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Tentative Contract with Teachers Means Shorter School Year, Larger Classes

The deal was struck Tuesday, and the trustees signed off Friday.

Representatives from the teachers’ union and the have come to a tentative agreement on a contract for next year, which will result in and a .

The two sides met Tuesday, and according to an email obtained by Patch from Capistrano Unified Education Association President Vicki Soderberg, an agreement was struck. She called an emergency meeting of teachers’ union reps from the various schools for Thursday afternoon.

Then on Friday, the CUSD Board of Trustees met for a special mid-day meeting to discuss negotiations with the teachers’ union. They met for five minutes in closed session, and President Gary Pritchard announced that the trustees “gave direction to staff.”

However, a source close to the negotiations said the trustees did indeed vote on the tentative contract, which calls for, among other things:

  • An increase of 1.5 students on average per class at all grade levels
  • The continuation of a 1.2 percent salary cut already in place
  • The continuation of three unpaid furlough days already in place
  • Five additional unpaid furlough days, to be lopped off at the end of the year
  • A freeze on regular salary step-and-column increases for six months

In addition, if doesn’t pass in November, forcing the district to cut another $18 million, the district will:

  • Cut another 10 days off the academic calendar (unpaid), to be set for the end of the school year
  • Reduce teacher pay by 1.5 percent

However, that pay cut is not set in stone. According to the tentative agreement, shortly after the November election, the two parties will meet again to discuss whether there are ways to avoid the 1.5 percent cut if the temporary taxes don't receive voter approval.

“If no alternative(s) are agreed to on or before Jan. 1, 2013, then the 1.5 percent salary decrease shall continue to be implemented,” according to the tentative contract’s language.

Representatives from CUEA and the school district were not available for comment.

The contract must be ratified by the full membership of the teachers’ union, and then be incorporated into the 2012-13 budget, which is scheduled for trustee approval on June 27.

The district has released few details about the negotiations, other than the , this year. In 2010, the year the teachers went on strike to protest a permanent 10.1 percent cut, the school board’s president, Anna Bryson, was regularly quoted in the local media, and information about the two sides’ goals was widely disseminated.

Asked why the district has released few details this year, Bryson said: “This year CUSD has a different superintendent, board president and board majority.”

The tentative contract also makes other changes, including more "no-tell" personal days off, from three to five of the 10 sick days allowed. In addition, the district has agreed to develop ways to eliminate unnecessary paperwork and streamline duties.

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bbq June 28, 2012 at 06:31 AM
Teacher, Good Lord, I hope you are not an English teacher!
Amy Bentley July 10, 2012 at 03:59 PM
Southcountynative- actually I agree with 99 percent of what you say. I work (at home) and pay huge state and federal taxes as well as a person who is self-employed and married in the state of CA (freelance writer and full-time work-at-home-mom with no caregivers or babysitters). I agree we shouldn't pay higher taxes, etc. all of that. I will not give Sacramento one more dollar of my hard-earned paycheck either. Giving money to the state is like tossing it into a black hole. I may (or may not, it depends) support local school bonds, etc. where the $$ goes to my school district and helps my kid, not someone somewhere else. My point was yes, we pay taxes and that should support our schools (in theory) but they don't anymore. Too many people taking from the government and not enough people paying for everything. PTA jog-a-thon funds go right to your school so I feel they are worth supporting. If you don't want to give, don't. No problem. Advocate in some other way, as you do. I pick (carefully) what to give my $$ to. Smaller, local, community charities and causes are often better choices than the large ones which funnel your $$ elsewhere. It's no biggie if you don't like school fundraisers, just please don't pound on those who do give. Maybe that's their way of helping. That's all :)
Silence Dogood July 10, 2012 at 05:40 PM
I know this doesn't work in the "facts don't matter" world of the right wing, but you all pay a far lower percentage of your income in taxes today than EVER before. I understand why you complain, but it's not based in reality.
Silence Dogood July 10, 2012 at 06:42 PM
I would love to see your analysis of what I said. The tax rate for EVERY level of income is at historic lows, so while you may be paying more it would only be because you are making more, not because tax rates are higher, because they're not. You may not like facts, but the fact is EVERYONE in EVERY bracket is paying a lower percentage. ---------------------------------- "You’re entitled to your own opinions. You’re not entitled to your own facts." - Daniel Patrick Moynihan "Facts are stupid things." - Ronald Reagan
Silence Dogood July 11, 2012 at 04:41 AM
@southcountynative I think you're right. I can't complain that the other side ignores facts and then do the same thing myself. Some taxes are higher. Although it was not my intention to imply ALL taxes were lower (I was talking about federal income taxes), I wasn't clear enough. When all things are considered, federal tax, state income tax, registration fees, other state taxes, etc., I would still venture that, upon actual analysis, our overall tax burden is lower now than ever. California has high income tax rates, but raising the state income tax rate a point or two is nothing compared to what you pay in federal income tax. Car registration fees of hundreds of dollars would hardly offset the decreases in personal federal income taxes. Personal quote: "What time should I come over to review your taxes?"

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