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MDUSD teachers’ union stands tough on demands

By Theresa Harrington
Tuesday, February 28th, 2012 at 1:31 pm in Education.

Before the Mt. Diablo school board went into closed session Feb. 27 to discuss union negotiations and other issues, teachers’ union President Mike Langley said he made the following comments to trustees:

“Members of the Board.

With all due respect and sincerity, we ask you to strongly consider our last proposal as the best short term solution in still uncertain times. If accepted and ratified, we can immediately begin to craft a subsequent agreement with the belief that negotiations will mature in November. By then we can agree on a realistic formula for a known economic climate, without unnecessary cuts that do irreparable harm, yet with protection for the fiscal health of this district.

Let me read to you an excerpt for an email sent by our bargaining chair, Connie Gillam

• ‘The MDEA team feels there is room for movement on the District’s part regarding the Salary and Work Year articles as well as the additional articles still on the table.

• Teachers are willing to help the District out to ensure that the District will not face bankruptcy; however we are not willing to take furlough days when they are being used as a revenue source rather than a last option for funding. Teachers believe that furlough days are damaging to our students and the valuable instructional time lost cannot be replaced.

• Teachers believe there is a substantial reserve available to the District this year and that a reasonable share of the reserve should be used to demonstrate the value of teachers and to help alleviate some of the financial burdens that many years of increased medical costs and six years of no increases in salary have caused.

Recent General Meetings have confirmed that an overwhelming majority of our members support the MDEA teams studied and reasoned approach. We feel that the Board has an opportunity to work with teachers to reach a fair and equitable contract that meets the needs of the District and MDEA members. We are willing to work with the District team to do so and are hopeful that the Board is willing to do the same.’

Thank you for your time and consideration of this important message. Let us remember that our energies are best served focusing on our students. No one will stand unbloodied if we move into the more public phase that Impasse entails.”

Here is a link to MDEA’s last bargaining update, which lays out its demands for demands: http://www.mtdiabloeducationassoc.org/pdf/12_01_30bargainUpdate.pdf

Do you think the district should agree to MDEA’s proposal?

MARCH 1 UPDATE: MDEA has declared impasse: http://bit.ly/wG5oUr

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  • Doctor J

    The MDEA Bargaining Update lays it all out in these simple words: “our membership has no faith in the District’s multi-year budget projections . . . due, in part, to the historical inaccuracy of the District’s ending balance and three-year projections and, in part, to the Board’s failure to acknowledge the sacrifice our members made by our overwhelming support for furlough days during 2010-11, which contributed to the District’s large unrestricted ending balance.” This is the nicest and most polite way to call Eberhart, Lawrence, Richards, Braun-Martin and the rest of the team “liars” without using the word. The district used “smoke and mirrors” deceptive tactics to amass a $43 Million surplus from the unions. “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” MDEA will be hanging tough — they can’t trust the MDUSD team.

  • Flippin’ Tired

    No, the district should not agree to this proposal.

    First, the hours cut from CST and CSEA must be restored. Then, those two units and M&O need to get raises, since they’ve been without any increase in ten years.

    The teachers got a recent raise when they were given money towards benefits – benefits they themselves voted away.

    Teachers aren’t the only employees who have made sacrifices.

  • anon

    Do teachers still get step increases yearly? Do any of the other employees get similar increases?

  • g

    Anon: Pay scale does not include bene’s or perks.

    http://www.mdusd.org/personnel/Documents/Salary%20Schedules/salsched_mdea.pdf

  • anon

    @G,
    yes, I know, I am just curious as to whether any other employees get increases based solely on years worked, and education.

  • g

    Anon, these job openings will give you some indication of what Classified workers get. I could not find a list like the Certificated one. The big deal to me would be the 38+ PTO days they get–and they can accumulate them for a huge payout. That is double (or more) what most private companies give their employees these days.

  • g
  • anon

    @G,
    thank you.
    So, if employees are getting a Step increase yearly, I would count that as a raise.
    In no other job I have ever had, did I automatically get an increase based solely on a calendar year passing. Some good years saw raises, some bad years saw no raise, or even cut hours.

  • Anon

    Anyone think there might be any legitimacy to the idea that the district wouldn’t want to have any settlement that would be relevant to anything before the 2012-2013 school year so they could “punish” the CVHS teachers who stayed on?

  • Theresa Harrington

    I have just posted an update regarding MDEA’s impasse announcement: http://bit.ly/wG5oUr

  • Doctor J

    Impasse is part of Eberhart’s re-election strategy — look tough against the unions to the general public and then cut a deal with the teacher’s for their support. He’s still angry at MDEA for holding Buttercupgate over his head.

