CAUSE ADVISORY: Recent School Board Meetings *Updates and Actions*

Happy New Year,  CUSD Colleagues.
As we head into the new year, CAUSE leadership wanted to bring folks up to date on some of the most recent District business that preceded and followed the winter break.
 
CUSD Board Meeting
January 10, 2023

 

 
Even though the District was closed on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023, and much of town was still shut down, the CUSD held the District School Board meeting on that day.  Although the meeting was less than 15 minutes in length, the School Board took action on three issues of significance.
SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT [CAUSE/CUSD]:
In MINUTE: 3:15, the District confirms a settlement agreement reached by CAUSE and CUSD.  This agreement will save both the CUSD and the Union a considerable amount of money associated with administrative behaviors that the Union found very concerning.   As part of this settlement, the Union protected a recent and important arbitration decision that we won; where an arbitrator upheld an employee’s ability to grieve and arbitrate discipline despite the District’s assertion to the contrary.  CAUSE Leadership continues to ensure that our employee contracts (i.e. the CUSD/CAUSE Collective Bargaining Agreements) are relevant and defensible.
SUPERINTENDENT RIGBY RECEIVES AN
EXTENDED CONTRACT & SALARY INCREASE:
In MINUTE: 3:42, the School Board extends, for another 3 years, the contract for Superintendent Rigby.  The CUSD Board also approved another 3% salary increase for CUSD Superintendent Rigby.
SUPERINTENDENT RIGBY APPLAUDS
the CUSD SCHOOL BOARD’s TIRELESS EFFORTS:

Then, at MINUTE: 6:30, watch the Superintendent acknowledge her pride and appreciation for the CUSD School Board’s contributions and tireless efforts on behalf of students.

 
 

 

CUSD Board Meeting
December 13, 2022
 
At the School Board Meeting on December 13, 2022, Union leadership, employees, and community members shared insights with the CUSD School Board and community.  We believe those insights, concerns, and questions are worth sharing, so we’re providing the link above.
See the following MINUTES in the video:
* MINUTE: 10:00  – Board Member Appointments to Committees * CAUSE
* MINUTE: 16:10  – Board Member Remuneration (i.e. compensation) * CAUSE
* MINUTE: 21:00  – Employee Compensation * CAUSE
* MINUTE: 24:20  – Administrative Salaries – Information Request * CMS Faculty * Kelly Vergeer
* MINUTE: 27:33  – Employee Compensation Inequities, Contracted Services, CMS Student Supervision  * Community Member
* MINUTE: 38:56  – Thanks and congratulations to CHS Students * CAUSE
* MINUTE: 38:56  – Thanks and congratulations to CHS Students * CAUSE
* MINUTE: 43:07  – Observations on the Ca. Healthy Kids Survey * CAUSE
* MINUTE: 44:41  – Questions on District’s safety policies * Community Member
* MINUTE: 47:00  – 2022-23 Superintendent’s Annual Goals and Evaluations  * CAUSE
* MINUTE: 49:27  – 2022-23 Superintendent’s Annual Goals and Evaluations  * Community Member
* MINUTE: 101:35  – FSA Program & requests for comparable data * CAUSE
* MINUTE: 102:58  – Collective Bargaining [CERTIFICATED] – UPDATE as of Dec. 5, 2023 * CAUSE
* MINUTE: 106:08  – Salary & Training Discrepancies * CUSD Instructional Aide * Heidi Medel (On behalf of several CLASSIFIED colleagues)
* MINUTE: 1:09:14  – Salary, Employment, & Instructional Delivery Concerns * CUSD Instructional Aide * Lupe Gonzalez & Hannah Keturi
* MINUTE: 1:19:00 – Thanks and appreciation (Gifts and Grants) * CAUSE
* MINUTE: 1:40:40 – Business Operations / Facilities  * Community Member
* MINUTE: 1:52:28 – Prop. 28 – Increased Funding on Arts & Music Education * CAUSE
* MINUTE: 1:57:37 – Upcoming Board Agenda Items (& Questions) * CAUSE
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

CAUSE ADVISORY Collective Bargaining Update Jan. 11, 202

Dear District Colleagues,

Today, just as scheduled, the Union met with the District’s bargaining team (composed of only the CUSD Human Resource Director and a District lawyer).  The Union submitted its most recent counter-proposals, which addressed the following contract articles:

* Article 13: LEAVE 

* Article 15: SAFETY

* Article 6: COMPENSATION & BENEFITS

More specifically, these counter-proposals have been amended to address the following changes…

 

* Article 13: LEAVE *

( CAUSE LEAVE Proposal (Counter Proposal) Jan 11.2023 )

   The Union included proposals that reflected several insights gathered from this week’s weather event / “natural disaster” and unnecessary hardships experienced by many District employees and families.  Teacher and support staff responses to the Union’s recent “Roll-Call” & SURVEY (Here’s a link if you missed it – https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SafetyRollCall ) did much to inform Union Leadership on employees’ experiences and the District’s response directly impacted our members, students, and their families.

Our amended LEAVE proposal reflects an effort to educate District Leadership on the impact of the CUSD’s administrative response, or lack thereof.  However, always striving to be a constructive partner, the Union’s bargaining team provided remedies and clarified expectations that would minimize future dysfunction and promote the increased safety of District personnel, students, and their families in the future.

