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CUSD Negotiations with Teachers Revealed

Furlough days and class-size increases are favored by both sides, according to a memo from the Capistrano Unified Education Association.

In a memo to teachers in the , the union has identified the where it differs with district officials on how to resolve the cash-strapped district’s financial troubles.

A gulf between the two sides’ proposals is whether teachers will take a pay cut. The Capistrano Unified Education Association doesn't propose that at all. The district only wants it if doesn't pass in November.

Both sides agree a large number of furlough days may be the answer.

Like all school districts in California, Capo must balance its budget for 2012-13 by the end of the month. District officials have said they which envisions a temporary tax hike on the November ballot failing.

According to the CUEA memo, here are the differences:

Budget Negotiations  CUSD Proposal  CUEA Proposal Class-size increases  Yes, by 2 students   Yes, by 1.5 students  Freeze in salary advancements  Yes, until Jan. 1, '13   Yes, until Jan. 1, '13 Salary cuts  No  No Furlough days  5  5, at end of year Additional Cuts if Taxes Fail

Furlough days

 8  10

Salary cuts

 Yes  No

According to the memo, the district and the union representatives have only met twice, May 25 and May 31. The next meeting is scheduled for June 11.

An increase of two students per class means cutting 91 teachers. . In addition, .

The district has , 6 at the district's headquarters, 33122 Valle Road in San Juan Capistrano.

