AESD: District’s Update on Negotiations

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By Staff Reports

(Adelanto)– As you may be aware, the Adelanto Elementary School District and the Adelanto District Teachers Association are utilizing the state-required impasse procedures in an effort to reach a negotiated settlement on various articles in the CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement), including articles on salary, health and welfare benefits, class size, duty day, evaluations, transfers and reassignments, work year, and work calendar.  While the District and ADTA have aligned their interests in a number of areas, several differences remain.  At present, the District and ADTA are working closely with a state-appointed mediator to find solutions and resolve differences.

On August 26, 2014, ADTA published its perspectives on the state of the District’s proposals in bargaining between the District and ADTA.  From the District’s perspective, those that are most noteworthy and in need of clarification are set forth, and clarified, below:

SALARY

ADTA Perspective:      The District is seeking “longer work hours and extend work day without fair compensation.”

Clarification from the District Perspective:

  • Throughout negotiations, the District has consistently maintained three core bargaining interests:

(1)       Fiscal responsibility.

(2)       Provide ADTA members with a reasonable salary enhancement.

(3)       Provide increased services to District students.

  • Consistent with the District core bargaining interests, the District’s last proposal offered, among other things:

(1)       5% one-time salary increase for the 2013-14 school year.

(2)       8% ongoing salary increase beginning with the 2014-15 school year.

NOTE:              The District’s proposed 8% ongoing salary increase is in addition to the  3% (approx.) ongoing salary increase provided at the beginning of the 2013-14 school year.

(3)       Set the duty day at 6.5 hours plus a 30-minute duty-free lunch.

(4)       Increase instructional minutes by approximately 6.4% on average.

(a)            Increase instructional minutes from 292 to 315 minutes in TK

(which is an overall increase of  the instructional day by approximately 7.9%)

(b)           Increase instructional minutes from 312 to 330 minutes in grades 4-5 (which is in overall increase of the instructional day by approximately 5.8%)

(c)            Increase instructional minutes in grades (6-8) from 313 to 330 (which is overall increase of the instructional day by approximately 5.4%)

ADTA Perspective:      “Our district receives the most money per student in the state yet we will continue to be one of the lowest paid in the teaching profession.”

Clarification from the District Perspective:

An increase in the state budget allocations for K-12 public education, along with the shift in the funding mechanism for public school districts in the state of California to the Local Control Funding Formula, has resulted in a dollar-for-dollar increase in funding per student.  However, much of that additional funding, according to the provisions of the new mandate, must be tied to increases in educational services provided to District students.  With that in mind, contingent upon an equitable increase in instructional minutes and duty day (i.e., educational services), the District has offered a substantial increase in salary to bring our salaries AND instructional minutes in-line with comparable school districts.

DUTY DAY

ADTA Perspective:      The District seeks to eliminate: “4 meetings a month to unlimited meetings with only a 24 hour notice”;  “45 minute and 90 minute ‘early out'”; and “inclement weather day.”

Clarification from the District Perspective:

The District’s interest is in establishing what it believes to be a more efficient duty day which increases opportunities for teacher-student contact, teacher collaboration, coordination with administration, and other valuable tasks that are interrelated to providing exceptional educational services.  Consistent with this interest, the District’s last proposal included a 6.5-hour duty day as part of an overall restructuring of the teacher duty day.  The proposal includes approximately one hour of non-instructional time each day that may be used for staff meetings, collaboration, and teacher-student contact, among other things.  In fact, the District proposed staff meetings be held only during the restructured duty day.

ADTA Perspective:      The District seeks to “double our meeting minutes while eliminating collaboration time. That’s bad for students.”

Clarification from the District Perspective:

From the District’s perspective, its proposal does not seek to double meeting minutes or eliminate collaboration time.

CLASS SIZE

ADTA Perspective:      The District wants to “wait to implement the 24 to 1, set by the state, while other districts are implementing it NOW.”

Clarification from the District Perspective:

Throughout the state, each school district is approaching class sizes in the manner that best fits their respective needs.  Some are undoubtedly implementing 24-to-1 class sizes this year.  Many are not.  The District’s last proposal acknowledges its commitment to get to 24-to-1.  However, the District is not financially nor programmatically prepared to make the full implementation in one fell swoop for 2014-2015.  Rather, the District has proposed a plan to reduce class sizes each year as follows:

  • TK – 3: 29:1 ratio for 2013-2014.
  • TK – 3: 28:1 ratio for 2014-2015.
  • Reduce in future years to maintain necessary progress toward 24:1.

As the District understands it, ADTA’s last proposal to the District included the same plan for class size reduction. ADTA’s last best and final offer, included common language with the district to reduce class sizes incrementally one student per year, until the 24:1 ratio at (TK-3)  is obtained. (Please see on the AESD website, ADTA proposal-June 18th, 2014).

TRANSFERS & REASSIGNMENTS

ADTA Perspective:      The District seeks to “transfer us at THEIR will.”

Clarification from the District Perspective:

The District’s last proposal included one revision to the Transfers & Reassignments provisions of the CBA (i.e., Article 20).  The District proposed this revision eliminate what it believes to be misleading or ambiguous language currently contained in subsection 20.3.e of Article 20.  As the District understands it, ADTA’s last proposal to the District included the same revision to Article 20.

EVALUATIONS

ADTA Perspective:      Under the District’s proposal, “evaluations by administration can and will be done at any time without prior notice.”

Clarification from the District Perspective:

The District’s last proposal maintains the primary provisions of teacher evaluation.  The District’s interest here is in increasing the effectiveness of teacher coaching and development by providing organic opportunities for evaluators to view the performance of teachers outside the formal observation setting and provide coaching and feedback.  To this end, the District’s last proposal seeks to clarify the scope and procedure for administrators to conduct informal walk-throughs of teacher classrooms.  The District’s last proposal contained no other changes to the evaluations article.

HEALTH & WELFARE BENEFITS

ADTA Perspective:      The District proposes to “keep the opt-out money currently distributed among employees at winter break” and to “eliminate fully paid vision and dental and all future premium increases will be paid by the members (us).”

Clarification from the District Perspective:

The District’s proposal for health and welfare benefits includes an increase in the District paid contributions cap for health and welfare benefits to $10,950 per year.  Additionally, this proposal seeks to restructure the benefits package to bring it more in line with comparable Districts, which includes redefining the cap to include health, dental, vision, and life insurance.

ADTA Perspective:      The District proposes to “PERMANENTLY eliminate the supplemental early retirement program.”

Clarification from the District Perspective:

While the supplemental early retirement program provisions were a topic of discussion earlier in negotiations, the District’s last proposal does not include elimination or amendment to existing supplemental early retirement program provisions.

CLOSING THOUGHTS/NEXT STEPS

This communication is meant simply to clarify the district’s perspective on negotiations. In the next few weeks, the parties will be back at bargaining through the state-appointed mediator and we hope to then be able to present a statement announcing a positive, workable agreement for all – our staff, community, and of course, the children we all serve.

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