Protecting the Promise of Public Education for All

The Sweetwater Education Association is the union that represents more than 1,800 teachers, librarians, nurses and speech pathologists in the Sweetwater Union High School District. Our mission is to protect and promote the well-being of our members; to improve the conditions of teaching and learning; to advance and protect the promise of a quality public education for all students.

Meetings were held between SUHSD and SEA on Wednesday, December 12, 2018 in order to ensure our students have the most qualified teachers in the classroom. In light of the recent SERP agreement, the President, Vice-President and two members of the Bargaining team (one high school, one middle school) met with district leadership to craft a Memo of Understanding  (MOU) to outline how the vacancies of approximately 100 mid-year retirements and resignations would be filled. Please read the entire MOU linked below.

Memo of Understanding Regarding 2018-2019 Filling of Positions 


The Contract is Ratified!


The results of the Contract Ratification

Votes cast 461

Yes 403

No 58

Contract is ratified

Tentative Agreement Summary Presented at Representative Council found here.

Full Tentative Agreement posted here.

Ratification Election flyer.


Pros and cons discussed at the Site Representative meeting of vote posted here. The Site Rep Council voted overwhelmingly to accept the agreement.


FAQ's about the SERP and Tentative Agreement updated November 13 linked here.


Link to Member Resources page with hire dates/seniority lists


Bargaining Update #8

November 14,  2018

There are two new items in bargaining to report:

  • Age requirement for SERP eligibility is being lowered!
    • The age and service eligibility requirements for the SERP will be revised as follows:
      • As of retirement or resignation date, are 55 and have 5 years of District service or are 50 and have thirty (30) years of District service.  Are age 50 with 5 years of district service as of December 31, 2018/June 30, 2019, depending on which of the dates of incentive triggered.
    • Notices are being mailed to the newly eligible unit members!
  • A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed yesterday between SEA and SUHSD affecting some Adult School Teachers. This addresses the potential miscalculation of work year days for Adult School reported to STRS between the 1997/1998 and 2013/2014 school years.
    • SEA Adult School unit members who are eligible under the SERP have expressed concern about exercising this option given they are unsure how the corrected work data will impact STRS service credits.
    • Therefore, Permanent or Probationary Adult School Teachers who are SERP eligible and who submit, by Dec. 12, their intention to retire/resign from the District for the June 30, 2019 eligibility date only may rescind their retirement before June 25, 2019. No other unit members are able to revoke their resignation/retirement themselves, as is being offered here.
    • The Adult School SERP retirees will be prioritized for recalculation efforts by SUHSD Payroll and for coordination and submission of data to SDCOE and STRS. Every effort will be made on SUHSD’s part to ensure their recalculation information is available prior to June 15, 2019, so they may consider whether to rescind their resignation/retirement by June 25, 2019.
    • Temporary Adult School teachers and other Adult School teachers who retire/resign using the December 2018 SERP offering will be prioritized for recalculation directly after the June 2019 Adult School SERP retirees.

Respectfully Submitted,

Colleen Cooke-Salas

SEA Vice President and Bargaining Chair


Bargaining Update #7

November 5, 2018

SEA Members Present: Colleen Cooke-Salas, John Cox, Robert Farrell, Tere Harris, Dalisay Quitilen, Gretel Rodriguez, Julie Walker

SUHSD Members Present: Scott Hendries, Jenni Carbuccia, Tom Glover, Ryan Burke, Ana Maria Alvarez, Tom Winters, Dianne Codero, Juan Gonzalez, Richard Carrion, Tom Gray, Joe Heinz

The SEA and SUHSD Bargaining Teams met today to conclude negotiations regarding Article 15 Extra Service Assignments.

  • Teaching and Tutoring Assignments After School:
    • Language was added to differentiate between pay for tutoring after school and pay for teaching an hourly class, such as a re-teach session for students who failed a CFA.
    • Credit Recovery classes are already addressed in Art. 36.7 and are paid at the pro rata per diem rate. However, interventions such as the re-teaching session which includes pre-determined learning objectives was previously not being treated differently than drop-in tutoring.
    • Compensation for the hourly teaching assignment was increased to $51.30 or Pro Rata Per Diem, whichever is less.
  • Coaching Positions:
    • Language was added to ensure that all bargaining unit members who applied for a coaching position would be guaranteed an interview.
    • Posting for coaching positions would be done through all the means that general postings use and will be emailed to all bargaining unit members.
    • The parties will meet to discuss ways to increase the number of bargaining unit members serving as coaches; a common goal.

This Tentative Agreement will be added to the previous TAs and brought to the membership for a ratification vote upon the recommendation of the SEA Rep Council.

