Last Tuesday, July 31st, our Rep Council voted in favor of recommending to our bargaining unit to vote to accept the tentative agreement (TA) that was reached with the District this past summer break. The vote will take place on Thursday, August 16th.
The TA and bargaining updates are posted on our website, www.seacta.org.
Before we began our debate on the recommendation, our bargaining team reviewed the TA article by article and responded to questions from site reps on the details of the agreement. Our team also fielded questions on the bargaining process, the placement of furlough days, Proposition 30, and what would be the impact of not ratifying the agreement. After all questions were answered, we began our debate. A unanimous motion from the SEA Board of Directors to recommend to our membership that we vote in favor ratifying the TA was the motion on the floor. Ultimately, the Rep Council strongly voted in favor recommending to our bargaining unit to ratify the agreement. Our Reps took this task seriously. We spent approximately 2.5 hours reviewing the agreement, answering questions, and debating.
I commend your Rep Council on the professionalism exhibited during the review/debate. They analyzed a complex agreement, asked clarifying and probing questions, and, of course, shared opinions. You can be proud of your Reps. I am.
On Monday, August 13th, in the Hilltop High School Cafeteria, our bargaining team will host an open hearing from 4 pm to 6 pm. This is an opportunity for you to talk to your team about the agreement and to have the agreement explained in its entirety. I strongly encourage you to attend.
I am very proud of our bargaining team. We have never given a team a more difficult negotiating task. If proposition 30 thirty does not pass, we will lose approximately 441 dollars per student. This is a real situation and we will be asking each of you to do your fair share to ensure that proposition 30 passes. We do have contingency language should the State or Federal government come to our rescue that would restore furlough days, however, outside help is something that we cannot count on.
We don’t have the ability to negotiate how many of us work for the District. We can only influence factors that impact how many are employed. Our staffing ratio and student contact language is what it was last year. After the agreement was reached this summer, the District began the process, although not at the rate that I would like, of recalling of our laid-off colleges. If the agreement had not been reached, this would not have happened. The District was that stubborn. I am definitely not pleased in the manner in which the District negotiated; however, I am grateful to our bargaining team for looking after the best interests of our entire bargaining unit.
In the early eighties, some chapters used to recommend a no vote on the ratification of TAs as a bargaining strategy in order to try to get a better deal. Bargaining laws have changed. Should we not ratify the agreement, we will not end up with a better agreement and could lose some improved language that we negotiated on benefits. Please join me in voting in favor of ratification.
Once again, I would like to invite you to the open hearing on the TA at Hilltop High on Monday, August 13th, at 4:00 pm.
Alex Anguiano, SEA President