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March 15, 2013



If you or any of your members received a layoff notice this school year it is very important that you request a hearing.  As a result of the litigation concerning skipping at priority schools we will be asking the administrative law judge look at all trainings very closely in this year’s layoff.  It is important that you get your request for a hearing (you should have received it with your layoff paperwork from the District) into the District Human Resources Department.  Please be sure to have it time stamped and retain a copy for our attorneys.  It is very important that you have it in by the deadline stated on your paperwork.  SCTA will be holding a meeting for all members who received a layoff notice at the time and address listed below.  It is very important that you attend this meeting to know your rights and allow our legal team to get the information they need for the hearing.  If you need additional information please call the SCTA office at 916-452-5491 or email


2012-13 Layoff Meeting

Wednesday March 20th 4:00-5:00 p.m.

West Campus Cafeteria

5022   58th Street


Ed Jobs Settlement Plan Voted on By Rep Council


Last night after much debate the SCTA Representative Council voted to pursue a settlement plan with the District concerning the distribution of the Arbiter’s award stemming from the Ed Jobs Arbitration.


Ed Jobs Background:  In 2010 the District received stimulus monies from the federal government.  These funds became known as the “Ed Jobs” money. While most of this money went to support existing positions and programs the District and SCTA agreed in December of 2010 that each member qualified employed on June 30, 2011 was to receive funds under the stimulus program in the form of a one-time bonus of six hundred ($600).  The agreement called for the bonuses to be paid by June 30th of 2011.  This one-time bonus was to go only to “qualifying” members.  It would have not gone to certain membership categories of members like Adult Education and Child Development for examples.  When the District refused to pay in the summer of 2011 SCTA filed a grievance and that grievance ended up being herd in front of an Arbitrator who has the authority under our contract to issue an award or refuse our claim to the bonus.   The Arbitrator agreed with SCTA, that the bonus was owed.  In addition, the Arbitrator also ordered that the District must pay legal interest of 10% on the bonus. The total award with interest will be somewhere in the neighborhood of 1.5 million.  In November of 2011 the SCTA Board of Directors and the Representative Council put forward a motion that the direction of any settlement was to try and include members that paid the ninety five dollars ($95.00) for class size reduction but were not part of the group that originally qualified for the bonus.  The rationale was that these members paid in the ninety five dollars ($95.00) towards class sized reduction in the 2010-11 and 2011-12 school years and therefore SCTA should try and do everything possible to help make things equitable for all.


The plan voted on last night was for SCTA to pursue a settlement that:


  • Pays all qualifying members employed in 2010-11 school year under the original agreement who will not continue their employment into the 2013-14 School year six hundred dollars ($600.00).  This would include any member who qualified to receive the money in June of 2011 that has retired, quit or has been laid off between then and the start of the 2013-14 school year.


  • All members employed in the 2013-14 school year, the two (2) furlough days given up as a result of the two (2) year contract extension in 2012 would be restored.  This would be a greater than six hundred dollar ($600) gain for a majority of our members.


  • As a tradeoff for the removal of the two (2) furlough days in the 2013-14 school year SCTA members would be required to perform an additional twelve (12)hours of common planning time (CPT) and or combination of Professional Development (PD) in the 2013-14 school year.  Additional time would be made available prior to the start of the school year along with more opportunities during the school year. Principals would need to work collaboratively with Site Representatives on a plan for CPT or PD.


  • This agreement would give a portion of the interest owed on the award to members of the bargaining unit like Child Development members who were not eligible for the original payment in 2011.  This is being done because these members paid in the ninety five dollars ($95.00) for CSR and as a result of their funding and scheduling would not benefit from a reduction in furlough days in the 2013-14 school year.


SCTA will provide language to the District on Monday spelling out the direction of the Representative Council.  At that point we will try and reach a settlement that goes along with the desires of the council.  There is a chance the District may not agree with the desired changes.  If that does occurs the District could meet their obligation to the Arbiter’s by simply paying all members eligible for payment in June of 2011 plus the interest.  We will keep you informed as we proceed with us having a final answer before the start of spring break.


