Potential Calendar Proposals/Changes




CUSD Employees, Parents, & Stakeholders.


Before the end of the instructional year, the collective bargaining partners (CAUSE & CUSD) will be meeting to begin negotiations.  We predict the first topic bargained will be the CUSD * 2022-23 * District Calendar.

As Union Leadership prepares for these negotiations, we’ve received several suggestions (i.e. potential calendar changes) from the District colleagues we represent.  In hopes of better understanding the support that exists for these suggestions, we ask that you take a moment to complete the SURVEY link just below…

Once informed by your participation and interests, CAUSE Leadership will finalize and share our formal calendar-proposal prior to carrying it to the bargaining table.


Of significance:  Absent a negotiated agreement, the bargaining partners (CAUSE & CUSD) will roll-forward the current contract in status-quo fashion.  In such an event, the District is only permitted to change the start and end dates of the 2022-23 instructional school year.  The bargaining partners would simply apply the same elements (of the current CUSD * 2021-22 District Calendar ) to the dates associated with the 2022-23 instructional year; including school days, Non-Instructional Days, Vacation/Holidays/Breaks, the single “Professional Development” day, Federal Board Holidays, and Evacuation/Make-up Days.

For your convenience, we have provided a link to the current 2021-2022 District Calendar (in Spanish & English):

Again, we appreciate your participation in this brief survey.

~ CAUSE Leadership


C.A.U.S.E. – Yes We Can ! *


March 8, 2022

– CUSD School Board Meeting –

[ Video Link &

Union / Public Comments ]



Greetings District Employees, Families, and Stakeholders,

Many of you noticed that the March 8, 2022 Board Meeting was not published until today.  Regardless, the matters addressed at that event are no less  important to District operations than those previous.   Therefore, CAUSE Leadership continues to encourage District colleagues and stakeholders to review the system-wide issues impacting District employees, their students, families, and the teaching & learning environment.

We continue to receive and appreciate all the positive feedback on our effort to help keep you better informed.  In keeping with that objective, and for your convenience, we continue to provide the board meeting video link (below).


CAUSE leadership also calls your attention to specific topics and comments, as they occurred during the meeting:


1.)  D.6. Purchase of Floor Scrubbers from Waxie Sanitary Supply

Quick Summary / Abstract:
The Board is asked to approve the purchase of 5 floor scrubbers from Waxie Sanitary Supply.  All of the school site floor scrubbers are more than 10 years old and can no longer be repaired.  These are used to deep clean hard surfaces. The cost of $26,692.41 will be paid with General Funds.         (2 attachments)
Purchase of Floor Scrubbers from Waxie Sanitary Supply ATTACHMENT
Purchase of Floor Scrubbers from Waxie Sanitary Supply BACKGROUND

Union Leadership expressed its appreciation.  The District has (alas) taken the advice of District custodians who have ‘mentored-up’ by suggesting improvements on the under-resourced conditions they serve in.

Currently, District custodians are being asked to provide more output with obsolete machinery, low staffing numbers, increased safety related injuries, higher health related absences, & the general lack of substitutes.  The purchase of these Floor Scrubbers should be an improvement in an area of operations notorious for being under-resourced.

But let’s be clear, there is no amount of machinery that can be purchased, which will make up for the severe staffing shortages that both existed before the COVID pandemic, and continue to exist at this time.

The Union and District are aware that CUSD has been providing just 65% of full-custodial staffing levels considered to be the industry standard.  When compared to similar k-12 Districts (examining both total student-population and total school-site/facilities square footage) the CUSD should be employing approximately 16 Full Time Custodians, or at least 16 FTE’s (Full Time Equivalents.)

Instead, as confirmed in the District’s own Budget projections, District leadership acknowledges that it has hired only 10 FTE’s (the equivalent of 10 Full Time Employees) in the Custodial Department.  To make the problems with under-staffing worse, custodial employees are routinely pulled away to other departments to perform duties beyond those associated with our effort to maintain safe, sanitary, healthy, and hygienic conditions at our school sites and facilities.