 

 

* Article 15: SAFETY *

( Counter-Proposal too  large to upload.

Please check email ADVISORY for PDF.  )

     District Surveillance: The Union also reiterated the importance of developing contract language around the District’s extensive and thoroughly opaque increase of audio & visual surveillance systems across the District.   Our proposals focused on the need (both legal and professional) for increased accountability measures regarding the use and sharing of surveillance data by District Leadership.  CAUSE is determined to support the District as it performs its SAFETY reporting obligations.  Therefore, we have provided proposals that would establish timelines and expectations that actually increase employee and student SAFETY.

On a more granular level, our proposal encourages the District to maintain, inventory, and communicate SAFETY resources (per site & facility) in a more effective and legal manner.  The Union proposed that the CUSD contractualize a variety of surveillance practices, including but not limited to:

(A) clarifying the number & location of surveillance systems across the District

(B) clarifying the hours CUSD’s surveillance systems are utilized

(C) clarifying the types of media used for the CUSD’s surveillance systems

(D) clarifying the specific purpose of CUSD’s surveillance systems

(E) resolving issues of employee & public access to the District’s surveillance systems and administrative recordings

(F) clarifying and developing policies regarding the monitoring (by District administrators, supervisors, and directors) of the CUSD’s surveillance systems

(G) confirming issues associated with data retention and sharing, related to the District’s surveillance systems

(H) providing employees and students clear “Opt-out” & “Opt-in” permissions, associated with these surveillance systems

 

SAFETY Related Resources:  Industry experts have confirmed that standard SAFETY practices are most effective when employees responding to personal, medical, environmental, and/or other SAFETY related events are well aware of the resources available for these routine and/or predictable events.

Therefore, CAUSE also proposed that the District inventory, update, maintain, and communicate the status and location of SAFETY resources  available when employees are required to respond to SAFETY related events.  CAUSE agrees with industry experts who encourage school district’s to assume this level of preparedness on an individual site & facility basis.

 

* Article 6: COMPENSATION & BENEFITS *

( Counter-Proposal too  large to upload.

Please check email ADVISORY for PDF.  )

The Union reiterated the primary details of our compensation and benefits proposal.  Today, CAUSE proposed changes to a variety of previous proposals, so as to get the bargaining partners (CAUSE & CUSD) to a productive agreement.

Specifically, we proposed the following:

  1. Amendments to the “Responsibility Level” (aka. RL) value schedule, which is both out-dated and professionally unrealistic.
  1. Amendments to the proposed BCLAD/Bi-Lingual stipend; by reducing our proposed value from $5,000 to $4,000,annually.
  1. Amendments and clarifications associated with our MULTI-YEAR salary agreement proposal, which would remove retroactive increases for the 2023-24 school year, but maintain those retroactive increases for the current year.
  1. Reiterated the Union’s desire for a MULTI-YEAR calendar agreement, so as  to provide the community, District administrators, and District employees an opportunity to plan more effectively and efficiently into the future.

______________________________________________

Beyond CAUSE’s submission of the three Union counter-proposals cited above, the District did not review or submit either a proposal or counter-proposal at any time during today’s collective bargaining session.  That said, the Union will continue to accept future District bargaining proposals when presented in official meetings legally established for that purpose.

Due to schedule conflicts and the limited availability of the CUSD and CAUSE bargaining teams, the next collective bargaining session and opportunity to submit proposals /counter proposals is scheduled for February 1, 2023.  Union Leadership looks forward to discussing the process, CAUSE’s proposals, and member interests between now and then.  We will release a schedule of upcoming Site-Meetings soon.

Your attention and participation are both needed and appreciated.

In Unity,

~ CAUSE * CERTIFICATED Bargaining Team [2022-23]

 

============================================

* C.A.U.S.E. – Yes We Can ! *

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______________

CAUSE ADVISORY

Bargaining Update

Article 6:  Compensation & Benefits –

Article 13: Leave Provisions –

Oct. 14, 2022

============================================

 Dear CUSD Colleagues & Families,

Today’s Bargaining Session (Article 6 – Compensation & Benefits):

The Union met with the District today, to continue the 2022-23 bargaining cycle.  At today’s meeting, the Union sought clarifications upon the District’s proposal, dated Oct. 5, 2022.  Similarly, the Union  sought clarification upon the District’s seemingly impulsive rejection of the majority of the Union’s recent Counter-Proposal on Article 6: Compensation & Benefits.  [ The District had failed to provide a rationale for the majority of its seemingly impulsive rejections on October 5, 2022.  The Union wanted to better understand the CUSD’s rationales and motivations, in hopes that we might find a way to assuage the District’s concerns and find a way to get to an agreement. ]

Union leadership also requested updated fiscal data/information from the District.  The Union remains committed to basing our financial decisions upon real numbers, versus predictions and propaganda.   We want to be reasonable.  Therefore, we continue to seek the most current District budget and “Multi-Year-Projections (MYP),” which are informed by the most recently published “Unaudited Actuals” (i.e. The actual money in the District’s budget, versus the District’s previous predictions that once again under-estimated revenues and over-estimated expenditures.)

