Monday, March 26, 2012

Negotiations Update

On March 20, 2012, the district posted its latest Negotiations Update.  Upon further analysis, additional information must be brought forth concerning their statements.
District:  The district is proposing that instead of using Education Code language for dismissal, which makes it difficult to remove underperforming teachers because the process involves months of legal wrangling by the principal, the school board, the union, and the courts, the Academy educators be given the same due process procedures that most professional organizations have, including doctors, nurses, firefighters, etc.  This may not be equal to Education Code that the Orcutt educators presently have, but it is fair and it is right for children.
Clarification:  When firefighters, etc. go through their process, the final determination concerning termination comes from an impartial public board.  What our school board conveniently leaves out of this proposal is that they will be able to reject the final decision of the impartial board and three (a majority) of them can make their own, final decision to terminate.
District:  Charter schools are funded differently with a separate pot of money.
Clarification:  The state considers us one district, sends us one check, and then the charter must pay the district back for rent and other supplies.  According to Mr. Bush, this rent is currently $500,000 and will rise to $1,000,000 very soon.
District:  Charter schools are schools of choice.  In other words, they have to compete for students.
Clarification:  This is true but incomplete.  Part of an Academy’s teacher’s job is to recruit students.  In fact, the Academy’s Charter even states that the teachers are expected to recruit students from within the OUSD itself!  The school board also made the decision to discriminate against children by only allowing those with a 2.0 g. p. a. to become students at the charter high school.
District:  Charter Schools have to adhere to what is written in their charter and five-year plan.
Clarification:  True but incomplete.  The Board can call a meeting after proper notice and change the charter and five year plan whenever they want.  This has already taken place evidenced by the elimination of the International Baccalaureate program.
District:  Charter teachers have the same pay schedule, benefits, and belong to the same union.
Clarification:  This did not officially become part of the contract until the PERB board ruled twice in favor of OEA’s position and against the school board.

Negotiations Update


I just wanted to thank all of you who came out last Wednesday and supported "Equal Employment Rights For all Teachers".  We had a great turnout with a positive message!  Please keep sending letters and emails to your School Board Members.

OEA has approved a $1000 Scholarship for a graduating Senior at the Orcutt Academy High School this year.  We are also looking to add another Scholarship for a graduating Senior who is a dependent of an OEA member for next year.  Thank you for the input I received from our members on this issue.

Our next negotiating session is scheduled for Tuesday, April 3rd.  We are still working on Class Size, Working Days and Hours, and Compensation.  We have already made Tentative Agreements regarding Term, Sabbatical Leave, Compensation (Coverage of 2011-2012 Premium Increases for health, vision and dental benefits only), Organizational Rights, Peer Assistance and Review (PAR), Safety, and Completion of Meet and Negotiate.  Please see OEA's responses to "The update for the Orcutt community on the District's proposal regarding Dismissal Rights for Charter Teachers".


Sunday, March 11, 2012

Negotiations Update

Please review the following updates from you OEA Executive Board:

1.  On Monday, March 12, 2012 your negotiating team will be back at the table.  We have been able to make Tenative Agreements on a few items.  We are still working hard on Class Size, Compensation, and Employment Equality for all members.

2.  Please join our Poster Crew on Tuesday, March 13th at the CTA office (2325 Skyway Dr.)  We will be preparing for the Wednesday, March 14th School Board Meeting.

3.  Please join us in the parking lot of the District Office on Wednesday, March 14th at 5:45 pm.  Please wear your "Equity Now" buttons and your "We Are One" t-shirts and buttons if you still have them.  I will have the posters from our poster crew if you would like to have one.  We are very fortunate to have the support of our neighboring districts.

4.  We would like to explain the Employment Equality Issue:
            a.  The state Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) agreed in June 2011 that charter teachers would automatically become members of OEA.  Because Orcutt Academy is a charter school OEA has to negotiate their Employment Rights.
            b.  Non-Charter School employees are protected by Ed. Code in terms of discipline, dismissal, rehire, and Reduction In Force...OEA feels as though all teachers in the Orcutt Union School District should enjoy these same Ed. Code rights.
            c.  There are 5 other districts in the State of California like Orcutt that have started a K-12 Charter and they have allowed all members to have the same Employment Rights...even the model Orcutt used for their Charter (Lennox) allows all of their teachers to enjoy the same Employment Rights.

5.  How does the Employment Equality Issue affect all Teachers:
            a.  Right now there are teachers that are on leave from the district, but they are actually working in the district at the charter school.  Having teachers on leave causes temporary teachers to be unable to gain permanency.
            b.  There are district transfers (with Ed. Code Protection) working next door to direct charter hires (without Ed. Code Protection) at Orcutt Academy High School.  This is discriminating against one group of teachers and may not be conducive to a healthy working environment if this gets challenged.
            c.  The K-8 Charter School competes for students not only from surrounding districts, but from our very own district.  The School Site Plan at OAK-8 says they would like to see the K-8 grow.  It is important to note that there is a waiting list of approximately 150 students at OAK-8.  What is stopping the district from growing the K-8 charter at a site with empty classrooms.  This would decline the districts' regular enrollment and increase the charter enrollment.  
            d.  A decline in the regular enrollment would mean pink slips for teachers.  An increase in the charter enrollment would mean hiring more charter school teachers, which may or may not be from the pool of pink slipped teachers (it depends on an interview process).  Now look 10 years down the road if this trend continues in our district...especially if we do not all have the same Employment Rights. This is something all teachers should be concerned about!

Please feel free to contact OEA with any questions and/or concerns!


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Negotiations Update

The Orcutt Educators Association is asking for Equal Employment Rights for Equal Work!  Why should Orcutt Academy Charter teachers be treated any different then Teachers at other Orcutt Schools.  We teach equality in our classrooms, we believe the School Board should provide equality to our Charter Teachers!  Please contact the Orcutt Union School Board Members to voice your concerns:

Rob Buchanan at
Robert Hatch at
Kathy Meissner at
James Peterson at
Jan Zilli at

We invite you to come and learn about the Orcutt Union School District’s plans to keep Orcutt Academy Charter teachers
“SECOND CLASS” teachers at a meeting Thursday, March 8, at 7 p.m. in the YOYO Center, 725 East Foster Road. Your participation is needed now to tell the School Board that all Orcutt teachers, including Charter teachers, should have the same employment rights!

Teachers please note that buttons may be worn at school, please do not discuss with students during pupil contact time.  Also, please join us on March 14th at 5:45 pm in the Orcutt Union School District parking lot before the 6:15 pm School Board Meeting.  OEA has prepared some signs, but feel free to make your own or contact Monique for supplies!  We need your support now more then ever!  Please feel free to contact Monique (714-9861) with any questions and/or concerns!