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.

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.

Sincerely,

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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