cusd mom June 08, 2012 at 06:49 AM
Yeparoo, Your post may be out of line, but it does make a valid point. I have posted this again and again on various comment boards regarding the "pay cut". I just don't see it. I looked up countless teachers in the OCR database and every single teacher made more in 2011 than in 2010. No wonder they don't want to freeze their step and ladder increases more than 6 months. I am totally disgusted and disappointed with both the union and the administrators of this district.
bbq June 08, 2012 at 07:23 AM
Jim, Thank you for "getting" my humor. I do have a bit of a wicked sense of humor - but, I was actually serious in what actually happened regarding my boys' conversations in the car. But, I am concerned about what is going on in the classroom. Movies all the time, really??? There seems to be a lot of wasted time in some classes. Perhaps there should be some kind of audit going on in each and every class to determine what can be changed to better the quality of our kids education. SCN - :)
Penny Arévalo (Editor) June 08, 2012 at 11:57 AM
@LeAna, while teachers may experience a furlough day (in the short term) as a pay cut, i.e., they get less pay, it is a separate line-item for negotiation and may have different longer-term impacts on pension. More on that later.
Ken Lopez Maddox June 08, 2012 at 12:33 PM
It seems to me that at some point the number of furlough days reaches a critical mass that forces the parents to pick up the slack. This means finding instruction outside of the school system for those that can afford it. I also expect homework to increase as a means to cover that material not covered in the classroom due to a lack of time.
Sharon Y. June 08, 2012 at 01:32 PM
A few thing to remember.......this board majority recently Removed cap off healthcare Approved over 700 thousand dollars for kinder teachers for 5 extra minutes of work 30 thousand so union members can go to junket to learn to negotiate Over 10 million dollar golden handshake And the list goes on......one must ask how represents the student ?
Penny Arévalo (Editor) June 08, 2012 at 01:58 PM
Thank you, Jane, I AM the moderator. As we were writing in another comment stream, just as there are "just parents" and parents who are more involved, there are "just teachers" and teachers who are more involved. Just as parents hold many different viewpoints, I'm sure teachers do not all think alike either. This being said, if someone is heavily involved in some capacity, whether the leader of some faction (say a pro-voucher advocacy group or a union), it's only fair to point out that affiliation. This is not at all to cast doubt on some very real consequences Ms. Sheehan may face because of the cut-backs. I can't believe I have to write this, but honesty and disclosure are good.
Yeparoo June 08, 2012 at 02:45 PM
So comparing the furlough days, the selfish union wants 15 days. That is understandable in light of their well earned self serving nature, children be damned. What is the explanation for the TT suggesting that 13 furlough days is remotely a good idea? And if 2 furlough days are the difference in negotiating positions, any pay cut would be very small.
Penny Arévalo (Editor) June 08, 2012 at 02:56 PM
Each furlough days saves the district 1.67 million, so right now, the district and the union are only $3.34 million apart, right? Each 1 percent salary cut saves $2.9 million, so that's less than 1.5 percent salary cut ... if my math is correct.
bbq June 08, 2012 at 03:53 PM
If each furlough day saves 1.67 million, the 50m shortfall can be completely eliminated with 30 furlough days - woo hoo!!
randy June 08, 2012 at 05:19 PM
Well...actually $120m in debt. I think $50m means 30 school days PLUS approx 500 teachers unhooked. Now next, $120m to erase, how? Probably finding investors/creditors?
randy June 08, 2012 at 05:27 PM
Or pencil sharpeners, anyone? I start to see the same way the infamous Chevy Chase starring Fletcher films (early '80s). Kids, check that out furlough film. That's how our society is.
Capo mom June 08, 2012 at 05:57 PM
Wealthier families won't have an issue with this. And I am sure it will delight trustee Hatton (and her business interests) too. But struggling middle class families, what can they do?
Jane Lambson June 08, 2012 at 09:59 PM
I mentioned this some time ago that CUSD teachers were polled about how to absorb potential pay cuts. Based on this memo, it seems that the overwhelming majority want furloughs over increased contributions and actual cuts. Not surprising, since human nature mandates we all look out for #1 and everybody else second. Since the "rookie" teachers in CUSD are about 12 years into their service, the attitude is, "Go ahead and cram two more in my class. I can manage. " I personally don't agree with this mentality, but I am not a rank and file teacher who got to voice my opinion. This is an indirect tax on those in the district with younger children who will have to pony up for additional daycare.
Jane Lambson June 08, 2012 at 10:00 PM
I hope that if there are 15 days of furloughs, they can be properly managed, so students can actually learn during the remaining 165 days of instruction. It kind of bothered me that bbq's children have already turned in their books. With nine remaining instruction days, are there supplemental packets that are being used, or have they just quit learning for the school year? Here are some furlough day ideas: Start the school year four days later. Yom Kippur: We lose ADA money on this day anyway. Shut the schools down and absorb the losses another time. The day before X-mas break. Next to the last day of school, it is the most worthless day for instruction, period. Add four days to the four day weekend surrounding President's Day. Call it Winter Break. Have Easter (excuse me) Spring break the week before Easter and take the Monday after Easter off. End the school year four days early. There are your 15 lost days. Penny, you mentioned that furloughs save roughly $1.7 mil per day. Can you find out what an average daily cost savings would be if every single teacher was furloughed and a sub came in at $90-95? Thinking out loud here, but if parents wanted to keep the instruction days but teachers were doing furloughs and only furloughs, could any money be saved? Naturally, this is not conducive to kids' learning and the furloughs would have to be staggered. Op costs would be incurred because the schools are still open and admin support would have to be there.
randy June 08, 2012 at 10:14 PM
Or parents pay $3 per furlough days to keep sub covered while teachers are not allowed to work with students....hmmm
bbq June 08, 2012 at 10:18 PM
I received an Email today for the PTSA announcing public hearings to be held 6/11/12 and 6/27/12 regarding the budget. Jane, I will find out today if any supplemental packets were given out or if the kids are just done learning anything new for the school year & will post later.
Capo mom June 08, 2012 at 11:10 PM
