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Mt. Diablo teachers’ union to vote on agreement Friday

By Theresa Harrington
Thursday, August 18th, 2011 at 3:01 pm in Education, Mt. Diablo school district.

Mike Langley, president of the Mt. Diablo Education Association teachers’ union, sent me a copy of a Memorandum of Understanding that could enable the district to keep its School Improvement Grant funding.

“A majority of the Mt. Diablo Education Association (MDEA) Executive Board has voted to recommend to the Representative Assembly the approval of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) attached,” he wrote in an email. “This MOU allows the Mt. Diablo Unified School District (MDUSD) to reapply for School Improvement Grant (SIG) money that has been withheld after a state wide audit of SIG recipients. It is our belief that this MOU allows the district to meet any requirements that may have been missed in the original grant proposal. We also believe that the product is a positive example of how reform can be introduced when the effort is truly collaborative and all parties views are valued.”

Here’s the full text of the agreement, on which which members of the union’s Rep Assembly will vote tomorrow morning:



The purpose of this memorandum is to reach an agreement between the Mt. DiabloUnified School District (‘District’) and the Mt. Diablo Education Association that will allow the former to meet the terms of the $9,610,304 School Improvement Grant (‘SIG’) awarded during the 2010/11 school year. The grant funds are to be paid over the course of three school years. During the 2010/11 school year, the District received $4,627,653, which represents the first installment of SIG funds for Cohort 1 schools: the LEA, Glenbrook, Bel Air, Rio Vista and Shore Acres Elementary Schools.

In order to receive the second installment of $4,453,638 in 2011/12 and the third installment of $4,529,013 in 2012/13, for the LEA, Bel Air, Rio Vista and Shore Acres, the District must, among other things: (a) significantly increase learning time at SIG schools; and (b) implement a rigorous, transparent, and equitable evaluation system for teachers and principals that takes into account data on student growth as a significant factor.


1. This memorandum shall only apply to the Cohort 1 SIG schools. The parties fully intend to enter into a separate memorandum for Cohort 2 schools that will be substantially similar to this document but may vary relative to payment
for teachers who are centrally assigned or for itinerant teachers at Cohort 2 secondary schools.

2. The parties agree that the terms of this memorandum shall be null and void if: (a) the state or federal government informs the District that it does not meet the requirements of the grant; or (b) the District is unable to provide the funding for this agreement. In the event that either eventuality contemplated in paragraphs 2 (a) or (b) come to pass, for any work days during which SIG teachers worked extended site time, compensation will be provided pursuant to the terms of this
agreement. In the event that the parties are required to increase the number of instructional hours beyond those in this memorandum, the parties shall meet to determine whether either is interested in pursuing that course of action.

3. The term of this memorandum shall be for the 2011/12 and 2012/13 school years only. However, the term may be extended if the SIG grant is extended.

4. The parties expressly agree that certificated staff at SIG schools shall not be exempt from the District’s normal layoff processes and that the District shall not attempt to use special training acquired during service at a SIG school as a criteria for skipping in layoff proceedings.

5. All other increases or reductions in benefits and working conditions and work year negotiated for general MDEA membership will apply to members at SIG sites.


No teacher currently assigned to SIG schools at the time this memorandum is entered into will be required to transfer or interview for his or her position. The District shall grant involuntary transfer status in Spring 2012 to those SIG teachers who respond to the February 15th Subsequent Year Assignment Preference Form with a written request for involuntary transfer status by March 1, 2012.


Increased Learning Time: The school improvement grant requires Districts to increase the instructional time for students. Learning time will be increased by an average of 55 minutes per day, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Increased instructional time increases the amount of time teachers are required to be on site.

1. The current contract states teachers shall remain at their site for 415 minutes. Due to the longer teacher work day and the additional performance requirements, teachers shall be paid an additional 14.46 percent.

2. The length of the extended teacher work day shall be 475 minutes. This includes a lunch period of 30 minutes and recesses to amount to 20 minutes.

