Thursday, May 7, 2015

2015 Bargaining Update #1

The Association and the District have met three times thus far in this round of negotiations.

The following items are open.

  • Salary
  • Fringe Benefits
  • Retirement
  • Duty Hours
  • Class Size 
  • Work Year

The Association put a salary proposal on the table.
The District's counter proposal was in our estimation "disappointing."
The District also wants to wait until Governor Brown's May revision of the proposed state budget for fiscal 2015-2016. For specifics, please attend the School Board Meeting on May 14th. 

The Association has proposed changes to health benefits in the form of the Percentage Plan as discussed at the May 4th General Membership meeting regarding insurance

The Association has proposed improvements to the "District Incentive Retirement Option." The District is considering the proposal.

The calendar for 2015-2016 has been approved by the School Board. It contains 185 work days, including two staff development days.

Join us on May 14th to support the bargaining team and to hear a presentation to the School Board from the team.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Negotiation Highlights - November 19, 2012

GEA-GSD Negotiaions 
November  19, 2012

The bargaining session began at 3:17 PM. Genaro Alarcon facilitated the meeting while Ken Tang was the recorder.

After Check-in, an agenda was begun.

The final agenda consisted of three items.

  1. Budget information from the District
  2. 2013-2014 Calendar
  3. Where are we/next steps
The District distributed information regarding the financial state of the District. A chart with the most recent projections was distributed. Several graphs were distributed as well. There was an explanation of cash flow issues caused by payment deferrals from the state. There was also discussion regarding loans which the District has to take out every nine months or so because of the state payment deferrals.

There was also information regarding the effects a hard cap on fringe benefits to all employees would have on the bottom line.

The Association asked several questions regarding the assumptions used to create the documents.

The discussion turned to the 2013-2014 calendar. The District distributed two calendars which are closely aligned with Alhambra's calendar. It was stated that these were not proposals at this time, but  rather a starting point for discussion.

The first calendar had an orientation date of August 14, 2013, and an ending date of May 28, 2014.
The second calendar had an orientation date of August 19, 2013 and an ending date of May 30-, 2012.

The District stated that since our calendar does not align with Alhambra this year, we will have to have summer school classes for our special education eighth graders. Historically these classes are held at the high schools, but since their summer school classes begin before we are out of school, Garvey will have to conduct their own classes. This is a cost to the District.

The Association clarified that with both calendars we would be going back to a 10 month pay schedule and asked to find out when summer school 2014 would begin in Alhambra so we can take that information into consideration.

The Association took a caucus.

After the caucus the discussion turned to next steps.

The District stated it was very important to begin discussion regarding fringe benefits in December.

The Association stated that we need to survey and discuss fringe with our members in order to have a meaningful discussion with the District.

In the end it was decided that fringe benefits would be taken up in January.

The next bargaining session is scheduled for December 3rd at 3 PM

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Negotiation Highlights - August 29, 2012

GEA-GSD Negotiaions 
August 29, 2012

Negotiations between the Garvey School District and the Garvey Education Association continued on August 29, 2012. The session that had been scheduled for August 3rd was cancelled by the District.

The Association began the session by reminding the District of the offer to take two furlough days and to create a “staff development day” to relieve the general fund. A formal proposal was given to the District on July 5, 2012.

The Association then offered two additional furlough days, for a total of four.
  • The District is interested in removing the “family plan” for GEA members and implementing a hard cap of $9500 for all GEA members.
  • The Association offered the two extra furlough days to cover the cost to the District caused by the inclusion of the “family plan” during the 2013 calendar year.
  • This would allow for a thorough discussion of medical benefits without the financial constraint caused by the “family plan.”
 The District stated it was not interested in the additional furlough days, and that maybe a mediator should come in to mediate the health benefits discussion.

The Association stated it was premature to bring in a mediator since there had been no discussion surrounding fringe benefits to this point. The Association stated its desire to discuss medical benefits in an interest based bargaining setting.

The discussion turned to the unilateral decision to change instructional minutes across the District.
  • GEA stated that a vote for furlough days which would have been a “slam dunk” in June, when it was first agreed to, would be more of a challenge since the District implemented their instructional minutes plan without any discussion with the Association.
  • GEA noted that the concept of saving money by implementing a furlough day is based on the concept that employees don’t work so the District does not have to pay them.
  • The District has implemented a plan to have the teachers work increased instructional minutes despite furlough days, essentially having teachers work more time with students for less money.
  • The Association Bargaining Team was not sure how this would be viewed by the membership.
 The Association asked for the rationale for the instructional minutes change. The District stated:

  • The District is entitled to add more minutes within the contract.
  • The Board has directed the District Team to not lower instructional minutes despite impending furlough days.
  • There is a need in the District to increase seat time for students.

GEA caucused. Upon their return:
  • The Association stated they wanted to sign the MOU for the two furlough days and the staff development day as soon a possible.
  • They asked the District if they were willing to sign today.
  • GEA also stated they would like to reconvene the Insurance Committee to start meeting with insurance carriers ASAP. The desire is to explore as many options as we can as we begin discussion on fringe benefits.

The meeting adjourned with agreement to reconvene at 1:30 PM. The District was to write the MOU Language so it could be signed.

The District subsequently contacted the Association and stated that the trigger cut calculation was no longer a flat dollar amount, and that they needed to recalculate the figures before writing the MOU.

No writing of the MOU ever occurred.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Negotiation Highlights - June 21, 2012

GEA-GSD Negotiations
June 21, 2012

The District and Association met for 2 hours on June 21st. Les Nakasaki facilitated the meeting. Genaro Alarcon was the recorder.