Respectfully Submitted,

Colleen Cooke-Salas

SEA Vice President and Bargaining Chair


Bargaining Update #6

Noon, November 2, to 4:00 AM, November 3, 2018

SEA Members Present: Colleen Cooke-Salas, John Cox, Robert Farrell, Tere Harris, Dalisay Quitilen, Gretel Rodriguez, Julie Walker, Gene Chavira

SCGA Members Present: Lorraine Almendarez, Alfredo Cendejas, Andrea Aragoza,Verenice Hernandez-Herrera, Rick Sevilla,  Alex Santana, Caryn Hoffman

CTA Executive Director: Lian Shoemake

SUHSD Members Present: Scott Hendries, Jenni Carbuccia, Tom Glover, Jenny Salkeld, Ryan Burke, Karen Janney

The SEA and SCGA Bargaining Teams met on Wednesday, Oct. 31, to review the District’s package proposal to include a SERPS (Supplemental Early Retirement Plan). The District requested all negotiations conclude together with the bargaining over the SERP. The teams planned and prepared for the penultimate bargaining session to occur on Friday, Nov. 2.

And the ultimate bargaining session it was...


  • November 3, 2018 at 4:05 am SEA and SUHSD have a TA addressing:
    • Supplemental Early Retirement Plan (SERP)
      • Based on salary as achieved by Oct. 8, 2018 (1.0 FTE)
      • Retire/Resign by December 31, 2018 = 85% 
      • Retire/Resign by June 30, 2019 = 60%
      • Eligibility Packets to be mailed Monday, Nov. 5, 2018
      • Enrollment deadline December 12, 2018
      • 105 SEA/SCGA participants needed
      • If successful, no RIF (Reduction in Force, ie., no Pink Slips, no lay-offs) during 2018-2019 school year!
    • 2 furlough days on Jan 14 and 15, 2019
    • Increase of Health and Welfare Benefits cap to $15,130 on Jan 1, 2021
    • Teacher Induction - suspended the year following any RIFs
    • Continue ED Pilot Program in middle schools until successor agreement.
    • Continue pool of 100 additional IEP days until successor agreement.
    • Continue tracking the number of IEP days until successor agreement.
    • Article 4 Adult School Tentative Agreement from Aug. 29, 2019
  • Continue negotiations on Article 15 Stipends on Monday, Nov. 5, 2018


Nov. 13, 2018: SEA BOD meeting to make a ratification recommendation to SEA Rep Council

Nov. 27, 2018: SEA Rep Council meeting to approve/disapprove SEA BOD recommendation

Open Hearings and Ratification Vote by SEA membership to conclude by end of the first week of December, 2018.

Respectfully Submitted,

Colleen Cooke-Salas

SEA Vice President and Bargaining Chair





Letter to General Membership in regards to the SUHSD Budget Issues October 2018

Dear Bargaining Unit Members:

As you may be aware through media and other avenues, Sweetwater Union High School District currently does not have an approved budget for the current school year, 2018-19.

SEA/SCGA/CSEA/NAGE was informed on September 10, 2018 that the District discovered a year-ending shortfall of approximately $14 million.  That excess includes the absence of the 2% reserve SUHSD is required to keep by law, which is approximately $10 million. At a subsequent meeting on October 3, the District informed the unions that the total amount is now $26 million, which includes the $14 million discussed above, and an additional $12 million which needs to be reduced from the 2018-19 budget.

The District is scheduled to present its proposed budget at the school board meeting on October 8.

Obviously, this is a serious fiscal crisis in which the District finds itself. There have been media reports and other communications circulating about causes and effects of this crisis, but SEA/SCGA/CSEA/NAGE want you to be clear on certain facts.

  1. The negotiated raises from 2016-17 are not the cause of the district’s financial crisis. Since the effective date of the most recent negotiated salary increase (January 1, 2017), the District has seen an increase of revenue of approximately $30 million in new Local Control Funding Formula money*.
  2. The current contract is in effect through June 30, 2019. No changes can be made to any unit member’s salary, benefits, work year or any other term and condition contained in our contract without negotiations.

While we anticipate the District will likely seek contractual changes to address its fiscal crisis, any such change will need to be bargained through the negotiation process, and will then be subject to ratification by the union’s membership.

We have a commitment to our students, members and community and we are confident that working together, we will be able to ensure the SUHSD budget for 2018-19 and its out years.

This is a very serious, unprecedented situation, and we know you have many questions around this. Union leadership is seeking answers on your behalf.

Please keep checking for updates.


Gene Chavira, President

Sweetwater Education Association


*including District projections for new revenue for 2018-19.



SEA is a part of the South County Teachers United UniServ  and an affiliate of the California Teachers Association and the National Education Association.

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