 [ see MINUTE – 04:08  ]



2.)   E.2. Superintendent Report

Quick Summary / Abstract: The Superintendent will report to the Board about various matters involving the District. There will be no Board discussion except to ask questions or refer matters to staff, and no action will be taken unless listed on a subsequent agenda. (1 attachment)

Attachments: Superintendent Report February 23, 2022

Of significance, Superintendent Rigby announces the resignation of ALISO – Principal Veronica Gallardo; effective March 18, 2022.  But not before Ms. Rigby used the Superintendent pulpit to allege that none of the concerns brought forward by either community members, students, parents, ALISO staff and faculty, or Union Leadership were accurate.

In what appears an obvious attempt at damage control, the Superintendent claimed that reports associated with ALISO – Principal Veronica Gallardo‘s performance, under the direction of Superintendent Rigby, were inaccurate.  Those reports included but were not limited to Superintendent Rigby’s and Principal Gallardo‘s:

* Failure to provide a consistent site-discipline policy and investigate a parent complaint about a student being choked by his male instructional aid (Albeit witnessed and reported by several students.)

* Failure to consistently communicate, respond to, and share ALISO issues in Spanish with Spanish Speaking families (Even though Principal Gallardo is a fluent Spanish speaker.)

* Claim/s that “no evidence” existed to support a variety of concerns, even though Employees were required to file formal District complaints  and ALISO parents were required to file Police reports to document examples of direct retaliation and intimidation by ALISO Principal Gallardo.

Instead Superintendent Rigby blames teachers for both the breakdown of administrative follow-through and ALISO Principal Gallardo’s unprofessional conduct.  More specifically, Ms. Rigby alleges that the challenges at ALISO were due to:


* The long-term absence of a classroom teacher (FYI: This teacher was out based upon legitimate and contractual medical leave.)


* The lack of teachers willing to provide substitute coverage.

Superintendent Rigby’s excuses seem to ignore two critically important details:

(1) It was (and remains) the Superintendent’s responsibility, working through her Site-Principal, to resolve the challenges associated with the resourcing of classroom, concerning teaching and learning conditions, and reports by District stakeholders.

(2) Superintendent Rigby, alone, possessed/possess the authority to immediately direct resources towards the resolution of both the dangerous behavioral and deteriorating academic conditions maintained under Principal Gallardo‘s supervision.

In the Superintendent’s comments, Ms. Rigby would have the community believe that all concerns where inaccurately reported, inaccurately documented, incorrectly cited by the multiple media-outlets.   Yet, ALISO Principal Veronica Gallardo still resigned in the middle of the instructional-year.

Do you think Superintendent Rigby is telling the truth, or is she acting to preserve the record and avoid the accountability that comes with uni-laterally over-riding the CUSD hiring panel’s recommendation not to employ Ms. Gallardo in the ALISO Principal position?

[ see MINUTE  –  13:38  ]



3.) E.3. Public Comment on Items Not on This Agenda

Quick Summary / Abstract:

The Public is welcome to address the Board on any item of interest to the public that is within the subject matter jurisdiction of the Board. The Board may not take action on such comment but may offer a brief response for clarification or give staff direction related to a public comment not on this agenda.

Shortly after Superintendent Rigby’s arrival to CUSD, she brought in new District legal counsel.  This new law-firm has gained a reputation for using anti-labor, anti-employee, and anti-transparency tactics.    With this new law-firm, a new level of confidentiality restrictions unseen before the arrival of Ms. Rigby became commonplace.    With ballooning legal fees under Ms. Rigby, this new law-firm has aggressively supported Ms. Rigby’s coercive management style; seeking conflict and acting to silence employee & community members voices, participation, and oversight; up to and even including that of the CUSD’s School Board Members.

CAUSE Leadership reminded each individual School Board member that they hire the Superintendent.  The CUSD School Board is Ms. Rigby’s boss; not the other way around.