Although this request was made early in the meeting, the District chose not to fulfill the Union’s request for the updated fiscal data in the CUSD’s possession; even refusing to provide any timeline for when CUSD’s agents would meet their obligation to do so.  Therefore, CAUSE could not adequately examine the full impact of either the District’s or the Union’s financial proposals at today’s meeting.  We hope the District responds to its obligation to provide this data before our next bargaining session, versus playing “hide the ball” with the data they are required to share.

Today’s Bargaining Session (Article 13 – LEAVE PROVISIONS):

To ensure that the scheduled time was still used productively, the Union finalized and submitted its first proposal on Article 13 : LEAVE PROVISIONS.  For your convenience, we  have attached that proposal to this ADVISORY.

CAUSE LEAVE Proposal (1st) 2022

 

Upcoming Union-Site Meetings (week of Oct. 17th – 21st) :

Throughout the course of next week, CAUSE leadership will continue to hold Union-Site Meetings across the District.  We remain committed to providing District employees insight into our bargaining effort, as well as sharing opportunities available to District employees who wish to support that effort.  We have attached a meeting schedule below, and ask that ALL District faculty and support staff mark your calendars appropriately.

Union School-Site_Facility Meeting.Oct.17-21

We look forward to discussing this further, when we meet in person.

In Patience & Participation,

~ The CAUSE bargaining Team

 

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* C.A.U.S.E. – Yes We Can ! *

.

CAUSE SURVEY

CUSD Employees: Faculty and Support Staff

What are your contract priorities?

============================================

 

CUSD Colleagues; Faculty & Support Staff,

As Union Leadership prepares for our upcoming GENERAL MEETING, to be he via ZOOM on Monday Oct. 10th @ 7PM   (zoom link:  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89832015013?pwd=ZURUQnVEcnRWUkdKbS9zT0ZiNEFtQT09 ), we are asking District faculty and support staff to clarify their priorities associated with contract bargaining.

Employees may do so by completing this brief survey, linked just below:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Bargaining-COMPxBENEFITS

Your continued attention and participation are appreciated.  We look forward to speaking with you soon.

~ CAUSE Leadership

============================================

 

* C.A.U.S.E. – Yes We Can ! *

 

CAUSE: Bargaining Update

____________________________________________

The following post and meetings are related to the Union’s most recent bargaining proposal, submitted on Oct. 5, 2022.  You may review the proposal by following this link…

CAUSE Counter-Proposal . Oct 5th Art. 6 (Union’s 1st Proposal) District Response.f.

 

________________________________________

* GENERAL MEETINGS *

Friday – Oct. 7, 2022 @ 7PM (via ZOOM)

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84935946052?pwd=NmxWejdnalY0QVBLNUwwbFlaN2RQZz09

&

Monday – Oct. 10, 2022 @ 7PM (via ZOOM)

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89832015013?pwd=ZURUQnVEcnRWUkdKbS9zT0ZiNEFtQT09


____________________________________

 

CUSD Employees, Families, and Community Stakeholders,

Yesterday, Union Leadership met again with CUSD’s bargaining agents.  The Union provided a comprehensive proposal, tied to ARTICLE 6: Compensation & Benefits. The Union’s proposal (see attached) is focused on the following priorities:

1.) Reversing (a) the damage of CUSD’s historic inability to adequately staff District schools & programs, and (b) the damage from the resultant and extreme employee transiency across the CUSD.

2.) Improving the ability for District employees to share their professional experience; so as to better inform decisions regarding student learning and the teaching & learning environment.

3.) Notifying District Leadership of areas and opportunities for significant financial savings associated with the District’s excessive legal and healthcare costs.

Without engaging in any comprehensive discussion ( while adding regressive criteria to their previous proposal) the CUSD’s bargaining agents (i.e. the HR Director and 1 District lawyer) rejected 95% of the Union’s proposed improvements.  Therefore, it is critical that District employees:

(A) Thoroughly review the attached CAUSE proposal & the District’s response to the proposed improvements therein.

(B) Attend at least one, if not both of the Union’s upcoming GENERAL MEETINGS, scheduled for Friday – Oct. 7, 2022 @ 7PM Monday – Oct. 10, 2022 @ 7PM.

(C) Determine what you are going to do, to clarify your support and interests to the CUSD School Board and community.

Union leadership is currently organizing to clarify our members’ interests at the next CUSD School Board meeting, scheduled for Oct. 11, 2022 @ 5:30PM (Carpinteria City Hall).  We will discuss this effort and opportunities to participate at the GENERAL MEETINGS cited above.

============================================

* C.A.U.S.E. – Yes We Can ! *

 

CAUSE ADVISORY

* CUSD’s Employee Union *

PARTICIPATION – Engaging the Community & CUSD School Board

[ For Teachers, Support Staff, & District Families ]

============================================

Dear CUSD Teachers, Support Staff, and District Families.

Union leadership appreciates your attendance and participation at last week’s Union Site-Meetings & ZOOM-Meetings.   Many requested specific insight into how they might increase their communication and advocacy on topics of professionalism, workplace environment, workplace conditions, administrative retaliation, and/or student & staff safety.