Superintendent to Recommend Honoring the Contract

SCTA has just been informed that Superintendent Raymond will be recommending to the school board that they pull agenda item 9.6 at tonight’s meeting.  Agenda item 9.6 was the initial proposal to reopen SCTA’s closed contract to try and force further cuts to our agreed upon benefits plan.  Our understanding is that the board will likely support this recommendation.  SCTA wants to see this as a sign that the Superintendent is willing to work with us to meet the needs of the District.


School Closure Update


As reported in a local paper the Superintendent will also recommend that Mark Twain and Tahoe remain open for the 2013-14 school year.

School Closures


In case you missed it, our school board voted on February 21st to close seven (7) of the eleven (11) schools they had originally put forward for a closure vote.  The school board will meet again on March the 7th to consider the closure of Mark Twain and Tahoe.  SCTA’s Representative Council voted on February 14th to not support the closure plan.  While SCTA has wholeheartedly supported closures as a sound financial decision in the past, the Representative Council felt the painful process of selecting sites for closure must be a well-conceived, democratic process that involved all stakeholders INCLUDING SCTA!  The path our school board members have chosen was not well-conceived and after hearing the objections from the communities hit by these closures it was clear that all stakeholders were not involved.


We are now being told that the board members and Superintendent are upset with SCTA for not supporting their school closure plan.  The punishment for not going along with their plan, will be an attempt to re-open our closed two (2) year contract.   Our agreement to take us through the 2013-14 school year.  The District is planning on presenting this proposal at the March 7th school board meeting.  We bargained the following language with the District last year:


  1. The parties recognize that this Agreement anticipates that the state school finance system will remain substantially unchanged as prescribed in current law.  If there is a significant change in the funding system (e.g., “sweeping” of categorical funds, weighted student formula, or some other significantstructural change in funding), the District will provide prompt written notification to the SCTA of its belief that such a change has occurred.  Based on this notification, the parties will meet promptly thereafter to negotiate modifications to this Memorandum that attempts to carry forward the intent of the current agreement while also conforming to the relevant changes in the school funding system.


As you can see SCTA would have an obligation to re-open, IF the legislature passes a new funding system.  We would only want to do that after a change actually occurs and it has the Governor’s signature.  If there were any new negotiations SCTA would want to talk about the additional funding (Please see the New Money piece below) that is projected.  Please remember SCTA gave up two (2) furlough days and made major healthcare concessions in the 2012-13 and 2013-14 school years to help the District shore up their fiscal house.


Even though we have been asking the District to do something to reign in the spending on consultants and new programs, they continue to assert that employee health benefits are the cause of their fiscal issue.   The District’s No Consultant Left Behind policy is not even questioned by our school board.  This is after we have identified many questionable programs and asked repeatedly for our school board members to act.  Their response has been to lay off our members and attack our medical benefits.  We have pointed out that SCTA has historically given up salary increases in negotiations to retain the benefits offered in our health plan.  Many of you may remember the strike during the 80’s over this very same issue.  We will keep you informed on this as it develops.




One other thing our board did at that February 21st meeting was vote to layoff one hundred and fifty three (153) certificated employees across many job classifications. This again is an attempt to punish SCTA and its members for not supporting the school closure plan.  We will monitor this situation and keep you informed as they go forward with this process.


New Money


There is quite a bit of talk about the District budget, Proposition 30, and the possibility of new money on its way.  Let’s start with Prop 30 and how its passage helped the SCTA contract.  The passage of Prop 30, with the help of our members and CTA did not bring any new dollars into the District.  Prop 30 only stopped any additional cuts from occurring.  Remember we had language built in our agreement that would have forced SCTA to take up to ten (10) furlough days if Prop 30 had not passed.  The additional cuts would have been due to further reductions to the District budget from the state.  The “New Money” that is being talked about is from the Governors new funding formula for Districts that is being referred to as the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF).  The new formula would do the following for our Districts finances:


  • Increase funding for the 2013-14 School year by $293 per student (a 4.3% increase) or an additional $12,185,577
  • Increases funding in the 2014-15 school year by $450 per student (a 6.3% increase) or an additional $18,715,050
  • By full implementation (in 5 to 6 years) funding would be increased around 60% or an average of 10% a year in new dollars


Please remember that this is all subject to the legislative process and things can change but the good news is there is budget relief on its way.