And with that in mind, Union Leadership reminded CUSD Board Members of the promises they made to the community.  We reminded them that the community relies on the School Board to diligently engage in their duties, and not to allow Senior District Administrators (with their lawyers and alleged expertise)  to discourage Board Members from fulfilling their role in the community.


[ see MINUTE  –  15:32  ]

You may also hear other powerful community voices, including recently resigned District Employee, Michelle Dario, who clarifies her experience working under ALISO-Principal Gallardo, who was clearly being directed by Superintendent Rigby and Human Resource Director Diana Zapata.

[ see MINUTE  –  21:29  ]




4.) F.3. Board Bylaw 9720 Conflict of Interest (1st Reading)

Quick Summary / Abstract: The Board is asked to approve the first reading of BB 9720 Conflict of Interest. The Governing Board desires to maintain the highest ethical standards and help ensure that decisions are made in the best interest of the district and the public. Accordingly, no Board member, district employee, or other person in a designated position shall participate in the making of any decision for the district when the decision will or may be affected by his/her financial, family, or other personal interest or consideration.      (2 attachments)

BBylaw 9270 Conflict of Interest (1st Reading) BACKGROUND
BBylaw 9270 Conflict of Interest CSBA Sample (1st Reading) ATTACHMENT


The Union is interested in better understanding how the School Board will apply this “new Board By law” regarding ETHICS reform.

We remain a bit suspicious, when considering how the very same District Administrators who have permitted (if not nurtured) the administrative culture of violation across the District.   How exactly will the Board and the Superintendent apply this statement, As per the new Board By Law… “.. no Board member, district employee, or other person in a designated position shall participate in the making of any decision for the district when the decision will or may be affected by his/her financial, family, or other personal interest or consideration.”

What would that look like?

* How will a District Principal, whose family rents land to local cannabis producers near CUSD sites and facilities, respond to grant-monies provided by local cannabis producers?

* Will employees who provide unique forms of day-care and direct-transportation to the children and families of District administrators, still receive preferential treatment and job assignments that support that condition?

* Will our Board and administrators continue to respond differently when employees, who also happen to be close friends of their family, are alleged to have engaged in physical misconduct?

* When considering matters of employee discipline, will Senior-Administrators and Board Members continue to look the other way when they receive  multiple reports and allegations of violent behavior by their Anglo-male friends, while they hastily release  (i.e. fire)  African American female/s for absurd and unsubstantiated allegations of physical violence by the very ALISO – Principal who recently resigned?

* Will District leadership permit unorthodox forms of disciplinary consequences when their children or friends of their children are involved, versus when other community members’ children are involved?

Union Leadership would like to know how District leadership intends to hold themselves to these new and lofty ETHICAL standards.   Shouldn’t they have been doing this all along?

[ see MINUTE  –  38:53  ]




5.) G.4 2022-23 Budget Development Presentation

Quick Summary / Abstract:
The Board will continue to review and discuss next year’s 2022-23 budget. Assistant Superintendent Business Services Maureen Fitzgerald will continue to present on the 2022-2023 Budget Development.      (1 attachment)
2022-2023 Board Budget Presentation powerpoint ATTACHMENT

In the CUSD’s strategically designed PPT, a question begs asking….


Has anyone noticed that no-where in this entire Budget PPT, is there ANY mention of the exorbitant legal costs incurred by Superintendent Rigby’s uniquely coercive managerial culture? 


There is no glossy pie chart or charts of expenditures that even attempts to reconcile the now well over a million dollars ($1,000,000) spent on frivolous and indefensible contractual violations pursued by Superintendent Rigby.  The District provides no excuse, rationale, or justification for the illegal and non-contractual behavior pursued by Rigby and members of her leadership team, even though state arbitrators and the Public Employee Relations Board of California have ruled consistently against them.


What is the District continuing to hide?


As for what is contained in the PPT:

On slide # 9, Ms. Fitzgerald suggests that the District pays an average of $60,000+ dollars to maintain a part-time classroom instructional aide;  a figure that includes a $15,000 healthcare benefit.

