Speech for the SCOE board:
Members of the Board
My name is David Fisher and I am the bargaining spokesperson for the Sacramento City Teachers Association. I am here tonight with my bargaining team and members of my Union. We felt compelled to come speak before this board tonight to address our issues with Superintendent Gordon and his employee interference with our bargaining process.
We worked collaboratively with the SCUSD bargaining team to help resolve the two issues Supt. Gordon asked us to deal with in a meeting held with us and the other bargaining units in November of 2011. Superintendent Gordon directed both parties to do something that dealt with our ongoing structural deficit and to address the possibility of another mid-year cut if the Governors tax initiative fails. My team worked very hard to come up with something that would do these two things only to find out at a later date that the county office would not approve our agreement. If we had known Supt. Gordon was actually calling the shots on this agreement we would have asked him to be at the bargaining table with our teams. We view the Superintendents response to our collective efforts as a flagrant overstep of his authority. His coercive actions have possibly deteriorated the agreement reached between us and the district. We were unaware of any stipulations the county was placing on our bargaining efforts. For Supt. Gordon to try and coerce us into an agreement that would completely change the tenor of the contract and leave my members open to further punitive actions is unacceptable.
It’s our understanding that the county office has the ability to disallow certain district expenditures and require a District Fiscal Recovery Plan. So we are wondering:
Where was Supt. Gordon when the SCUSD board and our Supt. depleted our resources on discretionary spending to the tune of over $18 Million in two years causing our ongoing budget deficit?
Why has Supt. Gordon not directed the district to implement their fiscal recovery plan? It seems he is willing to give the District a pass on financial responsibility while requiring that their employees foot the bill for their ongoing mismanagement.
So this leaves us in a very awkward position. We could walk away from the agreement and start over and bargain with Supt. Gordon or we could seek a remedy through litigation. Neither of these resolutions serves my members nor the 41,000 students in the SCUSD. We would like to request that this board direct Supt. Gordon to approve the agreement reached collectively between my Union and the District.