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Follow the Money- Janus Case and Beyond


District and Association Continue Bargaining

September 10, 2018

The District and the Association spent Friday in a productive bargaining session. While a couple issues remain sticking points, the tenor of the conversation was optimistic. The teams are scheduled to return to the bargaining table on Wednesday, September 12. Members should expect an update no later than Friday, September 14.

 

District and Association Closing in on Agreement

August 29, 2018

The District and the Association continue to meet to work through the challenging issues presented in this round of negotiations. A top priority remains a fair and reasonable salary increase for all members.

Members will remember that the final state budget provided modest increases in funding to k12 education over the May Revise, but dramatic reductions in the amount of one-time funds being provided.

Based on the State budget, the Association bargaining team has put forward a proposal that includes a 2% increase to all salary schedules, a 2.5% one-time bonus, and making the third non-instructional workday a permanent fixture of the calendar.

The District’s proposal includes a 1.5% increase to all salary schedules, a 1.5% one-time bonus, and making the third non-instructional workday a permanent fixture of the calendar. The district is also proposing that the cost of the third non-instructional workday be offset by the elimination of continued contributions to the Post Employment Health Plan (also known as PEHP).

In addition to closing the gap for salary considerations, there are still several items that may serve as stumbling blocks that must be crossed prior to a deal being reached. These include:

Additional Items from SJTA proposals:

  • Protections regarding members personal and private information
  • Additional support for professionals working within special education programs
  • Prep time for Adult Education practitioners
  • Language for district-wide “Lead” positions
  • Attracting and retaining specialized personnel (such as Nurses, SLPs, etc.)
  • Calendar for the 2019-2020 school year
  • Process for input for department and grade level assignments
  • Support/compensation for Elementary combo classes

Additional Items from SJUSD Proposal:

  • Adjustments in voluntary transfer timeline
  • Adjustments for School Social Worker day/year
  • Calendar for the 2019-2020 school year

The District and Association next sit down at the negotiating table on September 7th and 12th.

 

Final State Budget Brings More Money to Education, but Less than Anticipated

August 5, 2018

SJTA and SJUSD have held seven bargaining sessions to date; in these first sessions the bargaining teams reviewed and discussed each item from their initial bargaining proposals to determine areas of potential common interest, identify possible cost(s) and note areas the teams may not be in conceptual agreement. While the teams were completing this part of the negotiations process, the Governor reached agreement with lawmakers on the State budget that provided increases for social service, infrastructure and state colleges. There were also several last minute changes in the state k12 education budget from the May Revise, including a reduction of approximately 50% in one-time funds to districts. While the reduction in one-time funds is disappointing and results in an overall reduction in funding from the May Revise, education funding in CA will reach its highest level with this year’s approved state educational budget topping last years by $4.5 billion.

After the completion of the beginning phase of negotiations, and using the up-dated information about the State budget, the SJTA bargaining team presented the first formal bargaining proposal to the District in late June.

While the specifics remain confidential, SJTA’s proposal reflects the interests put forward in our Initial Bargaining Proposal approved at the January Rep Council meeting. These interests were generate by members from our bargaining survey and vetted by faculty representatives from each site and program.

While not an exhaustive list, among the topics addressed in the SJTA formal proposal are the following:

  • Fair and reasonable salary increases for all unit members
  • Increases to stipends
  • Strengthening of leave language
  • Reduced class size for high density middle years instruction
  • Increased supports for high density elementary schools
  • Additional support for professionals working within special education programs
  • Prep time for Adult Education practitioners
  • Protections regarding members personal and private information
  • Language for district-wide lead positions
  • Attracting and retaining specialized personnel (i.e. Speech Pathologists, Nurses, etc.)

"While the Governor didn’t provide us everything we might have hoped for, this is still a healthy budget," says SJTA President Bill Simmons. "And even with the increased costs to health benefits, step and column, as well as STRS and PERS there should still be room to make some meaningful gains."

Formal negotiations resume on August 7, at which time SJTA anticipates that the district will provide its counter proposal.

Members should anticipate the next negotiations update the first week of instruction.

 

Supreme Court Ruling - Janus Case

June 28, 2018

 

I heard on the news something about a case that may weaken teachers’ unions. What’s going on?

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that unions can’t collect fair share fees from non-union members. Until today, non-members in San Juan have paid their ‘fair share’ for the union representation they receive which includes all the contract benefits and protections.

I heard on the news something about a case that may weaken teachers’ unions. What’s going on?

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that unions can’t collect fair share fees from non-union members. Until today, non-members in San Juan have paid their ‘fair share’ for the union representation they receive which includes all the contract benefits and protections.