FEBRUARY 19, 2013


SCTA Representative Council Votes to Oppose THE CURRENT Plan to Close Schools

SCTA has wholeheartedly supported school closures as a sound financial decision, one for which we have been advocating for several years without success.  But we are adamant that the painful process of selecting sites for closure, must be a well-conceived, democratic process involving all stakeholders.  That is why, after careful review of the current plan that would close eleven (11) schools, the Representative Council voted to not endorse this plan.

The list of schools slated for closure is not, as Board President Cuneo would have us believe, based on a strict “percentage of enrollment to capacity” basis.  The Superintendent’s priority schools were skipped en masse, despite low enrollment numbers.  Schools with greater space utilization were placed on the list and others with lower capacity utilization were not.  Middle schools and high schools were not considered, despite some schools serving as few as 200 students.  Parents and employees who are a part of these communities were not even consulted in the creation of the schools that were selected to close.

SCTA proposes to immediately invite representatives of the district and those groups affected by school closures, to convene and work to select sites based on a thoughtful, collective decision.  It’s only February; this important process can be easily accomplished together before the end of the school year.

The SCUSD Board will meet this Thursday February 21st to vote on the closure plan.  Should the school closure plan not pass we anticipate the District to go forward with its plans to lay-off more of our members.

STRS Workshop

If you are thinking about retiring or you just want more information about your retirement, we will be holding a STRS retirement workshop here at the SCTA office on Wednesday, February 27th at 4:00 p.m.










    Chuck Denonn – Substitute

Statement:  Since joining the SCTA family two years ago, I have worked closely with the chair of the Human and Civil Rights Committee to promote equity in education and with the political action team to make more than 2000 phone calls on behalf of SCTA endorsed candidates.

      Nichole DeVore – C.B. Wire

Statement:  Not only do I enjoy being a SCTA representative, but I dutifully attend, debate, and vote at all RA meetings.  As co-chair  of the NEA GLBT Caucus, RA gives me opportunities to continue                                            working with members from across the country on issues that effect GLBT members, students, and families.

      Maria Angelica Lopez de Howard – J.F. Kennedy

Statement:  I would like to represent you because I feel passionate about education.  It was instilled in me first by my parents, then by my teachers.  I now feel very strong in helping my students achieve in their own merit, and want my colleagues and I to be treated fairly and professionally.

      Robert Lynch – C.B. Wire/SCTA

Statement:   It’s been my privilege to represent you at past RA’s.  As your SCTA Treasurer it is important for me to hear about   how our dues are spent at the national level.  I will be there to  hear the debates and vote for your best interest.  Vote Robert Lynch for RA delegate.

       Stacey Willett – Luther Burbank

Statement:   Advocacy is my passion. Long time site rep/committee work has allowed local service; RA is  opportunity for national representation. With your vote, I will be your voice, your advocate.

    Eileen Boyd – Hubert Bancroft

Statement:  Teacher 37 years (30 in SCUSD), SCTA Rep Council,  SCTA Board of Directors, SCTA Public Relations Committee,  CTA State Council, CTA Professional Rights and Responsibilities Committee, NEA National Representative    Assembly (5 times).  Present Assignment:  Teacher, 2nd Grade, at  Bancroft Elementary.  Please vote for me!

      Jack King – Rosemont

Statement:  My name is Jack King.  I have been the Special Education Director for your SCTA Union Board for more than two years.  Would you please consider me to be your NEA  representative at this year’s Assembly.  My goal is to find out as much information as I can to help our groups.  Thank you.