Therefore, Union leadership is providing these resources:

    1.) Opportunities to Participate (Organizing Activities)

    2.) CUSD School Board Meeting (How to participate?)

    3.) CUSD School Board Trustee / Politician Emails

    4.) School Board Candidate * SUMMERLAND District *  Election – November 8, 2022)

    5.) California Public Records Act [CPRA]: What is it and how does one submit a “Public Request for Information“?

For our convenience, we have expanded on each of the 5 topics (below).

Union leadership appreciates this opportunity to work directly with the community of Carpinteria and surrounding areas.  Please let us know how we might further support your interests, concerns, and suggestions.

_________________________

 

1.) Opportunities to Participate (Organizing Activities): 

CAUSE Opportunities for Participation 2022

Just above, we have provided a list (PDF) of “CAUSE Opportunities for Participation 2022that every District employee and community member may begin engaging in immediately.

 

2.) CUSD School Board Meeting (How to participate?):

WHEN:

*  2nd & 4th TUESDAY / of each month

[UPCOMING MEETINGS:  September & October meetings will be held on –  Sept. 27th, Oct. 11th, & Oct. 25th, 2022]

* Closed (Confidential) Session begins at 4:30PM

* Open (Public) Session begins @ 5:30 PM

HOW:

* Attendees are not required to speak, but they may speak.

* Speakers may speak for 3 minutes on any item on the agenda.

* Speakers may speak to a single, or more than one item on the agenda.

* Speakers may speak to topics not on the agenda, during “Public Speaking Time For Items Not On The Agenda.”

* Speakers must arrive early, to complete a short “Request for Speaker/Public Comment Minutes.

* After speaking, speakers are NOT required to attend the entire meeting.

* Speakers may address the Board in English, Spanish, or the language of their choice.

* Wi-Fi is available for members of the public.

WHERE:

* Carpinteria City Hall – Council Chamber

5775 Carpinteria Avenue, Carpinteria Ca. 93013

* Parking on west side of building and along street

 

3.) CUSD School Board Trustee / Politician Emails:

Although the Union is not releasing addresses at this time, we are releasing the emails we have been provided…

* asheaffer@cusd.net   /   andy@vistapuntagorda.com

* sgreen@cusd.net   /   saldg@aol.com

* jaime.diamond@cusd.net   /   jaimesdiamond@gmail.com

* aaron.smith@cusd.net   /   (personal email not provided)

* jfabre@cusd.net   /   (personal email not provided)

 

4.) School Board Candidate * SUMMERLAND District *  Election – November 8, 2022 :

Name: Nuh Kimbwala

Website: https://nuhcusd.com/

Email address: vipnuhz@gmail.com

 

5.) California Public Records Act [CPRA]: What is it and how does one submit a “Public Request for Information“?

This opportunity is available to ANY California citizen / community member, who wishes to better understand decisions, actions, or information related to a public institution, such as the CUSD.

* https://www.ftb.ca.gov/your-rights/california-public-records-act.html

* https://firstamendmentcoalition.org/cpra-primer/sample-cpra-request-letter/

* https://www.law.berkeley.edu/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Sample-PRA-Request.pdf

 

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* C.A.U.S.E. – Yes We Can ! *

 

CAUSE ADVISORY

School-Site Union Meetings – Week of Sept. 19th – Sept 23rd, 2022

* Dates, Times, Locations Announced *

[ TOPIC: Collective Bargaining – Compensation & Benefits ]

============================================

Greetings, CUSD Employees and Families.

Attached, you will find a schedule of upcoming Union Site/Department meetings that will be held throughout next week; the week of Sept. 19th ( Mon.) – Sept. 23rd ( Fri.) , 2022.  The topic remains the current 2022-23 collective bargaining cycle.

Please make every effort to attend your school-site’s meeting.  If that is not possible, you may join us at another school-site’s meeting.  Your accurate awareness and participation in the bargaining process is critical to Union Leadership’s ability to secure an agreement that supports the interest of teachers and support staff.  This, in turn, supports our students and District families.

If you have any further questions about the current bargaining process, please review our initial ADVISORY, included below.  Your continued patience and participation are appreciated .  We look forward to seeing each of you next week.

Union School-Site_Facility Meetings 2022 Autumn

Towards progress,

~  j. Hotchner * CAUSE President

============================================

* C.A.U.S.E. – Yes We Can ! *

____________________________

ORIGINAL ADVISORY (BELOW)

____________________________

———- Forwarded message ———
From: * CAUSE . CUSD * <jhotchner@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, Sep 14, 2022 at 1:02 PM
Subject: CAUSE ADVISORY: School-Site Union Meetings – To Be Held In Coming Week [TOPIC: Collective Bargaining * Compensation & Benefits *]

 

CAUSE ADVISORY

School-Site Union Meetings – To Be Held In Coming Week

TOPIC: Collective Bargaining

* Compensation & Benefits *

============================================

 

 

Greetings, CUSD Employees and Families.

 

In the coming week, Union Leadership is working to hold Site-Meetings across the District to discuss where we are at with the current 2022-23 collective bargaining cycle.  Please make every effort to attend your school site’s meeting.  If that is not possible, you may join us at another school-site’s meeting.

