This agreement saves too few jobs. I am voting NO. The people who lose their jobs are going to take a 100% pay cut, so I am still willing to lose a few percentage points of salary to help save as many jobs as possible by taking as many furlough days as possible.
We need another union survey to how the membership feels.
I too strongly believe that way too few jobs are being saved. I am deeply saddened by this situation. It is morally wrong for me to support this agreement. It would feel like I would be driving by a car accident and was unwilling to stop to help. How can I NOT be willing to help save jobs for my fellow teachers in the midst of a nationwide financial crisis? How can I not suck up a paltry salary decrease when fellow teachers are facing financial ruin because there are NO jobs and I have the power to help?
Am I impressed with the district’s unwillingness to to take much harder hits to their own salaries? NO! But I am also not impressed with how few people (students included) we are willing to help.
Speaking from the perspective of a single income homeowner with kids.
-The survey was completed and given to all the membership. While many completed, it was only about 60% of the membership.
-The margin for the COUNTER-OFFER proposal was quite slim. More people were in favor of responding with a counter-offer of 3-4 days over any other choice but only by a single digit vote difference.
-The question on the survey on which negotiations were based asked about a counter-offer not a final offer. For the negotiators to think that members don’t understand starting from an extreme position and then moderating from there is underestimating the membership.
-While there is great distrust of the district, I joined Rep Council because after my own experience I didn’t trust FCEA anymore.
Reasons to vote yes:
- It could get worse. While the district did offer six-days for 35 FTEs a few weeks back, they could rescind that offer. Two options from there: they could impose a cut up to 9 days on the membership or they could hold the 184-day calendar and layoff the 20 FTEs currently slated to come back (though this would be board-meeting suicide as the music parents have just begun to leave). Our union could also walk away. The executive board (not representative of the membership in my opinion) believe that the membership isn’t willing to take more than three, so if 3 failed and they felt more would never pass, they could walk away and all 75 would be let go.
- The membership did speak. If you look at the survey results as representative of true feelings as the negotiators did, 6-days would be a hard sell. There was a sizeable proportion not willing to take any.
- Mark did have additional information about retirements that pacified the elementary contingent. If in fact, there are 15ish teachers retiring and only 16 or so multi-subject facing layoff, that would work out. The middle school elective teachers would come back and the actual number of layoffs would be closer to 40 rather than 55 (mostly special ed, high school elective, and special services (counselors, psychologists, etc).
- In staying better than the other districts- Rocklin just voted to take 6, Elk Grove is taking 9, Natomas took 3 but is back at the table facing further imposed cuts. If the district is offering three, that sounds like a good deal.
Reasons to vote no:
- I am willing to take more to bring back more positions. 4-days was never discussed at the table but it doesn’t matter to the district how they save money. If 3-days is equal to 20 FTE, then 4-days is 26.6FTE, 5-days is 33, 6-days is 40, etc. I’m willing to take as many as necessary to save jobs.
- It has been stated that we can’t save everyone, so why try but by the same retirement logic that Mark applied to elementary, if that is extrapolated to all levels, and more than three days is taken we could get very close and possibly save everyone.
- I’m a middle school teacher and will be teaching electives next year. I couldn’t value them more but bringing back 20 middle school electives is divisive. Elementary is taken their hits the last few years and I honestly can not imagine my school running on 1 counselor, we currently have 2.5.
- A no vote would send a message to the FCEA to get out of bed with CTA and following their mandates blindly and represent the members. Even if the TA passes, a significant no vote would let FCEA and Michael know that the members are looking for change.
My biggest concern is that the TA will fail and nothing will happen. I was laid off twice last summer and waiting while Rep Council did nothing was agonizing. I did make a motion at the Rep Council meeting directing some action this summer but it was crushed by the executive council who stated “of course they would meet.” I waited for a long time last summer for something to happen- not looking forward to that possibility again this summer.
I’m going to the meeting at Folsom High to hear more from fellow teachers and will be waiting to cast my ballot. I would encourage everyone to listen to the viewpoints of others before voting.