We have continued negotiations with the District as we look towards next year. Our interest based bargaining process has allowed us to explore issues throughout the contract, and we have also opened Article 10: Leave for 2018-2019.
The first topic we covered on Thursday was return rights. We are exploring contract language that describes how long a member can be on different kinds of leave and still be entitled to return to the same position and assignment. For example, if a person went on medical leave for an entire school year, should they be entitled to their same position and assignment upon return? What if the leave bridged school years? We are gathering information now, and we will continue this discussion in two weeks.
We also spent time discussing the District practice of asking for volunteers and/or selecting members to attend elementary professional development during the school day. Teachers are expected to prepare half-day sub plans, and they may or may not have the choice of whether to attend or not. Since this is a relatively new practice, we have agreed to review this topic as issues arise.
We again brought up the issue of job sharing at elementary schools. Usually, members want to job share so that they can spend more time with their own children when their children are young. Unfortunately, the District does not want to award elementary job shares at this time. They feel that elementary job shares can result in an inferior educational product, and they have had numerous parents express the desire for their children to not be in a job share classroom. We are still searching for a model that would allay the District’s concerns, but we have not made progress.
In addition, we spent time discussing a potential new schedule for secondary RSP teachers at the high schools for next year. We don’t have all of the information yet, but it appears that the District will be removing the assessment/case management prep period from the schedule of secondary RSP teachers and instead asking them to teach in some capacity during that period. Diane Olsen will attend our May 10 negotiations session to explain the new scheduling. We are examining the issue, but until we have a firm grasp on what is being asked of the secondary RSP teachers, we don’t know whether this is a bargainable issue.
We also worked on a number of MOUs for 2018-2019, some of which are continuing on from this year. The MOUs include (but are not limited to):
Lastly, the District has been informed that the current donated sick leave practice is running afoul of IRS laws. Our lawyer has confirmed this, and we are going to have come up with a new approach. As of now, we don’t have a good idea for how to replace this program. This is potentially dangerous for members. If you were unable to work for an extended period of time and ran out of sick days, you would not be paid.
One option is to join the Standard, which is an income protection insurance program of which many of us are currently members. The next open enrollment for the Standard runs from September 1-30, and the District has agreed to extend the donated sick leave program until September 30, which would give members the time to join the Standard and get guaranteed income protection. We will have a lot of information coming out about this program. Please consider buying income protection from the Standard. It ranges from roughly $27-$45/month depending on your income level.
Thank you for taking the time to stay informed.
Chico Unified Teachers Association
As you all hopefully know, last night the School Board approved our tentative agreement with the District. It was a very positive meeting and many members attended to thank the School Board in person. Tanner Johns’ student jazz band performed “September” by Earth, Wind, and Fire, and they were terrific.
The District now has 60 days to issue our retro checks, which will include:
After issuing the retro check, the salary schedule will be increased by 2.46% for the remaining pay periods of this year. The District health benefits contribution will also increase by 2.46% ($1119 per month, which is up from $1093).
Next year, our paycheck for August will be paid on this year’s salary schedule (including the 2.46% increase). In September, the District will look at the per ADA % increase (which is projected to be 5.91%), and they will increase the salary schedule and the health benefits contribution by the per ADA % increase. That means the health benefits contribution is projected to be $1186 per month. They will then issue a retro check for August to make up the difference. We will follow the same procedure the following school year.
In addition, next year, the transition to all-day K will begin. Schools currently on all-day K waivers will become permanent all-day K sites. These schools (Citrus, McManus, Chapman, Little Chico Creek and Rosedale) will receive the $1300 budget for one more year. The timeline for schools transitioning is listed below:
2018-2019: all current schools + Hooker Oak (6 schools)
2019-2020: all current schools + Emma Wilson and Sierra View (8 schools)
2020-2021: all current schools + Shasta and Parkview (10 schools)
2021-2022: all current schools + Marigold and Neal Dow (all 12 school)
CUTA and the District will be writing the contract language that reflects the MOU we developed with the District for all-day K. It is very important that K teachers contact us and let us know how the transition is proceeding so that we can address problems as they arise and make sure that the final contract language is as effective and complete as possible. The paragraph below describes the minimums the District has agreed to meet at all-day K sites.
All-day K will follow the extended day schedule and teachers will be responsible for 250 daily instructional minutes. Additional minutes that kindergarteners are at school will be covered by aides. All-day K classrooms will have 2.5 hours of aide time per day to be used in the K classroom. Teachers will receive a $1300 classroom budget for the first two years to supplement their classroom materials for the longer day. Kindergarten teachers will receive prep time comparable to a first grade teacher in terms of minutes: 18 half days for prep and 10 sessions (65 minutes) of prep time delivered by a prep time specialist.
