Negotiations Update

SLCTA – Negotiations Update 10/14/16

On Wednesday, October 12th, the SLCTA reached a tentative agreement with the District.

Attached here is the newly updated Leaves Article

Salary: a 1% increase in salary each year for three years, beginning with the current 2016-17 school year.  This salary could increase by 1% per year over the next two years if property taxes increase by specific percentages outlined in the tentative agreement.  This is consistent with the raises given to the other organizations in our district (Admin, SEIU, CSEA, and Confidential Employees).

Insurance: no change to our current insurance plans or district contributions.  

Class Size: Increase in class size average to 1:32 for grades 4-12.  This was our main area of concession to the district, and was linked directly to our raise and the elimination of language detrimental to elementary prep time.  We did not agree to a proposed classroom max increase to 36. 

Elementary Prep Time: an increase in TCT prep time to 50% individual prep, 25% collaboration between teachers and 25% controlled by administration.  The Association also succeeded in removing language that would allow the District to eliminate elementary prep time should the District move out of its Basic Aid status.  This helps protect prep time for elementary teachers, and the jobs of elementary specialists who make that prep time possible (specifically elementary music and P.E. teachers).

Evaluation: changes made by the Evaluation Committee to clarify the evaluation process were added to the contract.

Stipends/Extra Duty Pay: a stipend committee will be created to reorganize the stipend schedule.

Recognition: Pre-school teachers were added to the contract as bargaining unit members.

Speech and Language Pathologists:  a new salary schedule was established for SLPs in order to make their pay competitive with other SLPs in the county.  This salary increase was linked to a rotating summer coverage plan that is still under development.

Leaves: changes were made to keep our Leaves article consistent with new state and federal law.  The changes relate primarily to the Family and Medical Leave Act and California Family Rights Act and have do with broadened definitions of “immediate family” and “child” as well as an expansion of baby-bonding leave.  The documentation on Leave changes is being finalized and will be available online on Thursday, October 18th.  

Term: this is a three-year contract with no re-openers, except by mutual agreement.

Click to view the Tentative Agreement Tentative Agreement

Leaves Article is here 10-18-16-leaves-article-final-draft

SLCTA – Negotiations Update: 9/16/16

On August 16, 2016, SLCTA President Craig Stewart and Negotiations Chair Laurie Decker received a letter from Dr. Prater indicating that the closure of Diablo Canyon and the enormous fiscal impact that the district will be facing meant that the district can no longer continue their offer made during our negotiations meeting on May 16, 2016.

On September 16, 2016, both sides met again at the table and the District began the day with the following proposal:

  1. No salary increase
  2. Class size language changes:
  3. a) TK-3: maintaining the current 28:1 school average
  4. b) 4th – 12th grades: remove all contract language connected to class-size averages, and increase the class size maximum to 36 students
  5. c) Maintain current contract language for PE, Music, and add online classes to that category
  6. Health-Care Cap: will limit District contributions for health care in future years to the current 2016-17 contribution rate.
  7. Stipend Committee: the creation of a committee to revamp stipend schedule in current contract.
  8. Recognition Article language changes: adding preschool teachers to the contract.
  9. Leaves Article: language changes based on changes in state law and District needs.
  10. Evaluation Committee language recommendations: the adoption of changes to the evaluation process, as well as clarifying documents, already agreed to by the Evaluation Committee.
  11. Increased salary schedule for Speech and Language Pathologists and a change in their days of work per year to cover the need for SLP work in the summer. Summer proposal included:
  12. a) Paid at daily rate
  13. b) Start with volunteers
  14. c) If there are no volunteers, then it would be required on a rotational basis, every five years and starting with seniority as a factor


SLCTA Countered with the following proposal at the end of the day:

•    Salary:  SLCTA indicated clearly that we are expecting the same salary increase that has already been negotiated with the SEIU, CSEA, management and confidential employees.

The SLCTA proposed an increase of 1%, 1%, 1% over three years, including the same language as SEIU and CSEA in the case of property tax increases (6% or higher increase in 2016-17 would result in a 1% retroactive pay increase, 7% or higher increase in 2017-18 would result in a 1% retroactive pay increase for that year).