     Owen Jackman – Leonardo da’Vinci

Statement:  My name is Owen Jackman.  I would be honored to  represent SCTA at the National Convention inAtlanta,Georgia.  I  have been active in SCTA for over 10 years.  I have held numerous   positions in the association.  I have been PIC chair numerous  times, Special Ed director and Site Rep.  I have actively  participated in every school board election since 2004.  Please  consider me for one of the RA delegate positions.

    Lesa Hertel -  Woodbine

Statement:   As an active CTA member for over 28 years, I would love to represent your concerns at the NEA Representative  Assembly inAtlanta,GA.Currently I am on the SCTA Bargaining Team and would welcome the opportunity to    attend and learn so I can better represent you.

   Sandy Olson – Substitute

Statement:  My name is Sandy Olson, and I would be honored to  once again represent SCTA at the NEA Representative Assembly.  I promise to make informed decisions on the issues ,and to  advocate for our best interests. I hope you will once again entrust  me with this responsibility.

Ed Amundson – C.K. McClatchy

Statement:  27 time RA delegate;  experienced, successful floor  lobbyist.  I have worked hard to representCalifornia’s interests.    Your continue support will guarantee your concerns are heard.

 Laura Shirley – Rosa Parks

Statement:   As a current member of the Bargaining Team and an active SCTA teacher, I am eager to attend the NEA Rep Assembly this year.  I hope that this opportunity will hence my skills and  knowledge.  Thank you very much for your vote.

 Cheryl Sims – Nicholas

Statement:  As your SCTA Secretary, I would be humbled and  honored (as I was in 2012) to have your vote to attend the 2013  NEA Representative Assembly inAtlanta,Georgia.  We will  analyze and vote on NEA policy that will impact our teaching  profession.  May I have your vote?

 Cindee Stewart -  Woodbine/Sutterville

Statement:    As your Elementary Director I continue to learn and grow in union affairs. It would be my honor to continue to  represent you as your local delegate at the NEA Convention.  I  would appreciate your vote. Thank you.

 Sandra Natale – Special Education Department

Statement:  My name is Sandra Natale.  This is my thirteenth year  as a SCUSD School Psychologist.  I have served as an SCTA Rep for three years and I have sat on the SCTA Board of Directors for one year.  I would be honored to represent SCTA this year in  Atlanta,Georgia.

 Ramon Navarrete – Edward Kemble

Statement:  I have been actively involved with our union in the  scope of:  Scholarship, Political Involvement, By Laws and  Constitution Committees.  I have a passion for the political  and  policy side of the labor movement and would     like to represent you in making positive changes in those areas.

David Fisher – C.B. Wire

Statement:  I have had the opportunity to represent my site for 17 years and have attended three RA’s previously.  I look forward to helping shape NEA policy and representing SCTA members once again.



Candidates are listed in the order of the CTA Alphabet for 2012-13



Teacher Retirement Stipend

For teachers planning to retire at the end of 2012/13 school year, the district is offering a one-time increased retirement stipend of $750.  This stipend is available for teachers who turn in their retirement paper to Human Resources by Friday, February 22, 2013.  The usual retirement stipend of $500 is available for all who submit their retirement to HR by March 1st, 2013.  Submitting your retirement is irrevocable.

By letting HR know as early as possible if you plan to retire at the end of the school year, it allows them to plan for next year and decreases surplussing and possible layoffs.   You should have received a memo entitled “Teacher Retirement: $750 or $500 Bonus” from the district in your school mail box with all the information. To obtain the stipend, complete and submit the Termination of Employment form and submit it to:  Jess Serna, Chief Human Resources Officer at SCUSD Human Resources Box 770 by February 22, 2013.  This form may be obtained from the Human Resources Services Office located at 5735 – 47th Ave.; district’s website at www.scusd or by calling 643-9050.  To access the Termination of Employment form via the Employee Internet, please do the following:

  2. Click on Internet
  3. Click on ISO forms directory (orange shaded area).
  4. Enter PSL-F008, complete in the Search Box, click and Apply button.
  5. Download form PSL – F008, complete, and submit.