  • Doctor J

    When will MercuryNews Public Employee Database be updated to 2011 Salaries ?

  • Theresa Harrington

    When we get all the data.

  • Doctor J

    Here is the box that Eberhart/Lawrence have negotiated themselves into: Any raises given to teachers must also be given to Dent Center management ! This morning Lawrence in an emergency meeting with the DMA tried to gloss over that fact, but his dismissiveness was not persuasive — rarely has been, but he instills fear in those who would speak up against him. The DMA [Diablo Managers Association -- read that Dent Center and school administration] have an agreement with MDUSD that any raises or increase in benefits given to MDEA are also given to MDA. Of course, MDEA has never been “officially” advised of this so they ignore it and frankly could care less about it. In an election year to give Lawrence, Rolen, Browne, Lock, and Braun-Martin, along with all of SASS raises at their already skyscraper salaries, would be the kiss of death to the re-election of Eberhart and Whitmarsh. And lets not forget the Gang of Five raises which insulted not only DMA members who also took on “additional responsibilities” without increased pay, buy also insulted all of the MDEA employees who are being “burdened” with the pressure of all of the additional testing, data analysis, and pressure to perform. More straws are being added to the camels back as secret “boundary change” meetings continue to occur, along with the less-than-transparent “Bay Point Master Plan” ruse for which Pete Petersen is “running point”. Unless Eberhart/Lawrence “give in” pretty quickly to MDEA, and accept the DMA consequences, a nuclear reaction in the district is about to occur that could align MDEA and DMA together against Eberhart/Lawrence’s selfish positions. We are going to see some fireworks before the Fourth of July — no doubt about it.

  • Theresa Harrington

    Langley told me that the one-time payment would have amounted to about $5 million for all employees, which is doable given the district’s large reserve, which was built up in part from furlough days taken by employees last year.
    He said he expected that the district would give the same percentage increases to classified staff as well.
    He also said he expects that after fact-finding is over, the district will be told: You should have given staff these increases a long time ago.
    He said he was especially frustrated by the fact that the teachers’ union “busted its butt” to agree to an MOU for SIG schools so the district could meet grant requirements, and is now being “treated like dirt” by the district.
    However, he said if the union had it to do over again, it would still have agreed to the MOU, because it helps students through the SIGs.

  • Doctor J

    @TH#15 There are a bunch of teachers opting out of the SIG schools because the extra $14 per day doesn’t compensate for the “extra” toil of an increased school day. With the large SIG grants unspent, MDEA should have negotiated a larger increase. They were suckered.

  • Theresa Harrington

    The San Lorenzo district used a portion of its SIG money for $1,000 stipends to SIG teachers. The WCCUSD exempted teachers at SIG schools from layoffs. I hear SFUSD is doing the same thing, but is being challenged.
    Langley said MDUSD wanted to exempt SIG teachers from layoffs, but the union didn’t agree that SIG teachers had significantly more training than other elementary teachers, since they have all been trained in data analysis and many are part of Professional Learning Communities working collaboratively to plan lessons, etc.
    Still, after writing my recent story about SIG schools, everyone seems to agree that it’s vital to have a cohesive staff with a common vision to really turnaround a school: http://www.contracostatimes.com/news/ci_20072303/grants-make-big-difference-at-some-east-bay

  • Doctor J

    The two SIG MOU’s with MDEA were negotiated in secrecy and not approved by the Board in a public meeting. The secret boundary change committee still hasn’t revealed the proposed changes for “Bay Point” and “Meadow Homes” areas which will “shuffle” students between schools so district won’t have to pay the bussing costs currently being incurred. As many as 1/3 of MH students will be switched to neighbor schools, and those schools will then in turn shuffle many of their students to outlying schools. So many issues concerning transportation, busy streets, and long distances, all of which Supt Lawrence and the consultants are unfamiliar with but make sense to save the “district” money and place the financial burden on low income families. Another “genius” idea by Lawrence to finance district raises on the backs of the poor.

  • Flippin’ Tired

    Anon @8,
    Yes, there are annual step increases, until you reach the highest step, and then they stop. So if someone has been at the same job for 20 years, they have not received an increase in 10 years. CST, CSEA and M&O were not foolish enough to vote away medical coverage in lieu of cash in their paychecks. Teachers did that. They’ve received money to put towards medical, but the other unions received cuts to their hours. Teachers are not more deserving than the other workers in this district.