However, what percentage of CUSD’s Instructional-aides actually qualify for that $15,000+ healthcare benefit?  And of those that qualify to pay into the healthcare plans offered by the CUSD, how many can actually afford to do so when they are hired for only part-time service?

Slide # 9 seems designed to obscure the fact that the District’s hiring practices, as designed, make it very difficult for part-time support staff to even buy-into (@ the pro-rated value) even the cheapest plan options.   And so, each year, the lowest paid District employees must routinely forfeit that $15,000+ Healthcare benefit.

Question: When considering the misleading data mentioned above, guess who actually saves the $15,000+ Healthcare benefit when employees are unable to buy-in; all the while making no effort to provide any alternate form of compensation?

Answer: CUSD, while claiming that savings as an expense.


[ see MINUTE  –  49:14  ]




6.)  H

H.1. Purchase of LCD TV stand Full-Motion Wall Mounts for CHS Administration Building from MJP Technologies, Inc.

Quick Summary / Abstract:
The Board is asked to approve the quote from MJP Technologies, Inc. for the purchase and mounting of 17 Samsung 55” LCD TVs and 17 Peerless Universal Full-Motion wall mounts at the CHS Admin Building. The quote includes shipping/handling and TV mounting.  The cost to purchase and install the TVs in the CHS Admin Building by MJP Technologies, Inc. is $23,459.74 and will be paid with  Measure U Funds.       (2 attachments)
Measure U Purch 17 Fifty-Five inch LCD TVs & 17 Univ Full-Motion Wall Mounts MJP Tech (CHS) ATTACHMENT
Measure U Purch 17 Fifty-Five inch LCD TVs & 17 Univ Full-Motion Wall Mounts MJP Tech (CHS) BACKGROUND



Once again, it is important to examine how the CUSD manages the MEASURE U fund (i.e. local TAX-PAYER contributions) in order to better understand how current expenses reflected in AGENDA ITEM G are tracked and managed.


At the last two School Board Meetings, held on Jan. 25th and Feb. 8th, it seems Assistant Superintendent Fitzgerald was not terribly accurate when making her statements to the Board about the $311,000+ accounting error/cost to the District.  What Ms. Fitzgerald and Superintendent Rigby failed to mention is this; the alleged “surprise expenditure” should not have been (if it even was) a surprise to them.  The data had been provided and was contained in the MEASURE U program monitoring system [COLBI], which accurately accounted for this cost.


These administrators also failed to share that after the hostile work-culture resulted in the departure of the previously expert MEASURE U fund-managers, there remained no expertise left in the District to oversee such a massive public-works fund.    But even though Riby was well-aware that Assistant Superintendent Fitzgerald did not possess said expertise, the superintendent still gave Fitzgerald a hefty pay-increase to take responsibility for this current level of performance.

Is it any surprise that the recent $311,000 mistake occurred?

In the future, will you be surprised to learn that there are other similar mistakes?


[ see MINUTE  – 57:50  ]




7.) I.1. Personnel Summary 

Quick Summary / Abstract:
The Board is asked to approve the following recommended personnel items:

  • Assignments – One personnel
  • Resignation – One personnel
  • Retirement – One personnel
  • Leave of Absence – One personnel
  • Winter Coaching Assignments – Extra weeks for CIF – One personnel         (1 Attachment)
Personnel Summary 03.08.2022 ATTACHMENT




Beyond the continued employee flight from the CUSD, Union Leadership asks an important question…


Why, after so many years and after so many requests to the Human Resource Director, Ms. Zapata, Superintendent Rigby, and School Board, does the CUSD still not offer departing employees (i.e. releases, resignations, retirements, etc.) an opportunity to complete an EXIT INTERVIEWS?

Exit Interviews are a routine method used by Human Resource Departments nationwide, to better understand the experiences of departing employees.   What is the District trying to avoid and/or keep off the record?