How does this affect my union membership?

It doesn’t. Your membership, dues, etc. remain unchanged. It only affects non-union members.

Would I get the same benefits if I did drop my membership?

No. You would get the benefits of the negotiated contract, but have no say in the priorities like salary and benefits, school safety conditions, class sizes and all the other things in the contract. You’d also be ineligible for all the benefits that come with membership, including a $1,000,000 personal liability policy, legal services, access to student-centered professional development, membership discounts on insurance, entertainment, and travel. Unfortunately, you’d also lose your voice in the union. You couldn’t vote in union elections and you wouldn’t even be able to vote on the contract.

What is the Janus v. AFSCME Case?

The Janus case is an attempt to further rig the system against working people by challenging the constitutionality of fair share fees. These fees have been collected by public employee unions from non-members whom the union is obligated to represent under the collective bargaining agreements they have negotiated. The plaintiffs argued that those fees violate their First Amendment free speech rights by compelling them to pay for political speech they disagree with. But the fact is, the former system did not violate anyone’s free speech rights because fair share payers only pay for costs related to bargaining their contract and representing them in any contract-related issue. The United States Supreme Court had upheld fair share contributions for over 40 years as a sensible compromise that protects the rights of both individuals and unions.

Check out the "Janus" tab for more information,

Who can I speak to if I have additional questions?

Call Bill, Shannan, or Ed at the Association office at 916.487.7582 or email them:

You can also visit cta.org/Janus or sjta.org under the Janus tab.

 


Salary Increase Tops List as Negotiations Begin

April 20, 2018

SJTA and the District bargaining teams began negotiations for a successor contract Monday, April 16. At the top of SJTA's proposal is a fair and reasonable salary increase for all members beginning in the 2018-19 school year. Also topping the list, based on members priorities from the bargaining survey last fall, and confirmed by rep council: exploring strategies for additional class size reduction at mid and high density schools and establishing reasonable caseloads/workloads for all of our student-support members including nurses, counselors and speech pathologists.

The District and SJTA bargaining teams have set an aggressive calendar of meetings, through the end of May, with the outside hope of reaching an agreement prior to summer break.

Brandon Wells, SJTA bargaining chair commented, "If negotiations conclude prior to summer break, we can likely credit it to efficient dialogue, productive preparation for the bargaining table, and the right alignment of positioning and circumstance. Time is a factor toward reaching a strong tentative agreement, not a qualification for success. Our first priority is to reach a wise agreement."

An important factor that will impact negotiations, on May 15, the Governor is required to provide a revised budget proposal to legislature for consideration. While we currently do not anticipate that there will be a dramatic change in the total amount of funding to education from what the Governor’s January Proposal contained there are ongoing discussions in the legislature related to how the funds will be delivered.

The Governor’s January Proposal included fully funding the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) and providing districts with a substantial payment of “one-time” funds. For San Juan Unified the share of these one-time funds is approximately $11 million.

The discussions in the Legislature are focused on how much, if any of that $11 million, could be converted to on-going funding, as opposed to one-time funding. The advantage to the “on-going” funding is that it can be used to fund ongoing expenses, such as a raise.

The SJTA Bargaining Team and Executive Board will provide updates to this website as bargaining progress and Faculty Reps can anticipate a full report at the May Rep Council. Should there be a significant development over the summer, bargaining updates would be sent to members' home emails during the summer break.

 


2017-18 Bargaining Timeline/Process

January 22, 2018

Oct. 20 – Nov. 19: Bargaining Survey
Nov. 20-Dec. 19: Executive Board and Bargaining Team review
Bargaining Survey results
December 20: Draft Initial Bargaining Proposal presented to Rep Council
Dec. 21 – Jan. 16: Faculty Reps lead discussions for feedback and revisions
January 17: Amendments and final approval of Initial Bargaining by Rep Council
February 13: Initial Proposal "sunshined" to School Board
March 27: District’s Initial Proposal ‘sunshined’ to SJTA
April SJTA and District Teams begin formal bargaining sessions

The Governor’s State Budget Proposal in January and the May Revise will inform the bargaining process

 


SJTA 2017-18 Bargaining Survey

October 20, 2017

Take the 2017-18 SJTA Bargaining Survey

 


Informational Update

September 1, 2017

Colleagues,

We hope that you had a relaxing summer and that the school year has gotten off to a successful start.

The purpose of this update is to provide current information to our members about the contingency language for the 2017-18 school year that was part of last year's negotiated settlement. As a reminder, the agreement that was reached in the spring last year was for both the 2016-17 and the 2017-18 school years.