I won't pay a cent so that teachers can lay-off their co-workers and and enjoy more time off. No way.
randy June 08, 2012 at 11:29 PM
CM - of course. $3 each for 15 furlough days or 250 or something for daycare/babysitting..just saying...of course I. OPPOSE. THAT. IDEA.
Capo mom June 08, 2012 at 11:32 PM
randy, Now you sound like a unionista. I don't equate teaching with babysitting.
randy June 08, 2012 at 11:40 PM
Maybe I'm misunderstanding you...I don't like my kids getting under-educated because of 165 days a year just because they won't take pay cut or we won't take any new taxes passed. I oppose that idea but I don't really like that such a manipulation union can make any kids getting less. Don't get me wrong.
randy June 09, 2012 at 12:04 AM
CM, I'm sorry if I was unclear to you. I never thought of educators like babysitters. No way.
Justamom June 09, 2012 at 02:49 PM
I can't see that a few furlough days at the end of the year would make a difference. The kids have already mentally checked out. They don't do anything substantive after STAR tests and AP tests, which are already over. At the middle school, they've already started turning in their text books. What's the point of the last two weeks anyway? Its all just parties and various shows. It wouldn't hurt to align more with the rest of the country too - we always seem to be the last school district out with nothing to show for it.
Penny Arévalo (Editor) June 09, 2012 at 03:39 PM
The rest of the country, however, is pushing for a longer school year and a longer school day. Do a search, and you'll find news stories of many schools across the nation considering it. I know what you mean by not much going on after AP classes. We had one student blogger suggest those teachers stop working, because he didn't see a value in "film festival" time, which is all they seem to do, he said (see: http://sanjuancapistrano.patch.com/blog_posts/blog-a-modest-proposal) . He did get some push-back, including from one teacher.
Darby O'Gill June 11, 2012 at 01:11 AM
hmmm... I guess I am a bit confused... doesn't money coming out of a teacher's salary to pay for benefits that they didn't used to have to pay for count as a pay cut? That was part of the 10% two years ago right? Only some salary and student/teacher furlough days were restored, not the teacher only furloughs or benefits. Why aren't furlough days considered pay cuts since the teachers, and anyone else furloughed, are making less money? They are just more temporary cuts than % salary reductions. People ask why teachers would prefer furlough days and not just salary cuts. Wouldn't you rather work less days if you were getting paid less?
OC Mom June 11, 2012 at 01:32 AM
Darby, Maybe we can move them to a 4 day work week and then reduce their income by 1/5th! I'm sure that would more than balance CUSD budgets. Then teachers wouldn't have to provide supplies and neither would parents. We have to learn to live within our means. Thanks Darby for explaining the rationale between working less and getting less pay in return. It makes perfect sense. It's for the children after all. They are our future.
OC Mom June 11, 2012 at 01:41 AM
Darby, BTW, other than executives can someone share what type of private sector job gives free medical and dental coverage? Those are the type of benefits reserved for politicians, executives and government employees. The rest of us "little people" have never gotten free benefits and in fact have seen the cost of them soar. We earn less in our paychecks because of high healthcare costs. My healthy family of 4 is paying $600 a month thru our employer for HMO and dental coverage. The copays have increased too! Welcome to reality. This is why we can't afford any further taxes. I guess if you're not paying $600 or more a month for healthcare then you would probably not mind another tax increase.
Yeparoo June 11, 2012 at 03:49 AM
@ Darby O'Gill - it seems as if the District leadership and the teachers union see eye to eye that salary reductions should consist of mostly furlough days. Assuming neither tax measure passes and all 13/15 furlough days are taken next school year, what will be the impact on the mission to educate? Also, do you know if CUSD will have any issues with the CA / OC Deptartments of Education for shortening the school year by that many days? Lastly, do you think the shorter school year will make it more difficult for students to be accepted into colleges?
LeAna Bui June 11, 2012 at 04:15 AM
The proposal is to cut the number of school days. There is no proposal to reduce or change curriculum standards which are driven by the state. Teachers will still be required to teach to the standards - they will now have to do it with fewer days.
Yeparoo June 11, 2012 at 05:00 AM
LeAna Bui - Interesting. Did the District say that was case in either the union negotiating points or at the Parent Forum? Could you point me to any official statement that says the same curriculum will be taught in 13/15 fewer days? And if it not too much trouble, when you say teach to the standards would you mind explaining that? , Are you referring to the standard testing? I don't know LeAna Bui, call me simple, but approximately 10% fewer instructional days and achieving the same results seems unwise to me. And if the same or better academic results are possible, then why bother to restore furlough days if more revenue materializes? Something doesn't make sense with the furlough days.
Capo mom June 11, 2012 at 03:02 PM
If parents decided to keep their kids out of school for three weeks, they'd be dealing with a truant officer. If the curriculum goals can be achieved in 165 days or less, why not reduce the school year to that-permanently. Contracts, calendar and budgets can reflect and enjoy the savings. Students and families would have a better ability to plan and control their time. It could be a win-win. I suspect however the union would strenuously object and not because they can't cover the curriculum in 165 days. They don't do a great job of covering it in the time we have now, even though there is plenty of time to watch Ironman over and over. Penny rightly suggests that the trend in successful education systems is for more time, not less. Forget the impact on students and families, think about what this crazy process does to teaching as a profession. We hear constantly about the need to keep salaries high to attract the "best" teachers. That is a charade. Starting salaries are not particularly high. The system effectively prohibits teachers from moving between districts. The only to earn a big paycheck is for years in the system. Earning a high salary has got nothing to do with being the best. The "best" are pre-sorted out by the instability that union pinkslipping creates The best won't even consider education craziness as a profession. If by chance they do, they're likely to be laid off so someone who likes to show Ironman repeatedly can keep their job.

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