The SMEEA Negotiations Chair is Jonathan Beyea.
Here is a link to our Contract.
Negotiations At Impasse | February 2018
Negotiations between SMEEA and the District have reached impasse. Here is a link to the Side By Side.
And below is a video from our president explaining the differences between the SMEEA and District positions.
Please take a few minutes to become familiar with the main points and consider attending the school board meeting this Wednesday.
Contract Ratified for 2016-2017 School Year
Here are the numbers.
439 = Total Ballots
337 = Total Yes Votes
101 = Total No Votes
001 = Total invalid votes
SMEEA Declares Impasse
Negotiations Update Spring 2017
SMEEA and the District have not been able to come to an agreement on a few essential items. This is not where we had hoped to be, but it is where we find ourselves. Please click the links below for more information and more details.
SMEEA Negotiations Update
Fellow SMEEA Members:
Since September 2015, your Negotiating Team has been working hard to bargain the elements of a successor agreement for the contract expiring on June 30, 2016. Despite meeting with the District’s team 16 times over the course of the school year, very little progress has been made. So far, the only agreement reached between the Association and the District has been a revised version of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for Members serving as Lead Learners.
We have repeatedly and clearly expressed the interests of the Membership and have made good faith attempts to come to consensus with the District on options to address them. However, on key issues, we are still miles apart. District proposals have been both underwhelming and unacceptable. So, as we head into summer, the Negotiating Team asks that you please consider the following points:
The District’s budget has increased by $85.5 million dollars over the past 4½ years. Yet, SMEEA member compensation, as a proportion of the total budget, has slipped from an average of 45.6% between the years of 2003 to 2013; all the way down to a 12-year low of 36.2% for 2015-16. The district has tried to refute this fact by removing LCAP $ from the equation, which we believe is not relevant or appropriate to the point.
The District’s insurance broker has recommended an increase in funding of 3.1% for the medical/Rx plan, which under the current agreement would be an increase of $44 per month for our Members, bringing monthly “premium” costs to $220. SMEEA had hoped to negotiate this over the summer so that Members would not have to pay the higher amount, but the District team was unwilling to meet, effectively forcing the increase on us.
SMEEA has proposed a new contract article to address the rights and responsibilities for each of the types of Special Ed teachers. We are hoping to address concerns relating to Workday/Workyear, Caseload vs. Workload, and working conditions for SPED Members. None of the District’s proposals have addressed any of the SPED concerns.
SMEEA has suggested the continuation of the expiring MOU for Grade Span Adjustment (CSR in K-3), which allows the District to receive additional $ from the state without actually lowering class sizes. The District’s allotment for 2016/17 would be $5.3 million, and will increase over the next few years. Under the current MOU, all SMEEA Members receive an additional .5% of salary for each grade span (K-3 and 4-6) if class size averages exceed 27 students. The current agreement amounted to a 1% bonus for ALL our members in each of the past 3 years. The District’s latest proposal had 1% additional salary only for teachers in grades K-3 yet would still allow them to receive all the additional $ from the state.
SMEEA Members have had the benefit of our president being allowed (via an MOU) release time outside the classroom for 70% of each week for the past several years. This has resulted in greater representation for the Membership and a greater opportunity for our president to assist admin in resolving issues quickly. With the addition of many new SMEEA Members each year, the president’s responsibilities have also grown. In recognition of this, SMEEA Executive Board and Rep Council have approved seeking president release time of up to 100%. The District has been unwilling to agree to even 70% for next year and, though some past presidents have had 100% release, have stated that this would be a “radical” or “extreme” departure from the contract language, which allows only 50%. The District’s position would hamper our president’s ability to effectively represent an ever-increasing number of Members, and set the stage for resolving fewer issues at the lowest level while increasing the number of grievances filed.
SMEEA Members have historically enjoyed the ability to utilize (no tell) Discretionary Days. The Team has tried unsuccessfully over the years to get the District to agree to an increase in the number of them available from year to year. In its latest proposal, the District has expressed a desire to eliminate all Discretionary Days and increase the number of Personal Necessity days, which require Members to specify a reason for the request.
The grievance process, as outlined in the contract, has many “checks and balances”, protecting both SMEEA Members and the District’s management rights. The article was carefully written with this balance in mind. The District’s latest proposal included items that would shift the balance and weaken Members’ protections: allowing the District to lengthen timelines and barring Members’ right to grieve a reprimand.
When our contract expires before a successor agreement is negotiated, almost all of its provisions continue on into the next year. One exception however is the final step in the grievance process: binding arbitration. As it is not a “mandatory” element of a contract, it does not continue on unless both parties agree to an MOU that keeps it in place. Because it is such an important part of our contract, we have always had MOUs to carry it on when we have an expired contract. The District has always agreed to this in the past as a sign of mutual respect. However, this year the School Board has decided not to agree to an MOU that would continue binding arbitration and allow it to fall out of the contract. This is IMPORTANT because it means our school board, and not an independent 3rd party arbitrator, would have the final say in on any new grievances. SMEEA, with CTA legal support, will be fighting this to the fullest possible extent.
The District seems to be actively moving away from the collaborative spirit and respect for teachers that have been the foundation of the positive relationship we have had for many years. Sadly, a new attitude of general callousness towards the Membership appears to be replacing it. Should this continue, SMEEA will need to make more concerted efforts to convince them of our priorities. The Negotiating team thanks you for your continued support. We are hopeful that this change in relations can be reversed, and that a negotiated settlement will be reached. If not, we will need your help to demonstrate to the School Board that we are united and determined. Mahalo for all you do. Have a wonderful, and well deserved, summer. ~ Aloha, Jose