[ see MINUTE  – 1:02:38  ]



8.) I.2. Initial Proposal from the Carpinteria Unified School District (CUSD) to the Carpinteria Association of United School Employees (CAUSE) – Certificated 2022-2023

Quick Summary / Abstract:
The Board is asked to review attached Initial Proposal from the Carpinteria Unified School District (CUSD) to CAUSE, Certificated 2022-2023. Fiscal implications TBD.        (2 attachments)
Initial Proposal from CUSD to CAUSE Certificated Openers 2022-2023 ATTACHMENT
Initial Proposal from CUSD to CAUSE Certificated Openers 2022-2023 BACKGROUND


I.3. Initial Proposal from the Carpinteria Unified School District (CUSD) to the Carpinteria Association of United School Employees (CAUSE) – Classified 2022-2023

Quick Summary / Abstract:
The Board is asked to review attached Initial Proposal from the Carpinteria Unified School District to CAUSE, Classified 2022-2023.  Fiscal implications TBD.       (2 attachments)
Initial Proposal from CUSD to CAUSE Classified Openers 2022-2023 ATTACHMENT
Initial Proposal from CUSD to CAUSE Classified Openers 2022-2023 BACKGROUND

The Union thanked the District for providing contract openers.  CAUSE also notified the community that Union Leadership submitted their openers on March 8, 2022, and that we look forward to reviewing said openers in more detail.

[ see MINUTE  – 1:04:47  ]



9.)   I.4. Resolution #22-892 Non Reelecting a Certificated Probationary Employee

Quick Summary / Abstract:
The Board is asked to adopt Resolution No.22-892 Non-Reelect a Certificated Probationary Employee.  Public Employee Discipline/Dismissal/Release pursuant to Government Code section 54957.         (2 attachments)
Resolution #22-892 NonReelect a Certificated Probationary Employee ATTACHMENT
Resolution #22-892 NonReelect a Certificated Probationary Employee BACKGROUND


 ALISO – Principal Veronica Gallardo’s recent resignation may begin to resolve the damage caused in her wake.  However, Gallardo’s resignation, alone, only begins to resolve the totality of her coercive performance, which was permitted (if not directed) by Superintendent Rigby and Human Resource Director Zapata.


The District’s efforts to pursue the non-re-election of several District employees is an example of this damage.  We are compelled to remind District stakeholders that these decisions not to rehire several faculty members occurs during a time of the significant staffing shortages experienced by CUSD.

For those unfamiliar with the term, non-re-elect:  It means that the District has chosen not to re-hire the employee, but is unwilling to share its reasons with either the employee, union representatives, or the public.

With that in mind, Union leadership is compelled to provide some insight where the District will not.


Take the experience of ALISO Counselor – Bert Dannenberg:  Bert was told (just last week) that he will not be rehired for the 2022-23 school year.    It is clear that the District’s decision to non-re-elect Mr. Dannenberg is not based on his job performance, which was recently and publicly recognized by Superintendent Rigby herself.  Rather, this non-re-elect is clearly based on his decision to share concerns about the teaching and learning environment under ALISO Principal Veronica Gallardo.


So we share the following facts, ALL of which can be verified by hard evidence and supporting documentation:




* Nov. 17, 2021: Mr. Dannenberg and at least 7 colleagues were subjected to abusive behavior by ALISO Principal Gallardo.


* Nov. 18, 2021:  Mr. Dannenberg and his ALSIO colleagues contacted the Union to report the Principal’s behavior, and inquire upon how to best alert upper management to the deteriorating conduct of Ms. Gallardo.


* Dec. 2, 2021: Mr. Dannenberg joined 8 colleagues to submit formal complaints (AR:1312.1 & AR:4030) that detailed Principa Gallardo’s behavior.  (Although they haven’t acknowleged it in public, this complaint was provided to the School Board and Superintendent, well before matters at ALISO elementary began to appear in local media and school board meetings. They have been well aware of the Principal Gallardo’s unprofessional conduct for some time )


* Dec. 13, 2021: Mr. Dannenberg and his ALISO colleagues received the CUSD’s response, which notifies the complainants that their complaint was not reported on the appropriate forms.  Yet upon request for the appropriate forms and policy/ies, the District neither responds or provides any clarification.  [Then, no investigation is initiated for approx. 2 months. And not until AFTER  the Superintendent and School Board moved to hastily fire one of the complainant on false pretenses, and 3 others had resigned from the District. [You heard from one this evening.]