Note: While the District’s fiscal picture did improve, the Governor continued to be fiscally conservative in his approach to budgeting for education. As a result the improvements were not as substantial as we had hoped.

For the 2016-17 school year, the contract included the following elements related to salary:

  • 2% Raise (retroactive to July 1, 2016)
  • 2% Bonus (on salary and stipends for 2016-17 school year)
  • 2 Days
    • One optional PD Day - paid on time card at the member's daily rate (17-18 & 18-19)
    • One scheduled Non-instructional work-day in 17-18 & 18-19 (+.56% to salary)

Due to the uncertainty of the state budget, the 2017- 18 salary language was written to be contingent on the state's adopted budget for the 17-18 fiscal year, as well as the audited actuals of the district's budget. While the adopted state budget did indeed improve the financial situation, it did not trigger any of the automatic language for ongoing or one-time salary increases. However, some scenarios from the contingency language still remain a possibility. Both of these two remaining scenarios include a combination of factors and would cause the parties to return to the table.

One potential scenario is that the 2017-18 state budget would result in combined one-time and on-going funds to the district that equal more than $6,000,000. To determine if the criteria was met, the SJTA Executive Board and Negotiations team members will be reviewing First Interim numbers when they come out in mid-September. Currently we estimate this number to be between $4 and $7 million. If these estimates come in above $6 million, the joint Budget Review Committee (BRC) will convene to determine appropriate next steps.

Another potential scenario is the district may have over-estimated their expenses for the year resulting in an increase in the ending fund balance. If the District’s 2016-17 Audited Actuals do reveal an increase in the unrestricted ending fund balance (not including Supplemental Grant) of more than $1,400,000 the BRC will convene to determine next steps. We have no clear estimates on these figures at this time, but this information will be included in Audited Actuals that are published in December.

Key take-aways:

  • No contingency has been triggered at this point, but two scenarios remain possibilities
  • The District’s First Interim due in September and the Audit Actuals due in December will contain the key financial information to determine if the two scenarios will be triggered
  • The Executive Board and Bargaining Team will be reviewing all necessary documents and timelines to ensure the best results for our members

 


Important Upcoming Dates

  • June 15, 2017 - CA budget deadline
  • (no later than) July 9 - Retro check is due to SJTA members (2% on all STRS-able earnings for July- April 2016-17)
  • (no later than) August 7 - 2% off schedule payment or "one-time bonus" based on total earnings in the 2016-17 school year (including the 2% increase to salary)
  • August 8 - Calendared PD day
  • August 9 – Non-Instructional Workday
  • August 10 - First day of Instruction
  • August 30 - ‘Informational meeting’ beginning at 4:30pm at the SJTA office to review the negotiated contingency language and the state budget and with members
  • Mid-October - Audited Actuals of district budget completed
  • October 26th - First Budget Review Committee (BRC) meeting for 2017-18 year to review negotiated contingency language, funding increases to SJUSD, and Audited Actuals to determine if language has been triggered for salary increases in 2017-18

 


System of Professional Growth Up-Dates


2017-18 Practitioner Participants
All practitioners required to go through an SPG in 2017-18 cycle were notified by HR this spring of their participation. If you believe you were identified in error or believe you should be participating, but were not notified, please contact HR or the SJTA office.

Required SPG trainings
Trainings are being held throughout the summer. Please check ERO for dates and times. If you are unable to attend training during the summer break, other dates will be added and will occur during the 2017-18 school year.

Wondering who your facilitator will be?
Facilitator- Practitioner pairings will be made over the summer. SJTA and SJUSD teams are planning on having the pairings completed before the first day of instruction.

Specialized Groups- Rubrics
Teams representing nurses, counselors, social workers, teacher-librarians, and instructional support staff worked during the 2016-17 school year to create rubrics based on their professional standards. SJUSD and SJTA anticipate finalizing the rubrics by July 1, 2017.

If you have any questions, please email Shannan Brown at sbrown@sjta.org; Cheryl Dultz at cdultz@sanjuan.edu; Rick Messer at rick.messer@sanjuan.edu

 


Article in Bee Decries Excessive Spending on Administration, but Figures for San Juan Teachers Incomplete

By Edward Burgess, Associate Executive Director

March 30, 2017

An article appeared in the Sacramento Bee on Monday, March 27 titled, "The Public Eye: School administrator pay grows faster than teacher pay." In the article, Bee reporter Phillip Reese called out the excessive amount of money being spend on administrators in and around the Sacramento region.

I spoke with Mr. Reese earlier this week regarding his article and the sources he used to calculate the percentages.

While Mr. Reese's article correctly calls out some of the absurdities in our neighboring districts, it is important to clarify and provide context for some of the information contained in the chart that appeared within the article.