Your accurate awareness and participation in the bargaining process is critical to Union Leadership’s ability to secure an agreement that supports the interest of teachers and support staff.  This, in turn, supports our students and District families.  Upcoming meeting dates and times will be announced shortly.

Background:

As is routine, the bargaining partners are yet to reach an agreement in the early months of the bargaining process.  Due to the COVID pandemic (in the last two years) and the need to prioritize our response to the COVID mitigation efforts, contract bargaining has been severely abbreviated.  As a result, several important contractual improvements have been set aside in the last few years.

The current 2022-23 collective bargaining cycle, is our first opportunity to return to the more traditional and routine approach to collective bargaining; one where the parties have every expectation to propose, discuss, and seek more comprehensive improvements to the variety of contract issues and challenges that have arisen during that period.  Whereas our bargaining partner (CUSD) prefers to discuss only their very narrow interests, Union Leadership is unwilling to forfeit this opportunity pursue the improvements teachers and support staff have been seeking for a third straight year.   

Continued Patience & Participation:

In the last few weeks, Union leadership has been receiving concerning reports from several district employees.  As we’ve been advised, District leadership continues its campaign of misinformation, designed to once again abruptly end the collective bargaining process according to only their terms and interests.   Had the District had its way, the partners would have resolved bargaining in the early Spring/late Summer 2022, with only a 1% salary increase and healthcare cuts and “claw-backs.”  But Union leadership and our members wouldn’t have it, and we continued to bargain through the Summer months and into the current.

Now, we are hearing that District leadership is also characterizing Union leadership’s diligence and fidelity to employee concerns as “obstructionist”, going so far as to suggest that the “Union leadership is not interested in reaching an agreement on salary and benefits”.  Fortunately, most of you already understand that District leadership’s attempts to misinform District employees and the community are simply absurd.

The Union’s patience and thorough approach to the 2022-23 collective bargaining cycle has already paid off.  We have since secured a much more realistic, (albeit still short of what is possible) compensation offer from the CUSD (i.e. 5% with a 2% one-time bonus). That obvious progress, ensuring that District employees will see a several thousand dollar increase to their salaries and wages each year moving forward.  And all the while, the District’s obligation to provide a fully covered high-quality healthcare option remains in force!

Rather than blindly accepting District leadership’s silly explanations for why the process has not been completed in the early months of the 2022-23 collective bargaining cycle, CAUSE leadership asks that you work with us to better understand the details.  We need your accurate understanding, engagement, and participation to support the proposals we carry to the bargaining table.

Your opportunity to directly participate has arrived.  It is time for our members to share their voices and perspectives with each other, District leadership, and the community.   We will discuss this further at our upcoming site-meetings.  In the meantime, we remind District employees; Union leadership can only accomplish what our members are willing to demand.

Full ahead !

~ j. Hotchner * CAUSE President

============================================

* C.A.U.S.E. – Yes We Can ! *

[ TOPIC: Collective Bargaining – Compensation & Benefits ]

============================================

Greetings, CUSD Employees and Families.

Attached, you will find a schedule of upcoming Union Site/Department meetings that will be held throughout next week; the week of Sept. 19th ( Mon.) – Sept. 23rd ( Fri.) , 2022.  The topic remains the current 2022-23 collective bargaining cycle.

Please make every effort to attend your school-site’s meeting.  If that is not possible, you may join us at another school-site’s meeting.  Your accurate awareness and participation in the bargaining process is critical to Union Leadership’s ability to secure an agreement that supports the interest of teachers and support staff.  This, in turn, supports our students and District families.

If you have any further questions about the current bargaining process, please review our initial ADVISORY, included below.  Your continued patience and participation are appreciated .  We look forward to seeing each of you next week.

Towards progress,

~  j. Hotchner * CAUSE President

============================================

* C.A.U.S.E. – Yes We Can ! *

Feel free to visit our CAUSE website:

https://cause2216.org/

Your feedback and interest are appreciated!

* In the event you received this email and are not either 

a District Administrator, Board Member, or  Union Member, 

please contact us immediately. We will remove you from this email group-list. *

____________________________

ORIGINAL ADVISORY (BELOW)

___________________________

CAUSE ADVISORY

School-Site Union Meetings – To Be Held In Coming Week

TOPIC: Collective Bargaining

* Compensation & Benefits *

============================================

 

 

Greetings, CUSD Employees and Families.

 

In the coming week, Union Leadership is working to hold Site-Meetings across the District to discuss where we are at with the current 2022-23 collective bargaining cycle.  Please make every effort to attend your school site’s meeting.  If that is not possible, you may join us at another school-site’s meeting.

Your accurate awareness and participation in the bargaining process is critical to Union Leadership’s ability to secure an agreement that supports the interest of teachers and support staff.  This, in turn, supports our students and District families.  Upcoming meeting dates and times will be announced shortly.

Background:

As is routine, the bargaining partners are yet to reach an agreement in the early months of the bargaining process.  Due to the COVID pandemic (in the last two years) and the need to prioritize our response to the COVID mitigation efforts, contract bargaining has been severely abbreviated.  As a result, several important contractual improvements have been set aside in the last few years.

