Cranky Teacher’s post reminded me to check in on the teacher contract negotiations, and I can attest to the accuracy of his statement (not that I ever doubted it).
The school district did, earlier this month, present salary cuts and reduced “prep” time for teachers as one way to cut the budget by $23 million, said OUSD spokesman Troy Flint. And, I should note, the three-year budget projections presented last week by CFO Leon Glaster included no changes to the salary schedule.
That’s a far cry from the 20 percent raises proposed by the teacher’s union. Here’s an excerpt from bargaining update sent out to teachers late last week:
The SA team presented its proposal including these blockbusters:
• “Rolling back” salaries and possibly freezing positions on the salary schedule.
• Allowing site administrators at secondary schools the “flexibility” to assign teachers six teaching periods per day—a 20% increase in workload
• Providing elementary teachers with only one—unstaffed—prep per week, and eliminating staffed prep.
School board members appear to differ on the role they should play in these inevitably tense negotiations. President David Kakishiba says that once the board regains authority over staffing (probably in early April, when an agreement with the state superintendent is signed), it has the responsibility to “get in there and engage.”
“I don’t want the state to negotiate a third contract. That’s ridiculous,” Kakishiba said.
Noel Gallo, on the other hand, says he wants little to do with the bargaining. “For us to walk into a contentious negotiation — considering the financial condition the district is in and the budget cuts, and considering what we don’t know — would be the absolute wrong thing to do.”
Interestingly enough, union leadership — who have clamored for “local control” at every other turn — seem to want the board to stay out of it, as well.
“We are taking the approach that we’re negotiating with the state,” said Betty Olson-Jones, president of the Oakland teacher’s union.