On Monday October 15, the School Board held two school board meetings. The first one was a continuation of the September 17th meeting that had not ended. The September 17th meeting was recessed close to 3:00 a.m. on the morning of September 18th after only dealing with one item: a contract for Ed Brand. After the School Board completed the September 17th meeting, they announced a five minute break (but they took longer) and then started the October 15th meeting with their closed session agenda. Sometime after 8:00 p.m., the School Board emerged from closed session. They listened to a presentation made by Eastlake High School’s principal and some Eastlake High school students followed by a Bond Oversight Committee report. The Bond Oversight report was completed at about 9:25 p.m. In order to complete the agenda, Bertha Lopez made a motion to extend the meeting beyond 10 p.m. (Such a motion is required by Board policy.) The motion failed. The School Board will have to reconvene to complete the October 15th meeting. However, they were able complete some items before 10 p.m.
Fifteen or so members of the public had completed the cards that are needed to address the Board under the item called “Public Communication.” Ed estimated that Public Communication would be the only item covered. At that point, ELL students that were present at the meeting left. They were there to share their opinions on the District’s initial proposal to SEA, which impacts them.
Public Communication ended a little before 10 p.m. Ed then requested that public hearings be held on the District’s initial bargaining proposals to the classified, the counselors, and us. This process is referred to as “sunshining.” The school board approved the proposal for the classified and the counselors. They should not have. When the public hearing for our contract was held, I informed the Board that they should not vote on the proposal at the same meeting that it is sunshined. (Bargaining101.) They made the same mistake last year and the year before. One Board member attempted to ask the Director of Human Resources if I was correct because I informed them that the Director should know the answer. Ed prevented her from answering the question. The vote took place after Ed announced that they could bring it back for a vote at another meeting if they had made a “procedural” mistake. Did the School Board have the audacity to approve the proposal in light of what our fearless leader was given in his contract? It passed on a 3-2 vote. Arlie, Jim, and John voted “yes”. (Arlie’s trial begins on January 7th.)
I’ll be happy to share the PERB regulation on this subject with the District like I did last year…. and the year before that. It is more than a “procedure.” The intent is to allow the proposal to ferment so that the public’s knowledge of the proposal is maximized, and then for the Board to listen to the public and to take the public’s view points into consideration. When the School Board brings this up for a “real” vote, the School Board has the ability to modify their proposal. In the meantime, I have been approached by the superintendent to consider participating in “informal” negotiations. Another term for “informal” negotiations is “illegal” negotiations.
The District will likely announce when they will properly vote on their proposal with a very short notice given to the public. If you believe that this proposal will impact your students, you and your family, and the number of bargaining unit members employed by the District, you may want to consider attending the school board meeting to share your concerns.
Please note that this proposal is for the upcoming school year. If Proposition 30 passes, eleven furlough days will be restored for the current school year. A phone banking schedule is listed on our website. Please volunteer.
Alex Anguiano, SEA President