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Outside Attorney Tries to Derail Bargaining Process

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Our bargaining for a successor agreement got off to a rocky start after the Sac City’s $280-an-hour outside attorney tried to derail bargaining by attempting to dictate the size of our bargaining team and who could be on it.  State law allows both the Union and the District to select their own bargaining team.
Our bargaining team was energetic, disciplined and well represented, with nearly every school having a representative.  Because of this broad input, we were able to develop a number of thoughtful and innovative proposals, including those on school testing and adding arts and music into schools.  The District also objected to the participation of a representative of the Black Parallel School Board and the Sacramento Central Labor Council who were both there as part of our bargaining team.
The District was unprepared to begin actual negotiations.  The District had no actual contract proposals to offer.
It seems clear to us that transparency is a problem for the District.
Why else would they want to limit who can participate and what can be discussed?
For over two hours the attorney tried to prevent us from making an opening statement but eventually gave in.  Why the District was so afraid to start remains unclear.
The District refused to accept our proposals as “proposals,” and accepted them only as “information.”  The District asked no questions.
We are next scheduled to meet with the District on Monday, October 17th and we concluded bargaining by notifying the District we are expecting a response to our proposals and that we view December 1st as the real deadline to reach an agreement or be at impasse.
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