•    Class size

  1. a) K-6: keep current class averages language
  2. b) 7th-12th grades: increase to 29:1 district average, no change to class-size maximum.

•    Health Care Cap – no change to current health care package

•    Stipend Committee – yes

•    Evaluation Committee Language – yes

•    Recognition Article – yes

•    Leaves Article: SLCTA agreed to the changes in leave language that put us in compliance with state law, but needs more time to examine the changes based on District needs and “current practices.”

•    Special Education: 5 release days per school year for SPED teachers.

•    Elementary TCT time – 55% of TCT would be individual teacher prep, 25% for collaboration, 20% for admin.

•    Delete a sentence in Article VI (Hours of Work), Section D, second paragraph – “Continuation of these additional elementary preparation periods within the student day is contingent upon the District retaining its ‘Basic Aid’ financial position.”

•    Speech and Language Pathologists: SLCTA agreed to May 16th proposal of salary schedule, but not the summer coverage schedule

Next meeting: October 12th, 2016

SLCTA Negotiations Update: 5-23-16

Negotiations continued between SLCTA and the District on Monday, May 16, 2016.  We were unable to reach an agreement by the end of the day, and as a result have agreed to continue negotiations in the fall.

At our previous negotiations meeting in April, the District’s proposal included moving San Luis Obispo High School from a trimester system to a semester system.  The District has tied two important issues (salary and elementary prep time) to this change in schedule.  The SLCTA would like to support SLOHS in determining their own schedule, as current contract language allows, while still providing prep time for elementary teachers and an adequate salary increase for all unit members.

The reasons for the focus on SLOHS’s schedule are complex, but it has become very important to the District because of the differences in graduation units between SLOHS and MBHS, the challenges different schedules pose for intra- and inter-district student transfers, inequities with special populations on campus for equal access to core academics, and the “hybrid trimester model” (part trimester and part semester depending upon subject area, AP exam requirements, etc.) that has developed over time at SLOHS.

Part of the concern for SLOHS teachers related to this change is how it could effect elective offerings, and with them, teaching positions.  As it stands, students can take up to 15 classes each year on the trimester system, as opposed to 12 classes on the contractual “fallback” semester schedule, though the District proposal would establish a committee to develop and propose alternate semester schedule options to the staff.  More classes per year means more opportunities for students and more sections for teachers.  The SLCTA would like to support SLOHS unit members in maintaining a schedule that meets their specific curricular goals and fits with their culture.

As it stands, the District’s offer to the Association is as follows:

1.  9 release days per year for each special education teacher (one per month unless approved by site administration) to provide support for case management

2. A new salary schedule for speech language pathologists for 2016-17 (provides higher salaries to those nearer to the start of the salary schedule with no increase to the end of the salary schedule; helps with recruitment and retention)

3. 2% salary increase for all unit members for 2016-17

4. A 3-year contract (7-1-16 to 6-30-19) with re-opener discussions limited to 2 articles each year (in addition to salary and benefits) for the 2017-18 and 2018-19 school years.

5. 80% of elementary TCT time as elementary prep; 20% would remain under direction of administration

6. Semester schedule at SLOHS by the 2018-19 school year, created by a committee of teachers and administrators

7. Recognition article – adds preschool teachers with elementary credentials to be part of SLCTA

8. Leaves article adjustments still to be discussed and agreed upon

9. Evaluation Committee language changes as recommended by the Committee

10. The Creation of a Stipend Committee with the goal of creating equity without increasing the cost of stipends overall

The SLCTA Negotiations Team countered this proposal with all of the above except #6 (semester at SLOHS).  The District immediately indicated that removing item #6 would affect their proposals for both elementary prep and salary. After much back-and-forth throughout the day, both sides agreed to continue bargaining next October, giving the District time in September to meet with the SLOHS staff and explain their reasoning for the proposed schedule change, and leaving all items above still ‘on the table’ for negotiations in the fall.