The teacher retirement stipend will be paid on June 28, 2013.

If you did not receive the memo please contact Human Resources at 643-9050.

Online Elections

Future elections and surveys will be conducted online.  In order to vote on line you must have your “CTA Membership ID NUMBER”.  The number can be found on your CTA membership card or on the CTA Advocate Magazine address label.

Crab Feed!!! Mark Your Calendars!  Saturday, February 23, 2013

Crab tickets are going fast so make sure you get in to the SCTA office and get yours.  Seating is limited and tickets Will Not be sold at the door.  The price is $42.00 per ticket and $400.00 for a table of 10.  We only accept cash and checks (made payable to the SCTA Scholarship Fund).  Checks will be deposited upon receipt and will not be held, as in the past, until after the Crab Feed.  We are also in need of donations for the auction and raffle.  We have baskets available for you to fill if you are planning to donate a basket.  Baskets are limited so contact SCTA as soon as possible to get one.

Peer Assistance

This is a reminder that Peer Assistance happens every Monday from 2:30 -   4:45 pm.  This special time is put aside just for this service, all other times you must have an appointment with a director.  However, emergency situations will be handled immediately.

Have You Updated Your Information

Members, if you have moved, changed your phone number, or e-mail address please make sure to contact SCTA with your new information.  Ensuring your information is current will help us keep you informed.





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News Messenger January 31 2013

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Lifetime benefits

We understand that members are continuing to get inaccurate information from the district in regards to qualifying for, or being eligible for, our life time health benefits program upon retirement. Great effort was made to jointly create a letter and a process by which members could request their records to be reviewed. They were to receive something in writing about their eligibility for lifetime benefits.  We understand that some of those Life SCTA Benefit Status Request Forms were responded to incorrectly.  We have been asking the district to correct these inaccuracies and issue new documents to our teachers.  The District is still working on this task.

We also understand that some members have been told that they must retire by July 1st, 2013, to qualify under the 10 year rule or they will have to meet the new rules.  This is not correctOnce you are eligible for life time health benefits, you can retire from the district at any time after reaching the state required retirement age of 55. 

In sum, there are 3 ways to qualify for life time benefits as an SCTA member in the District.  They are as follows:

To have at least 15 years of consecutive service to the district by July 1, 2010 regardless of your age.  You are eligible for lifetime health benefits and may retire any time after the state retirement age of 55.

If not eligible under 1, then you have until July 1, 2013 to be eligible to retire under the old rules.  That is, you must have 10 years of consecutive service and be at least 55 years of age by July 1, 2013 to be eligible for life time benefits.  You may retire at any time.

If not eligible under 1 or 2, you must fulfill the new requirements of:

At age 55 at least 20 consecutive years of service to the District in the SCTA bargaining unit

At age 56 at least 19 consecutive years of service to the District in the SCTA bargaining unit

At age 57 at least 18 years of consecutive service to the District in the SCTA bargaining unit

At age 58 at least 17 consecutive years of service to the District in the SCTA bargaining unit

At age 59 at least 16 years of consecutive service to the District in the SCTA bargaining unit

At age 60 at least 15 years of consecutive service to the District in the SCTA bargaining unit

We continue to work with the district to ensure that teachers get clear information regarding their life time health benefits.



We continue to work with the District to develop the criteria for the upcoming self-surplus process for this school year.  Please remember that tomorrow, February 1st, is the deadline for turning in a request for self-surplus.  You need have that into the District Human Resources office by 5:00 p.m..

Washington School District Election

If you, or any of your family and friends, live in the Washington School District please remember to take the time and vote for Sara Kirby-Gonzales for School Board.

STRS Workshop

On February 27th from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. SCTA will host a workshop by STRS for members who would like information about their retirement.  Please RSVP to so we can have enough material for all participants.  This workshop will answer most questions about the retirement process.  This work shop is critical to planning for retirement.