3. To provide consistency among SIG schools, the teacher work day will be from 7:30 – 3:25 (475 minutes). Sites may choose to increase their lunch time or add an additional recess. If so, the time shall be added to the teacher work day. (Attachment A, Sample) [Blog Note: Langley didn’t provide me with a copy of this attachment.] This schedule may vary 5-10 minutes from beginning to end of day depending on traffic patterns (transportation needs).

4. Instructional minutes on ‘regular school days’ shall be:”

[Blog note: this chart didn’t reproduce in my copy, so I have paraphrased it here:
Daily minutes at Bel Air, Rio Vista and Shore Acres are 305 for kindergarten, 385 for grades 1-3 and 395 for grades 4-5.]

“5. On Wednesdays and Conference days (minimum days) instructional minutes shall be:

Daily Minutes Kinder 1-3 4-5
Bel Air 255 250 250
Rio Vista 255 250 250
Shore Acres 255 250 250


1. Site time will be increased for designated teachers identified as SIG Teachers. A new salary schedule for SIG teachers will be created for the duration of the grant at all SIG schools at 114.46% of the current salary schedule for MDEA members.

2. A SIG teacher is defined as a teacher who provides an additional hour of service to students beyond the 415 minimum required minutes.

3. SIG teachers are site-based teachers such as classroom teachers, intervention teachers, RS/ISP, EL Resource teachers who will have increased student contact time. At the conclusion of the grant, teachers will return to the regular MDEA salary schedule with commensurate placement and shall receive longevity and column credit earned as a SIG teacher.

4. Other centrally assigned and itinerant staff such as PE, music, and library prep teachers will be assigned using the same guidelines as non-SIG schools which is based on the Administrative Rule 4113.11 and Article in the MDEA contract. These teachers will not have additional student contact requirements as a result of increased learning time for students. Speech and Language Pathologists will adhere to the case-load parameters outlined in the MDEA contract. These centrally assigned employees shall remain on the regular MDEA salary schedule. For any centrally assigned and itinerant staff at SIG schools site meetings will be held immediately at the end of 415 minimum site day and shall adhere to the MDEA contract language regarding after site time meetings.


1. The parties agree that after site time meetings or trainings scheduled by the principal shall be limited to no more than twenty eight (28) hours per year. The following meetings shall not be included in the 28 hour limitation: (a) after school IEPs; and (b) after school SSTs.

2. Personnel at the SIG schools who will not have a longer instructional day and increased compensation are not required to participate in SIG meetings or SIG training.

3. The District shall direct principals to be thoughtful and judicious in their use of after site time meetings considering the longer work day that will now be implemented at SIG schools.


1. The SIG requires districts to utilize a teacher evaluation tool that ties the results of student learning to the performance evaluation of the teacher. Teacher performance evaluation at SIG sites will include a formula which considers student progress as a significant element in the existing evaluation tool.

a. The District will utilize the Formative Assessment for California Teachers (FACT model) as a formative assessment tool. FACT focuses on the demonstration of teacher practice, reflective assessment, and support to assist teachers in developing as a practitioner and assuring maximum learning for students.

i. The SIG will provide each site with a trained (in FACT) Instructional Coach (TSA) during the first year of implementation to guide teachers through the inquiry process. The Instructional Coach will provide ongoing support and coaching but will not participate in the evaluation process.

ii. During the initial year of implementation of this agreement, additional content area coaches will not be hired at SIG sites with the exception of any currently assigned coach.

iii. Teachers will complete the assessment module of FACT collecting multiple measures of data including, but not limited to, district identified benchmark assessments.

b. All teachers at SIG sites will be evaluated annually.

c. Administrators at SIG sites will select Standard 5 (assessing student learning) as a focus area; teachers will select one additional standard of their choice.

d. Teachers will meet with the site administrator for an initial conference, an interim conference and a final conference to review the multiple measures of data collected in 1. (a) iii above, and assess growth in the teacher’s professional practice towards meeting the selected evaluation goals.”


