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Unfair Labor Practice Charge Filed Over Unlawful Implementation of SPARK

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With great reluctance, today we were forced to file an unfair labor practice charge with the California Public Employees Relations Board regarding the District’s unlawful implementation of SPARK, which can be viewed here. We had several meetings over the summer with Doug Huscher, the head of the Equity Office, who seemed indicated that things might get back on track. But in the end, Mr. Huscher demonstrated he was unwilling to listen, compromise or accept the viewpoint of others regarding SPARK and how it is being rolled out, ironically, the bedrock values of restorative justice and social and emotional learning practices SPARK are supposed to represent.   As a result of Mr. Huscher’s lack of cooperation, we have filed an unfair labor practice with the California Public Employees Relations Board because of his unlawful activities.
What makes this even more unfortunate is that we have explained to Mr. Huscsher that educators in Sac City want work with the District and community partners to create a restorative practices culture–in line with the goals of SPARK–that we can strongly support and be proud of.  But Mr. Huscher refuses to follow the law by:
1.  Illegally surveying educators without the input of educators regarding the content of the survey and how the information will be used;
2.  Unlawfully determining which schools are designated “cohesion,” etc, which determines the ongoing work during the school year without the input of educators;
3.  Unlawfully refusing to provide information regarding budget, assignment of staff, hiring of outside consultants and other matters;
4.  Unlawfully determining the structure and composition of site-based SPARK teams and SPARK leads without negotiating with educators over these issues as he is required to do by law.
5.  Mr.  Huscher has refused to provide a response to our proposal regarding the implementation of SPARK, which would allow for more input and resources at the sites, including parents and community stakeholders, rather than the top-down Serna Center focused approach favored by Mr. Huscher.
We have urged Mr. Huscher to hit the pause button so a number of these deficiencies can be corrected and the work can proceed, but he has refused.
In the meantime, we recommend that educators delay any SPARK activity until these deficiencies have been corrected.
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