News Messenger 4-1-16
Fact-Finding Panel Set
Process to Begin Shortly
News of the District’s improved financial position coincides with the establishment of the fact-finding panel empowered to investigate our ongoing wage dispute.
Both the union and the District have named their fact-finding panelists, and both parties have agreed upon the neutral third party. Together, the representative from the union, the representative from the District and the third party will comprise the fact-finding panel. The panel will hear presentations from both sides and then issue a report–the fact finding–which serves as a recommendation to both parties. Neither party is obligated to accept the fact-finders report.
During the fact-finding process, it’s not unusual for the parties to explore options to resolve a dispute. Unfortunately, the District’s position is seriously undermined since an agreement on wages was already reached with the superintendent (which the District refused to finalize) and because now the District is unlawfully trying to tie a wage increase to a concession in benefits. The only issue open for negotiations right now is a wage increase.
The elected school board’s ability to resolve this conflict seems to hindered by the internal issues and a failure from District staff to provide accurate information.
For example, last week we learned that the number of open positions currently in the District has swelled to over 150 (45 still unfilled this year, plus another 100+ more for next year). The vacancies in Sac City are significantly higher than surrounding districts, and are expected to get even worse as more educators retire and others take jobs in surrounding Districts because of higher pay. We have also heard that in an effort to recruit teachers, particularly experienced ones from Sac City, Elk Grove is giving up to sixteen years’ credit for previous experience which would enable many Sac City teachers to increase their wages by $10-15,000 annually.
Moreover, the District clearly has not shared with board members that since 2010-11, the per enrollee cost for health insurance for retirees aged 65 and over has DROPPED by 22%, and for those younger than 65 by 6.2%. Click here to see the costs in 2010-11 compared to 2014-15.
Board members have been told that the cost for retiree benefits is $18.1 million per year. However, the costs for SCTA retirees, according to documents the District filed with the state in 2014-15 was less than $9 million.
Board members have been told that the cost for retirees under age 65 is the same as for actives, on average $20,638 per year. The District staff seems to be unaware that the District pays only the cost for individual coverage for pre-65 retirees, with a maximum cost in 2014-15 of $9333.24. In both cases, the District has incorrectly calculated expenses at more than doubled the actual costs.
Furthermore, the District is currently $3,662,533 under budget on its spending for salaries and benefits, primarily because open positions are being filled with less costly substitutes. Click here to view the document Gerardo Castillo presented to the board.In budget year 2015-16, the District now projects it will end the year spending$8,218,271 less than what it budgeted, with $12,158,654 “unappropriated,” which means the District hasn’t determined how its going to spend the money. In short, the District’s revenues are higher, and its spending is lower, even after adding administrators.
The board seems untroubled by the fact that more and more of Sac City’s students are being taught by un-credentialed teachers and that educators are leaving the District in droves, all while the District is in the best financial position it has ever been. The board also has not challenged the District for hiring an additional 54 administrators at a cost of $9 million per year, while teaching positions remain unfilled. And contrary to reports from the Superintendent, this year alone, the District general fund revenues are $63,232,095 higher than originally anticipated.
Keep the Emails Coming
Board members have been commenting on the emails they have been receiving. This communication seems to be having an effect in helping board members understand the crisis at Sac City.
We strongly encourage you to keep up the dialogue about the crisis.
And the crisis can be summarized as follows:
Several teachers have already been in contact with school board members, and others have asked for information regarding who to contact.
Below is the contact information for each board member and the schools that are in their district.
Area 1: Jay Hansen: email– firstname.lastname@example.org
Area 2: Ellen Cochrane: email– email@example.com
Area 3 and Board president: Christina Pritchett: email– Pritchett4scusd@yahoo.com
Area 4: Gustavo Arroyo: email– firstname.lastname@example.org
Area 5: Diana Rodriguez: email– email@example.com
Area 6: Darrel Woo: email– firstname.lastname@example.org
Area 7: Jessie Ryan: email– email@example.com
The Rep Council is encouraging educators throughout the District to communicate with the SCUSD board member responsible for their assigned school, and, for those who live in the District, the board member in their voting area.
The Rep Council is also encouraging SCTA members to wear their new SCTA black T-Shirts every Thursday to show our unity and to remind administrators and board members of the need to make Sac City a more attractive place to work as an educator.
