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Bargaining/Negotiations Updates

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Bargaining Update
September 13, 2018

The District’s and ESTA’s initial proposals were sunshined in February 2017.

Negotiations began in March 2017.  In March of 2017, the school district and ESTA teams initially worked on agreements around language for the ROTC program and began to work on language regarding health benefits issues including potentially increasing the co-pay for emergency room visits and discussion to address the dual coverage health benefits issue that, if corrected, could result in savings for the district.

In August 2017, the district was considering the likelihood of layoffs based on the multi-year projections and so, at that time, the district was not able to offer any changes to the salary schedule. Although the district acknowledged the healthy one-time money in the District reserves, the District must apply the one-time money over a three-year budget cycle.

Both teams spent a great amount of time on clarifying the dual coverage language and the school district offered an MOU in October 2017 so that the district could begin realizing some savings while correcting the dual coverage issue (and thus could offer this savings to teachers for the salary schedule).

At the time, ESTA would not agree to, and would not put into effect, the proposed MOU to immediately implement the elimination of double coverage (pending completion of all negotiations and to allow district to begin realizing cost-savings) as ESTA preferred to wait until the completion of all negotiations, including salary.

October 5, 2017, the ESTA Chief negotiator verbally proposed a 10% on-schedule salary increase.  The District countered at 0%.

At the end of the session of October 5, 2017, ESTA provided a written proposal of a 5% on-schedule salary increase.  The district maintained its position at 0% salary increase.

On October 10, 2017, The salary positions for ESTA and the District did not change and there was a broad discussion of the district financial situation.  There were also some edits to the proposal regarding double coverage, and the parties signed a TA that day regarding these changes.

October 19, 2017, ESTA made a written counterproposal at 4.75% on-schedule, retroactive to August 1, 2017.

December 11, 2017, the district informed ESTA it could not offer a salary increase until the possibility of layoffs was eliminated.

January 31, 2018, ESTA remained at 4.75%, and the district remained at no salary increase. March 20, 2018, the district offered a written proposal for a 2% off-schedule salary increase which would convert to 2% on-salary increase, retroactive to July 1, 2017, if the parcel tax Measure “M” were to be passed by the voters.

March 22, 2018, ESTA countered (via email) by requesting a 2% on-salary schedule increase which would convert to 2.5% on-schedule if the parcel tax passed.

May 21, 2018, ESTA verbally countered at 2% on-schedule; the district maintained as its “standing proposal” 2% off-schedule which would convert to 2% on-schedule if the parcel tax measure passed.

June 8, 2018, the teams discussed the impact of the failure of Measure M parcel tax.  ESTA’s position remained at 2% on-schedule.  The district’s position was at a one-time 2% off-schedule increase.  ESTA’s chief negotiator asked whether there was somewhere “between” 2% on and 2% off where the parties could meet.  The district’s chief negotiator stated that if double-coverage could be eliminated that would result in on-going savings approximately equivalent to the cost of 0.5% on-schedule per year, and that the district could then “translate” those savings directly to an on-schedule increase, plus a one-time off-schedule increase. 

June 27, 2018, the district offered a written one-time 2 percent off-schedule payment, and a .5% on-schedule retro increase back to July 1 of 2017, with additional contract language to address the double-coverage issue, amounting to a 4.5-million-dollar impact to the district’s budget.   ESTA countered in writing at 2.25% on-schedule retro to July 1, 2017 and provided feedback regarding the district’s language to address the double-coverage issue.

In August, ESTA reconstituted its bargaining team, including the addition of new ESTA bargaining chair Brandon Rosato, and CTA representative Bruce Berg.  The only remaining member from the previous bargaining team is ESTA President Jack Hamner.

 August 24, 2018, the district offered a written proposal for a total 1% on-schedule salary increase for 2017-2018, with 0.5% of that amount retro to July 1, 2017, and the remaining 0.5% retro to June 30, 2018. (The 1% is intended as the approximate equal value of 2% off the schedule over three years and the value of the savings from the elimination of double coverage.)  No formal response or counter offer was received from the ESTA team at that time.

September 12, 2018, the district met with the ESTA negotiating leadership (Jack Hamner, Bruce Berg and Brandon Rosato) to discuss a new proposal based on the 2017-18 unaudited actuals.  Using data from the 2017-2018 unaudited actuals compared to the 2018/2019 approved budget, the district presented six (6) separate counterproposal scenarios and the projected ending fund balance in a multi-year analysis for each of the 6 separate scenarios.  Discussion focused on the district’s scenario #4, a total combined 1.50% on-going salary increase which would include a 0.50% on-schedule salary increase retro to July 1, 2017, plus a 1% on-schedule increase retro to June 30, 2018 which would leave the district with only a projected 3.02% reserve in the 2020-2021 fiscal year. The district team discussed that the 2% on-schedule retro to July 1, 2017, demanded by ESTA, would result in a projected $5.357 million shortfall in the ending fund balance in the 2020/2021 fiscal year.  ESTA rejected the district’s 1.50% on-schedule salary proposal.

Next Bargaining Session Scheduled for September 19, 2018.

PDF:  Bargaining Update Between ESUHSD & ESTA - September 13, 2018