The District presented a proposal to the Association. It can be found here.

The proposal called for 2 furlough days and one staff development day.

Discussion surrounded the financial rationale for the proposal. The prep period at the Intermediate Schools has been restored although the original claim that 7 teachers would be brought back if the prep was restored was altered. Four teachers are scheduled to be brought back.

Of the 32.1 teachers laid off in March, 16 will have their RIF notices rescinded.

The District also used money from “Deferred Maintenance” and “Books and Supplies” to help balance the budget. They plan to use over half a million each of the next two years from these lines to supplement the general fund. The Association has been pointing at these two lines for months as areas that were over-budgeted.

The cut to the Base Revenue Limit has also been increased at the state level.

Based on all the factors, the Association agreed in principle to the two furlough days, and one staff development day. The furlough days would be restored if funding is increased next year via passage of either ballot initiatives of other means.

Additionally, two sub-committees will be set up to discuss "Duty Hours" and "Fringe Benefits" during the summer and beyond.

The District and Association still plan to discuss many other items, but they will be discussed in due course. Our next session is set for August 3rd.

GEA membership will most likely be asked to ratify a final agreement during the summer by mail. Details will follow, once a specific language for a tentative agreement is reached.

Friday, June 1, 2012

GEA-GSD Negotiations - June 1, 2012

Negotiation Highlights
June 1, 2012

An all day session was scheduled. The meeting was facilitated by Les Nakasaki. Genaro Alarcon was the recorder.

The District countered the Associations May 21st proposal with their own. The District may or may not decide to post the proposal on their website. Recent updates have not been forthcoming.

The following areas were included in the District Proposal. Other than the salary/financial aspects, the proposals were basically unchanged from the Initial Bargaining Proposal.

·        5 Furlough days
·        1 Professional Development Day
·        Parent Conferences held over the course of a week. (Minimum days of instruction with conferences in the afternoon.
·        Removing contract language allowing unit members to leave campus after 6 hours and 45 minutes if professional responsibilities are finished. Everyone would stay until 7 hours and 10 minutes regardless of duties.
·        At least 2 early release Wednesdays a month would be facilitated by the principal. District can also take more Wednesday time as they see fit.
·        Elimination of Bilingual Stipend
·        Elimination of the Recruitment Bonus
·        Elimination of Ancillary Services retirement option
·        Elimination of post-retirement medical benefits after age 65 of $112/month towards a Medicare supplemental plan
·        Elimination of the family plan exemption in the fringe benefit language. Everyone subject to the $9500 cap
·        Presently the District pays the salary and benefits for the 40% release time afforded the GEA President. The District would no longer pay for this release time.
·        Presently the Association can request up to 40 days of Union Business Release Time. The District pays for the sub for 10 days and the Association pays for the sub for 30 days. The District would now charge the Association for all 40 days.
·        Elimination of Daily Rate of pay for laid off teachers. Laid off teachers would only receive their daily rate if they were in a long term assignment for 21 days or more in a 60 day period.
·        There was no mention in the District Plan of rescission of layoffs.

The Association asked some questions and then caucused for a couple of hours.

The Association countered.

The Association stated it was willing to discuss:

·        More furlough days than the original proposal put forth on May 21st.
·        Elimination of bilingual stipends
·        Elimination of the recruitment bonus

The Association wanted to discuss the relationship between the possible concessions and the rescinding of RIFs.

The Association wanted to revisit Professional Development Days.

The Association stated the following items would need to be dropped in order to expedite an agreement before school ends. A full discussion on these items would not be possible before the end of the school year.

·        5.9 Early Release Wednesdays
·        7.2 Ancillary Retirement
·        7.5 Retirement Medical Benefits
·        8.2 Fringe Benefits
·        11.13 Association President Release Time
·        15.5 RIF Teacher Sub Pay

The Association stated that if the aforementioned items were not dropped, they would need to get direction from the GEA Executive Board on June 7th.

The District caucused.

They returned and stated they could table 5.9 and 7.2, but the other items they could not table.

The District thereby decided that no agreement could be reached prior to the end of school.

The District stated that the rescission of RIF Notices was a management prerogative. They also stated they (The District) were not inclined to make the rescission of RIF notices part of negotiations. This was contrary to prior statements.

No agreement was reached on any of the items discussed.

A two hour meeting was scheduled for June 11th.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Negotiations cancelled

The District and Association had been scheduled to have a negotiation session on Tuesday May 29th in order to discuss the financial proposal presented by the Association to the District on May 21st.

The District cancelled the session. It has been rescheduled for June 1. The original proposal from the Association was to expire on May 31st at the conclusion of the Board of Education Meeting. It has been extended for one day, but the timing may be problematic as there are no more School Board Meetings scheduled before school ends on June 15th. Ratification would have to take place by then.

Monday, May 21, 2012

May 21, 2012 Negotiations Highlights

GEA-GSD Negotiations
May 21, 2012

        The District and Association met at 9 AM. Genaro Alarcon facilitated the session while Ken Tang was the recorder.

        The Association presented a Package Proposal. The proposal was designed to free up general funds, bring back unit members who have been laid off and address possible budgetary deficiencies in regards to state funding.

      A summary of the proposal can be found here:

      The actual proposal can be found here:

      The District took a 1 hour caucus.

      Upon the District's return, the discussion returned to calendar. The Memorandum of Understanding regarding the 2012-2013 Calendar was signed. We will link to the documents once they are posted on the District's website, or we receive a final copy.

      The District needed more time to fully analyze the Association proposal. The session ended at 11:30 AM. 

       The next session is scheduled for May 29, 2012 at noon.