April 25, 2016

Negotiations between SLCTA and SLCUSD continued on April 19, 2016. The following is a summary of the topics discussed. Negotiations are ongoing, and ALL items and contingencies listed (even if they are listed as “Both sides agreed…”) may or may not ultimately be a part of an overall Tentative Agreement voted on by our entire membership. 

Here is a brief synopsis of how the day ended: 

1. Both sides agreed to nine release days per school year for Special Education Teachers to off-set the tremendous increase in paperwork attached to their case-load. 

2. Both sides agreed to a new salary schedule for Speech and Language Pathologists. Compared to other surrounding districts, our SLPs were falling behind in salary. The new schedule would continue their 186-day calendar, and will help with recruitment and retention. 

3. Both sides continue to be interested in a multi-year contract agreement. This is in progress, and as far as SLCTA is concerned, directly connected to potential salary increases. 

4. Both sides agreed to giving Elementary Teachers 80% of TCT time for prep, with 20% of Elementary TCT time held by administration to manage at each site.

5. Both sides agreed to language including Pre-School Teachers in our recognition article, to forming a Stipend Committee including SLCTA members to revamp our stipend schedule, to include SLCTA members on a Health/Welfare Committee to explore cost-saving health-care options, and to include new language that just came out of the Evaluations Committee. 

6. There is new language in our Leaves Article that is still in progress. 

As a review, thus far SLCTA has rejected the following proposals by the District: 

1. Health Care Cap 

2. Giving the District control over Secondary Schedules 

3. Reducing the number of Sick/Personal Necessity Days 

4. Increasing Secondary class-size 

The following proposals are still in progress: 

1. SLCTA finished the day proposing a 2% increase in salary consecutively for the next three years. (2% for 2016- 2017, 2% for 2017-2018, and 2% for 2018-2019.) This was in response to a 1%/1%/1% offer over the next three years by the District with contingencies for escalation if certain property tax increases occur.   Similarly, there is possible room in the SLCTA proposal for “doomsday” contingency language to be added to the third year only to compensate for property tax losses if Diablo Canyon were to close.

At this point, all the District’s proposals listed above are directly connected, as a “total package,” to the District’s final individual proposal that SLOHS would change to a semester schedule for 2017-18, the specifics of said schedule to be created by a committee of SLOHS teachers and administrators. SLCTA feels that it would be important for Dr. Prater to come and speak to the SLOHS staff about this to address concerns about program changes and job loss.  The SLCTA further indicated to the District that in order for that conversation to even begin we would need a salary guarantee of 2% for the next three years. There was also discussion that the parameters for possible semester implementation at SLOHS may take longer than one year, pushing the change from trimester back into the 2018-19 school year.

2. SLCTA proposed a 1.2 FTE increase in salary for elementary combo-class teachers. 

3. SLCTA proposed contract language to make our Secondary counselor-to-student ratio no more than 475:1. 

Note: SLCTA made it clear that our members are NOT interested in “Counseling Techs” for the district. 

Our next negotiations are on Monday, May 16, 2016.

Thoughts on this or other current SLCTA issues? Visit the Discussion Forum, create a login, and join the conversation.

April 7th, 2016

Negotiations between SLCTA and Management continued on Tuesday, March 15, 2016.  The day started with a budget break-down presented by the District.  With the District’s STRS contributions increasing, Health Insurance Costs increasing at an estimate of 6%, and other cost items connected to SLCTA members, the district is looking at an approximately 2.71% increase in costs connected to SLCTA even before negotiations commence.

It is important to remember that these are ongoing negotiations.  None of the items listed below as “proposals” or “interests” are meant to be taken as anything other than discussion items, and may or may not be a part of the final Tentative Agreement we will present to the membership for approval.