Additionally, next year, many members will have new prep time protection. The language states that these members (including, but not limited to, counselors, nurses, SLPs, teacher librarians, elementary resource teachers, and Title I teachers) will receive prep time comparable to site colleagues without using a sub. If a member is unable to schedule prep time because of schedule constraints, he or she should talk to his or her administrator to fix the problem. If the administrator cannot fix the problem, the member needs to contact CUTA.
We are continuing negotiations currently. Topics we are discussing include, but are not limited to:
It was a very productive year in negotiations. We plan to continue the positive relationship with the District. They have been generous, honest, and open partners in negotiations.
Thank you for taking the time to stay informed.
Chico Unified Teachers Association
The votes have been counted and the results are in. Thank you so much to all of you for your patience and understanding this last year as we went through this process as a union.
The results are:
Composite-416 votes (wins) Tiered-99 votes
Pool-289 votes (wins) Pass-227 votes
My sincere gratitude to so many of you who worked so hard and spent so much time on all sides of this issue.
Empty Bowls, a fundraiser for the hungry and homeless, was held at Chico High School's Lincoln Center on March 1, 2018. This event was sponsored by Chico Unified Teachers Association, Chico Unified School District, Chico Noon Rotary, and Slater and Sons as our local fundraiser for the Torres Community Center. Handmade ceramic bowls were created by junior high and high school students in CUSD. All of the soup served at the event was donated by local restaurants. Teachers, retired teachers, students and community members volunteered to work the event.
Bargaining Update, by Charles Snyder
After negotiations on Thursday, February 22, the CUTA bargaining team is very pleased to announce that we have agreed on all of the details for a tentative agreement with the District. The tentative agreement will be presented to E-Board on March 8, and with their approval, we will schedule a membership vote on the tentative agreement by the end of March.
The wage agreement follows the three-year model I have described in previous updates, and it includes the current school year. The projected wage increases are below.
Percent Increase to Salary Schedule
2017-2018 (this year) 2018-2019 2019-2020
2.46% 5.91% 2.46% (projected COLA)
Total Salary Schedule Increase (approximate and compounded) = 11.1%
These represent ongoing raises. The raise for this school year is 2.46%, and members will receive a retro check for this year representing the 2.46% raise and the 2.46% increase in the District contribution to health benefits. The salary schedule will be adjusted up by 2.46% for any remaining portion of the school year.
August of 2018 will be paid on the current year salary schedule, and during September, we will determine if any adjustment needs to be made to the 2.46% from this year. The District will adjust the salary schedule if needed, and will also increase the salary schedule by the 2018-2019 raise, which is projected to be 5.91%. The District will issue a retro check for August 2018, and the rest of the 2018-2019 school year will be paid on the increased salary schedule. We will follow the same procedure in August and September of 2019.
If the District experiences declining enrollment next year, they have the option to opt out of the third year of the agreement. If the District experiences increasing enrollment, CUTA captures 20% of any dollar increases associated with increased enrollment beyond the first 100 students. For example, if District enrollment increased 150 students, CUTA would capture 20% of all dollars associated with students 101-150.
The District health benefit contribution (currently $1093/month) will increase by the same percentages listed above. That means that next year the projected monthly contribution for health benefits from the District will be approximately $1185.
In addition, the District allocated about $500,000 in one-time money for CUTA compensation for this year. This money will be paid as a one-time, equal bonus to all CUTA members employed in 2017-2018, and it will be prorated for FTE, meaning a half-time employee would receive half of what a full time employee would receive. This one-time bonus payment is estimated to be $750 for a full-time employee.
The District listened to CUTA’s concerns throughout this process. CUTA argued that we were a shrinking portion of the overall budget, and we also argued that the District made all of their budget plans first and only considered employee compensation last. This generous wage increase is proof that the District is listening to its employees and cares about wage compensation. It wants Chico to remain a competitive school district. The CUTA bargaining offers its sincere gratitude to CUSD leadership for their honesty and transparency during negotiations.
We have also reached an agreement with the District on a process to transition all of our elementary schools to an all-day Kindergarten model. We have agreed on a set of minimum needs for all-day K, and we will spend next year writing the contract language.
The daily schedule for Kindergarten will continue to resemble the extended day schedule. All-day Kindergarten classes in the District will receive 2.5 hours of aide time per teacher, per day, to be used in the classroom. Upon switching to all-day K, each Kindergarten class will receive a $1300 classroom budget for the first two years to help build up supplies necessary for a longer day. Kindergarten teachers will receive more prep time than they have currently, so that their prep time is comparable to the prep time received by teachers in grades 1-3. Currently, Kindergarten teachers have 13 half-days for prep. This will increase to 18 half-days for prep, and they will also receive ten 65 minute sessions of prep time delivered by a prep time specialist. The Kindergarten instructional day (teacher/student time) will be 250 minutes.