* Feb. 2022:  Mr. Dannenberg was contacted directly by the Human Resource Director, Diana Zapata, (on Feb. 4th) discouraging and warning him not to go to the Union with his concerns and complaint.  Ms. Zapata stated that she would prefer to resolve this informally, and assured Mr. Dannenberg that any decision, on his part, to involve the Union, would ensure that the District’s lawyers would be called in to directly interview him and make this matter worse for Mr. Dannenberg.


When Mr. Dannenberg declined the “informal” approach, Human Resource Director Zapata maintained her threat, and brought the notoriously antagonistic District legal counsel into an investigatory interview on Feb. 9, 2022.  [Of significance: The Union asked for each of these interviews to be recorded, but the Human Resource Director and lawyer refused.]


March 3, 2022:   Both Human Resource Zapata and Principal Gallardo, in an unannounced meeting, notified Mr. Dannenberg he would not be brought back in 2022-23.  He would be non-re-elected.   Mr. Dannenberg was not provided an opportunity to seek Union representation at this meeting


March 8, 2022:   At the request of Superintendent Rigby, the School Board unanimously supports the  resolution to non-re-elect Mr. Dannenberg, even thought the ALISO – Principal who informed the decision resigned in the middle of the instructional year.


Again, and of significance, the decision to non-re-elect Mr. Dannenberg was made AFTER the following:


1.) HR Director Zapata, on the record and based on Mr. Dannenber’s leadership at ALISO, encouraged him to speak with her about pursuing an administrative credential while he worked with CUSD.


2.) Or that Mr. Dannenberg had received public recognition ( @ the Feb. 8,th Board see @ MINUTE 24:00 -) by  Superintendent Rigby.


3.) Mr. Dannenberg had received only positive evaluations in his personnel file.


It is difficult to see how the data points (cited above) can be interpreted as anything but a clear example of (A) retaliation, (B) upper management’s effort to influence the record, and (C) avoid public accountability.


[ see MINUTE  – 1:06:07  ]





The Union asked the School Board to include the following AGENDA items at the next Board Meeting:

  1. School Board Communication with District Stakeholders: What are the boundaries?  What is permissible?  What is not?  How can we ensure that both Board Members and the communities are in possession of accurate expectations regarding direct communication and engagement.


  1. EXIT Interviews for outgoing District employees:  Proposal, Discussion, Purpose, Pros & Cons


[ see MINUTE  – 1:14:06  ]



C.A.U.S.E. – Yes We Can ! *


2022 – 2023 * Collective Bargaining Cycle
What Are Your Priorities ?

CUSD Employees & Colleagues:
The 2022-23 collective bargaining season (i.e. the CERTIFICATED & CLASSIFIED contract negotiating cycle) is soon upon us.
CAUSE leadership is reaching out to members, in hopes of better understanding your interests and priorities.  Please help clarify and confirm your priorities by taking just a few moments to complete the SURVEY, below:
If you are interested in the language governing the timeline of responsibilities associated with the bargaining partners (CAUSE & CUSD) efforts, it has been provided for your convenience…
From the CAUSE-CUSD CERTIFICATED Collective Bargaining Agreement [CERTIFICATED CBA]


  1. 20.2  Not later that the first regularly scheduled Board meeting in March of each year, the Association shall submit its initial proposal for the subsequent school year. The District shall submit its proposal in sufficient time to meet the public notice provisions of the Public Employment Relations Act and begin negotiations no later that May 1 of that year.



Regarding District MEMORANDUM




Greetings CUSD Personnel,

With the recent email MEMORANDUM (  MEMORANDUM – Notice of Intent . Jan 2022  ), CAUSE leadership is compelled to clarify our recommendations on this topic.

With absolute transparency:

1.) At this time, CAUSE discourages any District employee from sharing either your personal and/or professional interests regarding your future employment with the CUSD.

