Last week, I met with the superintendent to review the School Board Agenda for the Monday, December 12th, 2012 meeting. Also present were our chapter’s V.P., Roberto Rodriguez, leaders form the other bargaining units, the Superintendent of Human Resources, and the Chief Financial Officer.
At this meeting, the CFO explained that a 28:1 staffing ratio is being used in the preliminary calculations of the 2013-2014 budget. I thought that I did not hear him correctly. After the meeting, Roberto Rodriguez confirmed what I heard. I believed that he made a simple verbal error. The Superintendent of Human Resources did not correct him. The same figure was used in the presentation to the School Board on Monday night.
Our agreement on a staffing ratio of 31:1 is valid through the 2013-14 school year and it appears that the current District leadership is not aware of this. Since they will discover this early in the bargaining process, I will inform them now of the proper contractual ratio for the next school year.
I see this as an error amounting to a little over 11 million dollars in their preliminary level budget calculations. They have posted incorrect information on the District’s website, presented incorrect data to the community at budget forums, and to the School Board on Monday night.
The District is in the process of sending Lawson letters to our bargaining unit. The letters ask for verification of credential and hire date information. This is their first step in the layoff process. I am hoping that the correct ratio information will stop this process.
However, I will be explaining this to individuals that believe that they need to staff at 28:1 for the next school year, a ratio that will require the hiring of more bargaining unit members, and that the way to go about it is by laying off bargaining unit members.
As we head into negotiations, none of the Districts that feed into ours is using the layoff process as a bargaining tactic.
Alex Anguiano, SEA President