Labor News & Negotiations Updates

 

Labor News & Negotiations Updates

 

In an effort to communicate and further transparency, the District provides updates on the status of negotiations between the District and our labor groups.

Financial outlook impacting current & upcoming negotiations 

The District continues to face a structural deficit, which influences negotiations. The District’s structural deficit predated the COVID-19 pandemic. While one-time funding from the state and federal governments in the past couple years has helped the District weather the pandemic, long-term financial uncertainty remains a significant factor in the District’s budget decisions.  

While cost containment continues to be a top priority, recognizing the rising cost of living, the District committed in 2021-2022 to providing salary improvements for employees. As such, the District approached negotiations within the following broad framework for 2021-2022: 

  • Total new revenue (from the state COLA) = $5.9 M
  • Minus increased fixed costs:  
    • Step and Column/longevity: $1.4 M
    • Medical Benefits: $362 K 
    • Other Benefits (STRS/PERS, payroll taxes, etc.): $1.4 M
    • Operating Expenses:  $862 K
  • Total new revenue available to distribute to employee groups: $1.9 M

Current negotiations

Administrators’ Association

(Updated as of August 8, 2022) Negotiations underway. The Administrators’ Association and the District are in negotiations, following expiration of the last full contract as of December 2021. The Administrators’ Association and the District have met in June, July and August 2022, and are planning additional meetings until a mutually beneficial settlement is reached.

The Administrators’ Association has presented proposals on the following items:

  • Contract term
  • Association rights
  • Hours of work
  • Compensation and hazard pay
  • Bargaining unit member expenses
  • Leave time
  • Skills development and professional growth
  • Remote work policy

The District has presented proposals on the following, which are contingent on benefits changes.

  • Contract term
  • Health benefits changes
  • Compensation
  • Vacations
  • Skills development and professional growth

The District’s proposed health benefits changes mirror those approved by the California School Employees Association (CSEA), the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), and Confidential Employee groups. Proposed benefits changes effective January 1, 2023 include:

  • An additional employee monthly cost to enroll in the United Healthcare HMO2 plan
  • Elimination of the PPO plan
  • Modest plan design changes
  • Modifications of retiree benefits, including:
  • The District will pay the full cost of Kaiser HMO, UHC HMO Network 1 plans or any District-offered lower cost plan for all retirees.
  • The PPO plan will be discontinued for retirees, and care provided by a new provider. The District will work with VEBA and retirees on a one-on-one basis to transition to a new plan.
  • Retirees with a spouse over age 65 shall be required to enroll their spouse in Medicare Part B.
  • Retirees who opt out of coverage will receive a stipend.
  • The retirement age for benefit eligibility will increase to 55 years old for PERS and the years of service required for eligibility will increase to 15 years.
  • The retiree must retire from either STRS or PERS.
  • All grandfathered employees will be subject to plan design and cost sharing changes.

Detailed comparisons of the District’s current and proposed benefits plans for Administrators’ Association members are available through these links:

Previously settled negotiations

California School Employees Association (CSEA) 

(Updated as of May 11, 2022). Final agreement reached. The District and CSEA finalized a reopener agreement, which was approved by the Governing Board in May 2022. This agreement included updates to salaries and benefits.

Part of a three-year contract that expires December 31, 2022, the reopener agreement includes the following salary increases:

  • A 2% on-schedule wage increase (ongoing) in pay effective July 1, 2022.
  • A 2% one-time off-schedule increase of the employee’s annual gross earnings.
  • A $500 one-time, off-schedule payment in consideration of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and addressing changes in working conditions and work location.

The agreement also includes the same changes to health benefits that the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and Meet and Confer groups accepted in 2020, effective January 1, 2021. The higher health benefits costs to the District for 2021 and 2022 represented about 1.5% more each year in total compensation for CSEA members than the AFT and Meet and Confer groups, who agreed to lower-cost plans in prior years. Benefits changes effective January 1, 2023 include:

  • An additional employee monthly cost to enroll in the United Healthcare HMO2 plan
  • Modest plan design changes
  • Elimination of the PPO plan
  • Modifications of retiree benefits, including:
  • The District will pay the full cost of Kaiser HMO, UHC HMO Network 1 plans or any District-offered lower cost plan for all retirees.
  • The PPO plan will be discontinued for retirees, and care provided by a new provider. The District will work with VEBA and retirees on a one-on-one basis to transition to a new plan.
  • Retirees with a spouse over age 65 shall be required to enroll their spouse in Medicare Part B.
  • Retirees who opt out of coverage will receive a stipend.
  • The retirement age for benefit eligibility will increase to 55 years old for PERS and the years of service required for eligibility will increase to 15 years.
  • The retiree must retire from either STRS or PERS.
  • All grandfathered employees will be subject to plan design and cost sharing changes.

Detailed comparisons of the District’s new benefits plans are available through these links:

American Federation of Teachers (AFT) 

(Updated as of August 8, 2022) No negotiations underway.

 

Previous settlements for all groups are archived on the District’s Labor Contract and Employee Handbooks page.