This chart, titled "Comparing administrator and teacher pay increases" is unintentionally misleading in a couple of areas.

  1. The tremendous percentage growth reflected in the teacher pay increases does not account for salary cuts and furlough days that teachers in those districts agreed to during the Great Recession. For example, the chart shows Natomas Unified had 31% increase in teacher pay between 2010-11 and 2015-16, but fails to take into consideration that in 2010-11 Natomas teachers took both salary reductions and furlough days. A significant amount of the listed 31% increase was actually returning the employees to their full salaries.
  2. During the recession, SJTA successfully negotiated the spending down of district reserves. While surrounding districts delivered upwards of 20+ furlough days and double-digit salary slashes; SJTA members took a total of two furlough days and a one-year freeze on the Step and Column (which was made whole the following year). This resulted in the overall stated increase from 2010-2016 appearing as less in San Juan than in other district, since we did not experience the same significant salary losses during the recession.
  3. The chart is titled "Comparing administrator and teacher pay increases," but the title is not accurate. According to Mr. Reese, he used single budget line items to derive his numbers. It is more accurate to say that the chart addresses the concept of total spending difference since the recession ended. In all cases, this represents restoration of cuts, pay increases, and staffing increases.
  4. Since the end of the recession, in SJUSD we have negotiated increases in our salaries (9.75% + 2% bonus) as well as an increase in the number of certificated members who work directly with students (including: Social Workers, Counselors, and Elementary Teachers with the grade span adjustment). Many of these positions were not reflected in the 3% figure presented in the chart. Had these positions and our current agreement been included, the chart would have shown an increase approaching 15%.

Although the focus of the article was not comparative salary schedules, examining the surrounding districts' current salary schedules, it is clear that SJTA members are squarely in the mix. While some of the surrounding districts have a higher top salary, many of those salary schedules only reach peak levels after 25-30 years of service. Lifetime earnings still put SJTA members near the top of all districts in the region.

The SJTA Budget Review Team and the Bargaining Team continues to regularly monitor the district's spending on management and central office personnel and question every budgetary decision that does not go to direct services for our students - including attracting and retaining quality practitioners with competitive salaries and reasonable working conditions.

 


District and Association Reach Agreement in Principle on Two-Year Deal

March 12, 2017

After 10 months of negotiations, we are proud to announce that we have reached an agreement in principle with the District and anticipate signing a tentative agreement on Monday, March 13, 2017. The agreement includes a 2% salary increase (retro active to July 1, 2016) and a 2% one-time bonus for each member (calculation based on the member's salary in the 2016-17 school year). The agreement also includes contingency language anticipating a variety of potential scenarios that may arise following the adoption of the California State Budget for 2017-18.

"The national election and the Governor's overly conservative budget made this agreement extremely complex," stated bargaining chair, Desa Bushnell. "The contingency language was the only way we could get a deal done and ensure our members get their fair share if there are any changes."

In addition to the salary increase, the agreement provides 2 years of calendars. Included in these calendars is a two-year pilot of an additional non-instructional workday placed at the end of the school year for employees working 185 days or less, increasing their contractual work year by one day. This will increase each 185-day members' salary by .56% in both the 2017-18 & 2018-19 school years.

The District and SJTA also agreed to continue to offer an optional PD day in each year in the new calendars. These days will be paid at the member's daily rate of pay for those that attend. In this agreement, we made many gains to improve the working conditions for our members and the learning conditions for our students. Some of the gains in this contract include the following areas:

  • Established caseload maximums for Speech and Language Pathologists and Inclusion Specialists,
  • Contractualized 195 day work year for High School counselors,
  • Reduced class size maximums in Special Ed ILS classes,
  • Increased parental leave opportunities,
  • Strengthened FMLA language,
  • Carry-over opportunity for Continuing Ed hours,
  • Established access to Continuing Ed hours for ECE,
  • Improved voluntary transfer language,
  • Increased involuntary transfer options,
  • Moved Home/Hospital to K-12 salary schedule,

As mentioned, we anticipate signing the Tentative Agreement by the end of the day Monday and are making efforts to get the entire agreement out to all members by end of day on Tuesday. The agreement itself will contain all the details.

We encourage members to attend one of the informational meetings to get a comprehensive overview of the agreement. The informational meetings will be held at SJTA on the following dates and times:

Wednesday March 15, 2017 @ 5:15pm (immediately after Rep Council)

Thursday March 16, 2017 @ 4:30pm & 6:30pm

Friday March 17, 2017 @ 3:30 pm

Contract Ratification (voting) will take place at sites between March 16 and March 22.