[End of MOU]


Langley clarified that the union hasn’t yet entered into negotiations regarding possible furlough days in the 2011-12 school year. He said he couldn’t speculate about how furlough days would affect the SIG grant requirement for increased instructional time.

Based on this agreement, any furlough days negotiated in the future would apply to all schools and teachers, he said. The district has built seven furlough days into its budget for 2011-12, including five days of instruction and two staff days.

Do you think teachers should agree to this Memorandum of Understanding?

[You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.]

24 Responses to “Mt. Diablo teachers’ union to vote on agreement Friday”

  1. Doctor J Says:

    There are a number of problems with this agreement: any more than 3 furlough days will result in too little increased instruction to qualify for the SIG funds; teachers at different sites are discriminated against by being paid on a different scale; the Board never authorized the district to negotiate this agreement; today at the request of the Supt, the entire board was given a copy of the agreement to consider, a clear violation of the Brown Act and will invalidate any approval of this agreement.

  2. Just J Says:

    Forget the teachers at different sites…I am really pissed that my kids will have fewer school days when all of the schools need more (see the star test scores) We suck all over the place. Well ok we can’t forget the teachers but my goodness lets start putting ALL of the children first!

  3. Doctor J Says:

    @Just J, SIG schools will be limited to 3 furlough days, while all other schools will have to take more furlough days to make up the difference; probably a minimum of 5 days and more likely 7 days. Not only will that be a large learning gap for the children, it will significantly increase the compensation gap for teachers in neighbor schools. What MDUSD will agree to in order to get funding they already spent !!! MDUSD is just holding its breath today that MDEA doesn’t figure it out before the vote ! And we still have that sticky problem with the Board not authorizing these negotiations, and yesterday’s Brown Act violation by sending the agreement out to all Board members for consideration.

  4. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Mike Langley told me the “impact bargaining” did not include any agreement regarding furlough days. He said furlough days may be negotiated in September, but that the teachers’ union won’t know what the district is proposing until both sides sunshine their proposals.

    He cited this clause, saying it was his expectation that all teachers would be affected by the same number of furlough days, if any are negotiated for the coming year: “5. All other increases or reductions in benefits and working conditions and work year negotiated for general MDEA membership will apply to members at SIG sites.”

    The district can’t reduce the school year by more than five days unless the state’s mid-year budget trigger is pulled. So, right now, the district can only plan for five school day furloughs, plus two teacher work day furloughs.

  5. Doctor J Says:

    @Theresa #4. My point was not well made — any more than 3 furlough days at a SIG site will invalidate the “increased instructional time” requirement and invalidate the SIG grants.

  6. Theresa Harrington Says:

    I wonder if the district will disclose its plan to reduce the school year by five days in its corrective action plan for the grant.

  7. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Mike Langley just called to say the Rep Assembly approved the MOU and he’s on his way to sign it.
    Vote was 44-4, according to MDEA.

  8. Doctor J Says:

    Langley’s position is that MDEA has not agreed to a single furlough day. Lawrence’s position is that MDUSD already budgeted for 5 school days on furlough PLUS 2 teacher instructional days off. If there are more than 3 days lost to students, then the SIG grants will be lost. Who will win this arm wrestle ?

  9. Theresa Harrington Says:

    It’s possible the CDE wouldn’t find out about the furlough days until they actually happen, unless the district discloses them in its corrective action plan.
    Although they are budgeted, they do no show up on the district’s school calendar, since the union hasn’t agreed to them.
    The CDE said in June it didn’t know “officially” that Glenbrook had closed.
    Langley said the budget is only a plan, and that plans can change.
    Right now, the School Improvement Grants are included in the budget, he said, even though they are not guaranteed at this point.