The current 2022-23 collective bargaining cycle, is our first opportunity to return to the more traditional and routine approach to collective bargaining; one where the parties have every expectation to propose, discuss, and seek more comprehensive improvements to the variety of contract issues and challenges that have arisen during that period.  Whereas our bargaining partner (CUSD) prefers to discuss only their very narrow interests, Union Leadership is unwilling to forfeit this opportunity pursue the improvements teachers and support staff have been seeking for a third straight year.   

Continued Patience & Participation:

In the last few weeks, Union leadership has been receiving concerning reports from several district employees.  As we’ve been advised, District leadership continues its campaign of misinformation, designed to once again abruptly end the collective bargaining process according to only their terms and interests.   Had the District had its way, the partners would have resolved bargaining in the early Spring/late Summer 2022, with only a 1% salary increase and healthcare cuts and “claw-backs.”  But Union leadership and our members wouldn’t have it, and we continued to bargain through the Summer months and into the current.

Now, we are hearing that District leadership is also characterizing Union leadership’s diligence and fidelity to employee concerns as “obstructionist”, going so far as to suggest that the “Union leadership is not interested in reaching an agreement on salary and benefits”.  Fortunately, most of you already understand that District leadership’s attempts to misinform District employees and the community are simply absurd.

The Union’s patience and thorough approach to the 2022-23 collective bargaining cycle has already paid off.  We have since secured a much more realistic, (albeit still short of what is possible) compensation offer from the CUSD (i.e. 5% with a 2% one-time bonus). That obvious progress, ensuring that District employees will see a several thousand dollar increase to their salaries and wages each year moving forward.  And all the while, the District’s obligation to provide a fully covered high-quality healthcare option remains in force!

Rather than blindly accepting District leadership’s silly explanations for why the process has not been completed in the early months of the 2022-23 collective bargaining cycle, CAUSE leadership asks that you work with us to better understand the details.  We need your accurate understanding, engagement, and participation to support the proposals we carry to the bargaining table.

Your opportunity to directly participate has arrived.  It is time for our members to share their voices and perspectives with each other, District leadership, and the community.   We will discuss this further at our upcoming site-meetings.  In the meantime, we remind District employees; Union leadership can only accomplish what our members are willing to demand.

Full ahead !

~ j. Hotchner * CAUSE President

============================================

* C.A.U.S.E. – Yes We Can ! *

CAUSE ADVISORY

Once Again, CUSD Retaliates Against Union President and Members

================================

Attention CAUSE Union Members, District Employees, and Families:

Many of you know and have worked with, Jay Hotchner, your elected Union president and tireless advocate for District employees.

Although (in a recent precedential legal decision) the state of California directed District leadership to cease and desist from any further retaliation, the District has once again placed Mr. Hotchner on administrative leave.   CUSD leadership has not informed Mr. Hotchner or CAUSE of the District’s charges against him.  CAUSE strongly believes this is further retaliation because of his role as a union leader.

Moving forward, CAUSE and the California Federation of Teachers (CFT) will continue to advocate for its members and Mr. Hotchner (who will continue in his role as CAUSE President and employee advocate).

For more details, please see the letter, linked below, to CAUSE membership.

CAUSE.OpenLetterToMembership.CUSD.Retaliates.Against.EmployeeUnionPresident

In Unity,

~ CAUSE & CFT

============================================

* C.A.U.S.E. – Yes We Can ! *

CAUSE ADVISORY

Bargaining Update

Aug. 30th & 31st, 2022

============================================

Greetings District Employees, Families, and Interested Community Members,

The bargaining partners met on Tuesday (Aug. 30th, 2022), and will meet again today (Aug. 31st, 2022) to continue our Summer bargaining sessions.  Here is a brief update on the major topics discussed…

1.) The CUSD District Calendar:

On Tuesday, the District submitted its most recent counter-proposal, which CUSD published to the community in July, but did not officially and legally submit to CAUSE until yesterday.  After reviewing the proposal, the Union responded with the attached counter-proposal; The Union’s 5th Counter-Proposal on the 2022-23 District Calendar – Aug. 30, 2022.

Contained at the outset of the proposal, the Union proposed that the bargaining partners work to develop a 2 years calendar agreement.  Pursuing a two year calendar agreement is a routine action, when bargaining partners are committed to providing District employees and families an opportunity to plan well in advance of any future District dates, start times, holidays, etc.   In light of the confusion associated with the District’s decision to release the District calendar in the 11th hour of the Summer break, the Union believed this proposal was value added for all parties, but especially employees and student families.

However, the District refused to discuss and promptly rejected the possibility for a two year agreement; stating that it would now prefer a status-quo calendar ( a suggestion CAUSE provided in May, 2022).  Unfortunately, the District’s refusal to even discuss a two year calendar option preserves the same confusion and uncertainty CUSD pursued this Summer; confusion and uncertainty that now appears even more intentional than we had originally thought.

2.) Compensation & Benefits:

CAUSE leadership and District employees refuse to accept the District’s original plan; a 1% salary increase, while continuing to angle for future healthcare cuts, which was simply not acceptable.   And we’re pleased that CUSD is beginning to better understand this, as well as the frustration and hardship experienced by District employees struggling with ‘bread and butter’ issues, as the cost of living (regionally) has increased by approximately 15%.