If you need an SCTA T-shirt, please contact your worksite rep.
Chicago Teachers Strike for One-Day
Sac City Teachers Are Not Alone
Today, April 1st, the Chicago Teachers Union is striking the nation’s third largest school protest to budget cuts and unresolved contract negotiations. CTU has approximately 27,000 members, and more than 50 other unions and community groups will be joining CTU rallies across the district. The CTU has also built strong support among students and parents who are standing in solidarity with the striking educators. As one parent put it: “[The Chicago Public Schools] has tried to pit parents against each other so we don’t support the teachers. But parents see it. My kids see it. We know who has our back and it’s the teachers they see all day.”
Sac State Faculty Ready to Strike for 5%
Fact-Finder Recommends 5% Increase
Faculty at California State Universities (including Sac State) across the state has set a strike date of April 13-19th.
The strike has become a stronger possibility following the release earlier this week of the fact-finding report which recommended that the faculty was justified in its demand for a 5% wage increase.
We have offered our support.Hold the date: If the strike goes forward, we are planning on a large SCTA mobilization for April 14th after school. More details will be forthcoming.
Children’s Education and Health Care Protection Act
Extension of Prop 30 Petition-Gathering Underway
One significant reason that our District is in the best financial position it has been in its history is because California voters passed Proposition 30 in November 2012, which helped put our state’s budget on the path to recovery and opened up billions of dollars to return to education.
Because Prop 30 is set to sunshine, a coalition of educators, healthcare and community groups has come together to sponsor the Children’s Education and Health Care Protection Act. This temporary extension, which affects ONLY the top 2% of earners in the state, will expire in 12 years. It is expected to raise between $8 to 11 billion per year that will go into a special fund for K-12 education and community colleges.
Reps will be asking co-workers to sign the petition to qualify the initiative over the next week or so. Please take a minute to sign!
SCTA General Election
Balloting Starts Tomorrow
The SCTA General Election starts tomorrow and ends at 430 on Friday, April 8th. If you have an email on file in the SCTA data base, you will receive ballot by email. If you do not receive a ballot or wish not to vote electronically you may vote by paper ballot at the SCTA office at 5300 Elvas Avenue between the hours of 7:30 am and 4:30 pm Monday, April 4 to Friday April 8. Currently, there are no nominations for the position of Pupil Services Director of on the SCTA Board. If you hold a PPS credential and have questions regarding the responsibilities of the board seat, please contact the SCTA office at 452-4591.
Verification Forms Late This Year
Be Sure to Review Carefully
Most of you have been, or will be soon be, approached by your office managers with your annual verification forms to sign. Your office manager must turn it into the district office by April 29th. It is important that you look over each bit of information, verify it is accurate and sign. If there is any information on your verification form that you disagree with, the protocol is to hand write that you disagree and what you think to be the correct information. Then sign it. It is then the HR department’s responsibility to research the discrepancy and respond to you. ALWAYS make a copy of the verification form for your records before turning it in.
Now is the Time to Begin Applications
SCTA is proud to announce our 2016 scholarship application process has begun. This year SCTA will be giving up to $19,000 in scholarship money to graduating SCUSD students who are or will be registered in at least 12 units of classwork at any two or four year accredited institution of higher learning or equivalent vocational program.
Our application and the instructions will be available on the SCTA website at sacteachers.org by Monday, April 4, 2016 or at this link. The applications are due to our office by 4:30pm on April, 22, 2016. It is our donor and fundraising efforts that have allowed SCTA to provide scholarship opportunities year after year for our graduating students.
SCTA would like to take this occasion to say “Thank You” to our members, past and present, community organizations and local businesses that have supported our fundraising efforts. We would appreciate all our members’ efforts in raising awareness of our SCTA scholarship program and encouraging SCUSD seniors to apply for one or more of the SCTA scholarships.
Human Rights Update
FAIR Committee is looking for fair, accurate, inclusive, and respectful resources that align with the History/ Social-Science standards.
Please share at firstname.lastname@example.org or come to the meeting April 13th, 4:00-5:30pm in the Indiana Room.
Give input on the EL Master Plan April 11, 4-6pm at Serna.
April is National Poetry Month and Arab-American History Month. Here is an awesome lesson that combines the two: http://www.poetrycelebrations.com/april/ .