution of extra hours.
  • Evaluations – The District proposed to streamline the classified evaluation form.
  • Safety -The District responded to CSEA’s counterproposal on safety by incorporating a requirement to report the status and outcome of an investigation to the complaining party.
  • Leaves – CSEA proposed 14 days of personal necessity leave, 7 days of discretionary leave, and unlimited organizational leave.
  • Organizational Security - The District presented a proposal incorporating language on AB 119 – union access to new employee orientation.
  • Discipline – The parties are close to agreement on language reflecting the inclusion of recommendations/directives to an employee receiving discipline, but remain at odds over modifying language allowing disciplinary action for a violation of District rules, regulations, or policies.
  • Transfers – The parties continued to exchange proposals regarding vacancy posting time.
  • TB Testing - The parties reached a tentative agreement reflecting updates to the TB testing language in the contract.

Additional details pertaining to each area are discussed below.

Compensation

On the first day of negotiations, June 1, 2018, CSEA indicated it was exploring a proposal which it believed had an approximate equivalent cost of a 15% increase in compensation. The actual cost of the proposal has yet to be determined.

On June 12, the parties discussed comparables, with the District team emphasizing the value of looking at Humboldt County data rather than Statewide data on salary competitiveness.

The District team also explained that for 2018-19, the District is projecting a significant drop in enrollment, which represents a substantial decrease in funding.

CSEA stated its preference to put money toward the integrity of the salary schedule, rather than addressing the minimum wage law and raising the lowest wages.

CSEA presented a written proposal on compensation, the cost of which the District is in the process of calculating. Significantly, CSEA’s compensation would only close negotiations on salary and benefits for 2018-19, with reopeners on both items permitted in 2019-20 and 2020-21.

Hours and Overtime

The parties exchanged proposals addressing an employee’s entitlement to an unpaid lunch period. Both parties identified the need for flexibility in scheduling lunch periods, to meet the District’s operational needs as well as the employee’s personal schedule.

The parties also exchanged proposals on compensatory leave time, which the District proposed to update to comply with the Education Code. The parties are negotiating over the time period during which employees can accrue compensatory leave time, after which it is automatically paid out.

In response to CSEA’s interest, the District offered contract language regarding the distribution of extra hours to employees in their position and to employees in class(es) appropriate to the nature of the work.

The parties are still at odds over the adjustment of assigned time.

Evaluations

The District presented a proposal to streamline the classified evaluation form, including combining multiple areas of assessment.

Safety

The parties exchanged counterproposals on safety. CSEA’s counterproposal reflected no changes from its first proposal.

In response to the membership’s concerns, the District included a provision in its counterproposal for the complaining party to be updated on the status and outcome of an investigation, to the extent required by law or District policy.

Leaves

CSEA presented a counterproposal on leaves that increased a unit member’s entitlement to personal necessity leave from the District’s proposal of 7 days 14 days, and increased discretionary leave from 2 to 7 days. CSEA also reiterated its proposal for unlimited organizational leave, up from the current limit of 30 days per year.

Organizational Security

The parties have engaged in many sessions of negotiations over AB 119, which provides unions access to new employee orientations. The District’s proposal on organizational security reflected the incorporation of its last proposal on AB 119 into the contract.

Discipline

The parties exchanged counterproposals adding a requirement for the supervisor to include, in any disciplinary documentation, recommendations and/or directives for the employee to correct their performance deficiencies (District) or actions the supervisor is committed to take to help the employee remediate their performance deficiencies (CSEA).

The parties continued discussion on modifying contract language to permit disciplinary action in cases where an employee violates a District rule, regulation, or policy.

Transfers

The parties exchanged counterproposals on transfers relative to the required time to post a vacancy. The District’s interest is in reducing this time so as not to lose qualified candidates to other employers. CSEA proposed language guaranteeing that a single employee applicant would be considered a pool, which does not accord with other language in the contract.

The parties meet for a 3rd session of negotiations on July 11, 2018.