On Tuesday, the District provided a proposal on Article 6: Compensation & Benefits (see attached).  Although this proposal still falls short, it is more realistic than their position in the late Spring and early Summer, 2022.  Unfortunately, among other concerns, CUSD’s proposal is founded on the District’s politicized budget predictions, versus the unaudited actuals (not politicized predictions) due to be released in late September / early October, 2022.

Similarly, the District’s proposal does little to resolve the variety of other compensation and benefits issues that remain outstanding.  These issues, brought to the attention of the bargaining partners throughout the last year, address the comprehensive proposals and contract amendments our members have requested we pursue.   Therefore, the Union will develop a counter-proposal; as informed by those District employees who have discussed their interests with our representatives, participated in our Union SURVEYS, and shared their suggested improvements throughout the previous year.

Moving forward:

We look forward to meeting with the District shortly, and will send another update when there is more to report.   In the meantime, if you have not had a chance, please take a moment to complete our most recent SURVEY, which explores members’ interest in an “OPT-OUT” option associated with our employee HEALTHCARE offerings.

In Unity,

~ CAUSE Leadership

 

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* C.A.U.S.E. – Yes We Can ! *

CAUSE ADVISORY

Aug. 23, 2022

CUSD School Board Meeting

[ Union Public Comments * RE: Several Topics. ]

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Greetings District Employees, Families, and Stakeholders,

Once again, Union Leadership provided the CUSD School Board much to consider at the Aug. 23, 2022, school board meeting.   Via this ADVISORY, we’d like to share access to the variety of important issues impacting District employees, their students, families, and the teaching & learning environment.

Since last Tuesday’s Board Meeting, Union leadership has appreciated the positive feedback we’ve received from District employees, families, Board Candidates, and even a group of recent alumni. : )  We are always ready to share the experience of District employees with our neighbors and members of the community.  So keep those personal email addresses coming!

For your convenience, we’ve provided a link to the Aug. 24, 2022, School Board Meeting, just below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFMKDWGyQiE

We have also provided the specific AGENDA Item, a summary of our message, and the MINUTE (in the video) where you will find the Union’s public comment:

 C.5 – Approval of Minutes 

For those who are unaware, District leadership quietly provided themselves  a 5% salary increase AND a 2% bonus, while the majority of the community and District personnel were distracted with Summer activities.

Meanwhile, District leadership has only budgeted, postured, and prepared to offer District employees a mere 1% salary increase, along with potential healthcare cuts, caps, and/or claw-backs.

 

All this, while the cost of living regionally has increased by approximately 15% regionally.

 [ see MINUTE –  06:08 ]

  1. Consent Agenda

In the CONSENT AGENDA, the District considers the expenditure of public monies on a variety of topics. Union leadership asks the School Board to explain how they have reconciled their decision to squander $2,000,000 of public tax-payer monies to continue pursuing and supporting retaliatory attacks against Union leaders and District personnel who simply wish to support and participate in their employee union?  With so many important programs to run and resources yet to provide our students and teachers in the teaching and learning environment, how does District leadership justify this EXTRAORDINARY expenditure and behavior?

 

Although Union leadership understands the Superintendent’s desire to avoid further accountability for the illegal actions of senior management and those Board Members serving during the Spring of 2022, this is not the way to go about it an effective resolution.

 

Ironically, in attempting to avoid accountability by forcing the Union to take the District to court, District leadership actually managed to confirm their own legal liability in the process.  During recent months, in no less than 4 different occasions, CUSD was held liable and required to resolve a variety of contract violations and unfair labor practices based on the illegal behavior of District Principals (CMS Principal Lisa O’Shea & Canalino Principal Jamie Persoon), District Directors and Supervisors (Human Resource Director Diana, Zapata, Maint. Supervisor Jim Petit, and the Assistant Superintendent, Maureen Fitzgerald), and the CUSD Superintendent (Diane Rigby).  All this, supported and paid for under the watch of a group-think School Board !

 [ see MINUTE –  09:54 ]

  1. Public Interest / Reports / Presentations 
  1. Superintendent’s Report
  2. Public Commenton Items Not on This Agenda

 

Given the Summer myth making engaged in by District leadership, CAUSE leadership was compelled to clarify upon CUSD’s misinformation associated with the ongoing 2022-23 collective bargaining process.

 

Early in the Summer of 2022, ( actually, June 24, 2022 ), Union Leadership recognized and publicly shared that the District may need (and was permitted) to take uni-lateral action on a variety of calendar decisions, including:

 

a.) determining & announcing the start date of the 2022-23 instructional year

 

b.) determining & announcing the end date of the 2022-23 instructional year, and…

 

c.) initiating the State mandated changes to the CHS daily start times.

 

Union leadership, District employees, and members of the community, primarily District families, had hoped that the District would provide much needed clarity upon the details (a, b, and c) above.   But even though the District had the privilege and opportunity to do so, District leadership instead held-hostage the community’s interests and CUSD families ability to plan around the start of the school year.

