Bargaining Update February 22, 2017

SEA Bargaining Update - February 14, 2017

Contact the SEA Bargaining Chair, Ola Hadi, with questions at


On February 14, 2017 the Sweetwater Union High School District (District) Bargaining Team met with the Sweetwater Education Association (Association)  Bargaining Team. A summary of our meeting with District team follows (not all articles are listed, for specific inquiries please email the Bargaining Team):


Article 5: The District proposed a counterproposal on Alternative Education that showed increased days (per discussions on Article 6) for Options, CDS, Palomar, Learning Center, and Alta Vista.


Article 6: The District proposed a counterproposal that showed new language which concerned the Association’s bargaining team as it seems to limit the additional three (3) work days to the terms of the agreement-this would mean that members would see a paycut if those days were removed at the end of the contract term. The Association confirmed, again, that if these days are negotiated that they would be used for some of the Zone days. However, the Association will not accept additional calendar days for only two years. Should negotiations lead to additional days, the Association will look to negotiate a start day on, or after, July 17, 2017.


Article 15: The District proposed a counterproposal that created an “interest list” in BUMs who have an interest in taking on extra service assignments, however their language would not guarantee the position would go to a unit member or that the position would be posted if it was already filled by a walk-on coach.  The District was not interested in taking out language regarding walk-on couches, that are not BUMs.


Article 35: The District did not accept our proposal to reduce the number of applicants needed to invoke our Transfer Article. Instead, the District proposed a counterproposal that showed BUMs trying to transfer under 35.3 B would at least be interviewed, and that the Association would receive a list of applicants after each posted position closed.


Article 22: The District proposed a counterproposal that showed no movement towards paid maternity leave proposed by the Association on 22.12. The District claimed that maternity leave would be cost-prohibitive and claimed it would cost about $6,000 per unit member not including other Associations who may also seek similar language because of “me-too” clauses in their contracts.  The District stated that they were unable to determine how many BUMs go out on maternity leave. There was also no response on on a previous Association proposal to decrease the amount of days needed to donate to catastrophic leave, but that seemed to be a District oversight and non-intentional.


Article 30: The District proposed a counterproposal that showed a willingness to increase payments to repair and replace BUM’s equipment.


Following these counterproposals, the Association and the District had a long discussion about Article 25 that was honest and thoughtful. SEA and the District seemed to agree largely on language concerning Induction Program changes but there needs to be further discussion on how to resolve much needed language to support teachers receiving PAR services.


After the discussion on Article 25, Dr. Fulcher gave a presentation on all that is currently done on hot days to help students, coaches, and BUMs. This was in response to an earlier proposal the Association had put forward regarding the Safety article and heat days.


After the presentation, further negotiations took place:


Article 3: The Association and the District tentatively agreed to changes in Article 3 (the entire agreement would still need to be voted on by members) .


Article 37: The District proposed a counterproposal recognizing that SPED was a major priority of the Association this year. The proposed new language on a Special Education Study in response to earlier proposals by the Association. They also agreed to class caps for ED, but kept Mod/Severe and Mod. caps around district averages. The District did not agree to an earlier Association proposal to give SPED teachers an extra preparation period. They estimated the cost of the Prep period to be about 54 new teachers, at 5.8 million dollars. They also did not agree to an Association proposal to increase IEP days to 14 days. They estimated the cost of 14 days to be too high. The District also claimed that FCMAT says 9 days (current number) is too high, but that they need a study to determine any needed days. When pressed, the District stated that it would be $256,000 for an increase from 9 to 14 days. While the Association was pleased to see that the District had agreed to a hard cap on ED, they are concerned about the district wide average for mod/severe and mod. The Association communicated concerns regarding monitoring of District wide averages and made a request for the District’s process around monitoring.


The District and Association then discussed monetary items. The District shared that they are estimating the cost of a 1% wage increase to be about 2.1 million. They claimed that Adult School is encroaching on the General Fund. According to the District, the General Fund is supplementing $600,000 of the 17 million Adult Fund budget. The District claimed to be concerned about impact on services with Adult Fund when most of monies are going to wages. The Association questioned the District on why there was a large ending balance in Adult School if there was supposed encroachment. The CFO claimed that the District is projected to use that ending balance and end up with zero for a beginning balance. The District was unable to answer at that time why there was such an increase that would eat up the ending balance. The Association also questioned how there was a general fund encroachment when this fund ends with money every year, according to past records.


Article 36: The District proposed a 3.75% wage increase only retroactive back to January 1, 2017, with reopener for wages and benefits in May.


Article 18: The District proposed a counterproposal keeping the cap where it is on Health and Welfare Benefits. According to the CFO, it would cost $800,000 to increase Health and Welfare to $1,200. The District also claimed a Peoplesoft, operational concern, with paying retroactively.


Future Negotiations: The District and the Association will meet next on at 8:30 am at the SCTU offices on March 1, 2017.



Ola Hadi, OHS (SEA Chair)

Ben Cassel, SUH

Colleen Cooke-Salas, MVA

Leo Hsu, BVH



Jennifer Carbuccia, General Counsel (District Chair)

Scott Hendries, Labor Relations

Roman del Rosario, Director of Curriculum and Instruction (Absent)

Thomas Winters, Principal MVA

Ana Maria Alvarez, Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning

Dr. Joe Fulcher, Assistant Superintendent for Equity, Culture & Support Services

Karen Michels, Chief Financial Officer

Bettina Batista, Principal BVH

Dr. Milena Aubrey, Director of Human Resources (Absent)

Dr. Jay Marquand, Director of Alternative Education

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