  10. Doctor J Says:

    If the district doesn’t disclose its budget to reduce instruction by 5 days in its corrective action application, including the SIG schools, I know 1000+ friends that will flood the CDE and BOE with letters. The problem with MDUSD playing hide the ball and shell games with its budget is that it comes back to bite them in the rear. Frankly its hillarious that the district and MDEA can reach and sign a major contract compromise in just 11 days when the district is desperate. Eberhart and Lawrence had to grab their ankles and take their punishment. But its not over for them — look what is coming out in Bondgate — secret corporations and who knows what else.

  11. Theresa Harrington Says:

    The district is sunshining its proposal Tuesday:
    It includes “seven furlough days or the maximum number allowable in light of the number of instructional days required by the state.”
    It also includes “a discussion of salary reduction options” and says “Potential reductions may include, but are not limited to, salary reductions, work furlough days, and step and column freeze.”
    It also discusses “controlling the effect of the increasing cost of retirement plans and benefits.”
    Ideas include a vesting period for district-paid retirement benefits, reducing reimbursable medical benefits to employee only, capping retirement medical benefits and eliminating dental coverage for retirees.
    Finally, it expresses an interest in “working collaboratively with MDEA to identify any other contractual areas which would result in savings to the General Fund.”

  12. Doctor J Says:

    How can the Board “sunshine” a proposal that according to its agendas it never discussed or agreed upon ? Isn’t this just another in a series of Brown Act violations ? Did I miss a Board agenda where this was noticed for closed session and discussed ?

  13. John Q Says:

    It’s great to see the Strategic Plan back on the Agenda. Right there at the bottom. With no attachments.

  14. Flippin' Tired Says:

    No one has agreed to any furlough days. There’s more than one union that has to agree, by the way. MDEA doesn’t call the shots for every other worker.

  15. Doctor J Says:

    @F.Tired, the approved District budget has 7 furlough days in it, and not one union stood up in opposition to the budget. Sounds like tacit approval to me. As everyone knows I don’t think it is appropriate to include non-agreed upon items in the budget.

  16. Theresa Harrington Says:

    The Local One M&O unit has already agreed to five to nine furlough days in 2011-12, depending on how many days per year members work:
    The Local One CST unit and the CSEA union have also already entered into similar agreements.
    MDEA and the psychologists’ union, however, have not agreed to furlough days for 2011-12 or beyond.

  17. Flippin' Tired Says:

    CST voted? When?

  18. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Yes, CST also agreed to five to nine furlough days in 2011-12, according to this agreement, signed April 18:

  19. Doctor J Says:

    Why don’t I see the MDEA/MDUSD MOU for the SIG schools on the Board Public agenda for approval — or did I miss it ? Is the Board going to have to have a Special Meeting prior to the start of school to approve it ? The public is entitled to comment on it, especially since the Board will sunshine tonight its proposal for 5 instructional furlough days which will disqualify the MOU from meeting the fed/state mandadted minimum of 30 minutes increased instructional time in the SIG schools.

  20. Theresa Harrington Says:

    There was no board action on the special MOU.
    However, I received a letter from the district stating that the public may respond to the board’s proposed successor agreement Sept. 13, when the board may adopt it so formal negotiations can begin.
    But, MDEA still needs to sunshine its proposal.

  21. 4Students Says:

    What happened with the Strategic Plan?

  22. Doctor J Says:

    The district is cheating the teachers: it is only going to pay the 14% differential on the “base pay” not on the “total pay” for the SIG teachers.

  23. g Says:

    4Students: S.W. P’d all over it.

  24. Doctor J Says:

    It appears the MDEA/MDUSD MOU does NOT MEET the Federal and State standards to approve year 2 of the SIG grants. State Supt. Torlakson sent a letter on August 11 outling in detail the requirements for “Increased Learning Time” and the MOU does not meet those standards — its not just about longer days and the budgeted furlough days clearly jeopardize the grant. The US Dept of Education sent a letter on August 12 outling in detail the requirments of “High Quality Teacher and Principal Evaluation System” and the MOU does not meet those standards — no such evaluation system exists for teachers, let alone principals. I wonder if this is the reason that the Board did not approve the MOU on August 23 ?
    No wonder Denise Rugani abandoned ship.

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