Although the Union can’t take responsibility for the District’s decision to maintain and promote the very confusion they were entitled to resolve, CAUSE did not miss another opportunity to object to CUSD’s Summer misinformation campaign or District leadership’s attempts to blame the Union for the very confusion the Superintendent and School Board chose to preserve until just days before the school year began.

 

 [ see MINUTE –  28:56 ]

  1. Measure U – Infrastructure Bond

The Union recognizes the mixed bag of performance in this area.  We recognize that completed projects create a cleaner and safer atmosphere for students, faculty, support staff and site-administrators serving the teaching and learning environment.   Employees appreciate the relief provided by these upgrades, and appreciate the support of the community members of Carpinteria who have contributed a significant sum of their personal fortunes to fund the MEASURE U project.

 

That said, after significant errors were exposed in the Spring of this year, amounting to…

(a) several $100,000 in overruns

(b) the delays associated with several projects

(c) the flubbing of documents provided to the community

(d) that as a result of said overruns, announcements that certain projects promised to the community will not be either initiated or completed

… leaves the Union concerned.

 

Although the oversight of such a fund and development is not in the wheelhouse of our Union leadership team, we will continue to do our best to monitor these expenses and the impact of said expenses.

 

Similarly, and in light of the District’s decision to remove the very fund experts and technological tools previously employed to successfully manage the MEASURE U fund before these massive overruns were caused, Union leadership  also asks those members of the community (who may hold expertise in the area of public infrastructure and development) to monitor these matters for the good of CUSD’s students, employees, their families, and the broader community.

 

 [ see MINUTE –  43:50 ]

  1. Personnel Summary

CAUSE leadership believes that at first glance, the personnel numbers speak for themselves; and clarify that there continues to be EXTREME employee transiency occurring across the CUSD.

 

Since the arrival of the current Superintendent and Human Resource Director, the District has struggled to recruit, hire, and maintain talent across the District.   Although the COVID pandemic aggravated this condition, it was well in place before COVID-19 was even a thing.  Unfortunately, given the current administrative capacity and orientation to such issues, it appears that this condition will continue to impact the District well beyond that which is routine for a K-12 District of either our size or in our location.

 

The District was recently bragging about “the amazing job done filling openings for the 2022-23 school year,”  citing claims and applause associated with a 25% turnover in District staffing.

 

But what appears clearly missed in all that self-congratulation is that all these openings, or at least the vast majority, are the result of otherwise competent and experienced employees who chose to leave the District on their own accord.   Most often, due to negative and unprofessional experiences they endured at the hands of District administrators, not students, not families, and not their professional colleagues.

Had the District conducted routine EXIT INTERVIEWS, the CUSD would have data to share on why these employees left.  However, it doesn’t; even after successive months of Union leadership requesting that the CUSD develop and initiate consistent EXIT INTERVIEWS of departing employees.

 

Although District leadership, during the 2nd May (2022) Board meeting, was embarrassed enough to claim that EXIT INTERVIEWS do exist and that the process is being utilized, those statements have been confirmed to be inaccurate and beyond over-inflated; at best.

 

The Union had been pleased to learn that the District was moving to develop a consistent EXIT INTERVIEW process, but when we sought information, now months ago, regarding how that process officially worked, the District failed to respond or even acknowledge our request.  Union leadership does not believe this is a coincidence; not just because we know, all too well, the District agents that made such claims.  After checking on several recently departing employees, CAUSE has been unable to find any employees who participated or were even offered an opportunity to participate in such a process.

 

Although we understand why Senior management and the school Board does not want to collect data that would confirm the plethora of concerning employee experiences shared under Superintendent Rigby’s direction; deceiving the community on this topic and leaders burying their heads in the sand will not resolve the conditions continuing to cause this extreme flight from the District.

 

 [ see MINUTE –  54:34 ]

  1. Future Agenda Items

 

At the 2nd Board meeting in May, 2022, both community members and Union leadership used public speaking minutes to share comments with the community and School Board.   While doing so, members of the School Board not only over-talked speakers during their delivery of public comments, but also engaged in strongly opinionated and misinformed statements during the very limited speaker time.

This behavior was a breach of your authority, and the Union asks that you cease and desist this behavior in the future.  Board members have an opportunity to comment during the period of item discussion, but not to drown out the voices that either agitate them or that they disagree with.   And most certainly, Board members do not have the opportunity to obstruct and rob public speakers of their already shortened “3 minute opportunity” to comment on a given agenda item.

 

Union understands that several Board Members struggle to hear that which they and Senior District leadership have been so diligently struggling to hide behind their ability to control the message at these Board Meetings.  But, everyone must play by the rules, even CUSD School Board members and administrators.

 

With the above in mind, Union leadership once again requests a thorough review of the boundaries associated with School Board member communications, either at these events, in private, or other public venues. We believe that such a review will inform all interested parties about their opportunity to participate in District business, and what realistic expectations they may anticipate in regard to their conversation with our elected School Board politicians.

 

 [ see MINUTE –  1:03:35 ]

As shared with the District and the community, Union leadership remains available to discuss these matters further.  We invite District leadership, school Board candidates, District employees, and members of the community to contact us with that purpose in mind.

In Unity,

~ j. Hotchner * CAUSE President

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* C.A.U.S.E. – Yes We Can ! *