Substitute Meeting

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Date:  Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Time:  4:00 – 5:00 p.m.

Place:  SCTA Office

SCTA Staff will be conducting the meeting.  Come & voice any concerns/questions you may have.  Please pass the word on to any substitute you think may not have seen this notice.

Light Refreshments Provided

News Messenger January 25, 2013

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Teacher in need of HELP!

A special-election, mail–in ballot only, has been forced upon West Sacramento and the voters in the Washington Unified School District by Michelle Rhee and her anti-union Students First organization.  Ballots are scheduled to be mailed on February 4 to every registered voter in Washington Unified School District.  The deadline to receive all ballots is Tuesday, March 5, 2013.

This election is being held to fill the remaining term of Sandra Vargas who resigned in the fall.  After numerous candidate interviews, careful consideration, the Washington Teachers Association (WTA) overwhelmingly endorsed Sarah Kirby-Gonzalez (a fellow Teacher) for this vacant seat.

Brief history of events:  The vacancy was not timely enough to fill during the regularly scheduled November election, so an appointment was made by the board after a thorough public announcement and vetting process.  Nonetheless, a group organized by Mayor Cabaldon, mounted a successful campaign, using money from outside interests and paid petition gatherers, to nullify this appointment and force a special election.

The Mayor, along with Michelle Rhee and her organization, Students First, have recruited one of their own to run for this open seat.  They have endorsed Francisco Castillo, a communications/media specialist for Students First.  Given the well-known antipathy that Ms. Rhee, the Mayor and other advocates of Students First have towards public school teachers, we strongly believe that voters must elect a candidate that will best serve the needs of the entire education community in West Sacramento, which is why our Brother and Sisters in the WTA strongly recommend Sarah Kirby-Gonzalez for this open seat.

Sarah is a classroom teacher, and is National Board Certified. She understands what it will take to provide students with the high-quality education they deserve.  Sarah has also been recognized as Teacher of the Year in two jurisdictions.  She currently is a 5th grade teacher at Mather Heights Elementary in Rancho Cordova.

In order for Sarah Kirby-Gonzalez to win this special election, she will have to work hard to introduce herself to voters, and encourage them to mail in their ballots.  She will also have to overcome an expected strong campaign from the same special interests that forced this special election in the first place.
Our brothers and sisters in the WTA and the community need our help to elect a strong-public education advocate to their school board.  They need our help in talking to friends and neighbors in West Sacramento as well as assistance in precinct walking and phone banking.

For more information, please contact WTA at: or 916-371-0882.

NEA RA Election

Just a reminder that all declaration of candidacy forms for the NEA RA election are due into the SCTA office this Friday, January 25th by 5:00 p.m.

School Closures

SCTA will be holding a meeting today for Representatives and members from the eleven (11) school sites that have been chosen for closure.  While SCTA has been in favor of school closure during the 2011-12 school year, we are still evaluating the current plan.  On January the 10th,  the SCTA Representative Council voted to take a neutral position on school closures prior to seeing this year’s plan.  The leadership of SCTA and the Representative Council will take up the current plan in the time we have leading up to the February 21st school board meeting where the final vote on closure will take place.

Self-Surplus Process

Over the past few years the District has held surplusing for those teachers who have either lost their positions due to cuts, or chose to self-surplus.  The self-surplus process is covered in Article of the contract.  SCTA and the District are still not in agreement as to the criteria for this school year.  However, the language is very clear about the timeline for making your request for self-surplus.  You MUST have your request into the District by the close of business on February 1st.  Please turn in your request to the District human resources office and a copy to SCTA.

Crab Feed

The annual SCTA crab feed will be on Saturday February 23rd at the Elks Lodge on Riverside Blvd.  Please call Jolene at the SCTA office ASAP for your tickets at 916-452-4591.

Call Robert Lynch about any donations including time-shares and art work donations are greatly appreciated.