The following is a summary of the March 15th negotiations:

  1. SLCTA proposed a salary increase at 5% for one year in response to a 1% proposal by the district.
  2. SLCTA reiterated we are interested in a multi-year deal, but that is contingent on how negotiations progress.  (The district offered a possible 1%, 1%, 1% increase over a 3-year period.)
  3. SLCTA proposed 10 release days for special education teachers to off-set the increase in I.E.P. paperwork.  (This was in response to an 8-day offer by the District.)
  4. SLCTA proposed no class size increase for secondary teachers.  (The District asked for secondary class-sizes to increase from 28 to 30.)  Some background information here– the District brought forward that one way to create potential future revenue for the District is to potentially increase class size.  Management stated they are not interested in doing that at this time, but would like the availability if needed in the future.
  5. SLCTA reiterated we are not interested in giving up secondary schedule control.
  6. SLCTA is interested in including elementary prep during TCT to increase their prep time.  This item is still being negotiated.
  7. SLCTA has expressed in past meetings that we are unwilling to add a ‘cap’ to our Health Insurance benefits at this time.  SLCTA would be interested in being a part of a proposed “Health Benefits Committee,” but not as a part of any Tentative Agreement.  (The committee would not be able to make any changes to Health Insurance coverage outside of bargaining, for example.)  Some background information here– the District has been clear that one key way to save money and create revenue for the district is to create a ‘Cap’ for our insurance plans with a goal to migrate members off of the expensive “100% Plan” offered by SLCUSD.  The District did indicate in this meeting that they are dropping the benefits cap proposal.
  8. SLCTA proposes language in our contract to include a Counseling ratio of students to counselors – we are interested in language included to set secondary counselor ratio at a maximum of 450:1. SLCTA also brought forward the idea of hiring ‘Counseling Techs’ to help off-set the heavy paperwork for counselors.  It was discussed and agreed that counseling techs would be addressed within LCAP or possibly a C.T.E. Grant, and not necessarily in our Tentative Agreement.
  9. Recognition article and StipendsSLCTA agreed with the District to include language in our ‘Recognition Article’ to include Pre-School Teachers as part of our membership, and to create a ‘Stipend Committee’ for 16-17 to adjust our stipend schedule for implementation in 17-18.
  10. Leaves articleSLCTA would like to receive a draft including the new legal language changes from the district by April 11 th so the Negotiations Team can review it before our next bargaining session.  The District did indicate it is dropping their proposal to adjust sick leave days for members.  
  11. SLCTA brought up Elementary Combo Class support – we would like to include contract language to limit consecutive amount of years and overall years with a combination assignment, (acknowledging that there are some teachers that could volunteer for the assignment,) AND in lieu of the $3000 stipend have a 20% increase to their salary (equivalent to 1.2 FTE.)
  12. SLCTA proposed a different classification for Speech/Language Pathologists – we are proposing a 186- day calendar with an increase in the daily rate that is the same as SLCUSD psychologist pay scale.

We will return to negotiations on April 19, 2016

December 18, 2015

The tentative agreement between the District and the Association passed by SLCTA vote. Thanks to all of you who participated in the voting process.  The SLCUSD Board of Education will address the tentative agreement at their January 12 meeting.  Pending Board approval, the raise will go into effect at the end of February, with retroactive paychecks going out in mid-March.  

December 8, 2015

Last year we ratified a contract for the 2015-16 school  year with an option to re-open salary negotiations if the San Luis Obispo County property taxes increased a minimum of 5%.  The property taxes came in at 5.07%, and so our SLCTA negotiations team met with District representatives on Tuesday, December 8th to negotiate a salary increase.  As a result of their hard work, we have reached a tentative agreement with the District for a salary increase of 2% for the 2015-16 school year, retroactive to July 1, 2015.  

Our negotiations team is led by chairperson Laurie Decker, and includes Daniel Juday, De Lancaster, Denice Krauk, Deb Pagan, and Matt Moore. This team spent many hours of preparation to represent you and your interests in this contract negotiation, and will continue to work for you as we begin in January to negotiate our next contract with the district.  

At all levels, SLCTA is committed to fostering the best possible working conditions for its membership, from site reps and committee members to the executive board.  But our strength as a union comes directly from the active support of the membership.  Thanks for your support!

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