Monday, October 17, 2016

Negotiations Update 2016 - Eliminate President’s half-time release and K-6 two day release


At our first bargaining session for the 2016-17 school year, the District made two proposals to eliminate language in our contract.

First, the District proposed to eliminate the paragraph that grants two full-day releases per trimester to TK-6 teachers and several other specialists (Article VIII, Paragraph 6). This time is used for collaboration, planning and/or evaluation. The District negotiator explained that the intention of eliminating teacher release time is keep teachers from losing instruction time with their students. The District would like students to spend less time with day-to-day substitutes; no other time or compensation for getting that work done was proposed.

Second, the District proposed eliminating the Orcutt Educators Association President’s half-time release, which is paid half by the District and half by the Association (Article XII, Paragraph 4).  In light of their first proposal, this proposal would, ironically, cause students in the President’s classroom to spend dozens of days each year with a day-to-day substitute, rather than the regular job-share partner.  It should also be noted that some sort of President release has been in the contract for well over 35 years, at least since the current President was a sixth-grader.

The District acknowledged that the cost of the president’s release time is not a substantial cost.  Eliminating release time would drastically diminish the Association’s ability to work on your behalf, which your team believes is the intention of their proposal, and also appears to be retaliation for all of your effective organizing during the last round of bargaining last year.
The District said it is not prepared to make an offer on compensation and health benefits, and they said they would not be prepared until December at the earliest.

From our side, we again proposed to include binding arbitration in the grievance process and several improvements to working days and hours, including compensation and/or time for those experiencing a large number of IEPs.

Your team had hoped for a better start to this bargaining season; clearly we will need your support to get a good result this year. Please dust off and start wearing your RESPECT buttons ASAP!
Our next session is scheduled for Monday, Nov. 14. We promise to keep you updated.

Monique L. Segura

President, Orcutt Educators Association