PSEA Negotiations Update April 2018
THE NATIONAL MOOD – SCHOOL EMPLOYEES ARE FED UP!
As PSEA continues contract negotiations with the District, we are encouraged by the recent upsurge in protests by school employees throughout the nation – from the successful strike by teachers and classified employees in West Virginia to the recent walkouts in Kentucky and Oklahoma, a planned walkout later this week in Arizona by teachers and classified employees, and a threatened teacher strike in Colorado. Meanwhile, just north of us, classified employees at Los Angeles Unified School District voted last week to authorize a strike, because their contract negotiations have dragged on for nearly a year. For years, school employees everywhere have been faithfully doing their job, often with little thanks, during good times and bad. But there’s a growing awareness that things won’t magically get better on their own – we have to actively push to make things better.
OUR NEGOTIATIONS AT POWAY UNIFIED
Meanwhile, PSEA continues to negotiate with the District for a successor agreement for Unit I (the Office, Technical, Business Services and Paraprofessional bargaining unit) and for an initial agreement for Unit II (the Operations Support Services unit). While these negotiations have dragged on for over two years, due to widespread turnover and instability in the upper reaches of the District, we have continued to make steady progress in many areas – though significant disagreements remain.
There are currently three (3) main outstanding issues which impede our ability to reach tentative agreements for both units. They are:
- Leaves: While we have made many improvements in Article 9 (Leaves), essentially achieving parity with the leave rights of certificated employees, we have been unable to reach an overall agreement on this Article. The only remaining obstacle is the District’s unreasonable refusal to allow employees to use their own accrued sick leave while taking time off to care for family members. Since our expired agreements allow employees to use catastrophic leave (in other words, everybody else’s sick leave) while taking care of family members, it is insulting that the District won’t allow employees to use their own sick leave in this way.
- Wages: Despite numerous requests from PSEA, the District has yet to make a wage proposal for classified employees. Last month, however, District negotiators reached agreement with PFT for a 2.5% salary increase starting July 1, 2018, and a 3% one-time payment for the 2017-2018 school year. PSEA and the District are returning to the negotiating table today, and we will expect a similar offer from the District.
- Vacation: PSEA and the District have not been able to resolve the current dispute over vacation accrual rates, which led to PSEA filing an Unfair Practice Charge against the District with the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB). That dispute is now set to go to trial on June 4, 2018. We are currently discussing with the District ways we might be able to reach a TA on the Vacation article in both units now, while the case proceeds (either to trial or to a mediated settlement).
As we narrow down the unresolved issues to just a few, PSEA sees no reason we would not be able to reach overall TAs for both units and have final agreements for our members to ratify before the end of this school year – provided the District is willing to be reasonable.
As always, our ability to win improvements for classified employees depends on having an active and engaged membership. If you have not yet signed a PSEA membership card (attached), be sure to contact your PSEA Site Representative, or call the PSEA office at (858) 842-4980.