2.) CAUSE leadership is concerned about the District’s historic and future efforts to undermine those interests, which you may have provided or are considering providing in good faith.

3.) Union Leadership is not aware of any professional obligation requiring District employees to provide notification of your intent to either remain with the CUSD, to resign, and/or to retire; regardless of your professional status throughout the entire 2021-22 school year.

Any members who have questions associated with the guidance provided herein, may contact Union Leadership by responding directly to this email.

In Unity,

~ j. Hotchner * CAUSE President


* C.A.U.S.E. – Yes We Can ! *


Jan. 25, 2022 – School Board Meeting

Is this what democracy looks like in CUSD?


Happy Friday, CUSD !   : )

This week, CAUSE leadership began using a new tool to improve our communications and outreach with both members and District stakeholders.  We appreciate your patience as we better learn how to use this form of media.  In our group-text, we attempted to alert recipients to the January 25th School Board meeting, where significant decisions are underway; redistricting being just one.

CAUSE Leadership believes that CUSD employees may be unaware of many School Board decisions that will dramatically impact the professional culture, working conditions, and workplace environments across the District.  In regard to the structural opportunities designed to better inform these decisions, CAUSE Leadership is concerned that CUSD’s employees and stakeholders are missing their chance.

Perhaps you also believe the image (above) say a great deal?



Moving forward, CAUSE Leadership wants to encourage each of you to consider how you might communicate directly with our School Board members.  We continue to encourage District personnel to play a more direct role communicating with our School Board Trustees.  It is clear, by way of their decisions, there remains much opportunity to better inform the School Board’s decision making.

Remember, our School Board Trustees live locally.  School board politicians are both elected and live in the community.  They are supposed to be directly accessible to the community members they serve.

Please consider how you can:

*  build relationships with them

* contact them directly and consistently

* approach them in and around town, so as to constructively share your insights and experiences

* attend Board meetings, write them letters, send them an email (addresses provided in the CC field above), and alert District families (i.e. the Board’s constituency) to the conditions experienced across the District.

Finally, as many requested the January 25th, Board Meeting link, we are providing it below:

In Unity,

~ j. Hotchner * CAUSE President


C.A.U.S.E. – Yes We Can ! *


Demand to Bargain: Submission


Increased Compensation for Extra-Contractual Substitute Services




Dear Superintendent Rigby, Board Members, and CUSD Colleagues (CLASSIFIED & CERTIFICATED),

This CAUSE ADVISORY serves dual purposes:

1.) It confirms, with our unit-members, our most recent action.

2.) It serves to submit and notify the CUSD of the attached “Demand to Bargain”, which is attached to this ADVISORY for both the District and those who wish to review it more thoroughly.

Union Leadership submits this demand with the intention of resolving this issue promptly.  We request that the District meet with CAUSE Leadership to address these matters during the week of January 31, 2022.    Meanwhile, we ask that employees strive to continue providing the same level of substitute coverage throughout the next week, while we work to resolve the details of our future agreement.


~ j. Hotchner * CAUSE President


C.A.U.S.E. – Yes We Can ! *



Ca. State Agency Confirms CUSD’s Retaliation

Against Union Leadership


CUSD Employees, Colleagues, and Stakeholder Families,

Union Leadership is pleased to announce this historic legal victory !

Background & Recent Legal Decision:

On November 16, 2021, the Public Employment Relations Board (“PERB”), the California agency charged with upholding public employees’ labor rights, found that Carpinteria Unified School District (“District”) discriminated and retaliated against Carpinteria Association of United School Employees (“CAUSE”) Union President, Jay Hotchner.  At that time, the CUSD was required  by “PERB” to notify District employees of District leadership’s retaliatory actions.

Approximately two months later, the District quietly notified District employees with as little fanfare as possible, sending an after-hours email on Jan. 7, 2022, titled, “PERB Posting.” ( )   In it’s notification, the District neither explained itself nor provided any further expression of remorse and culpability; beyond the State’s summary and the Human Resource Director Diana Zapata’s signature (on behalf of Superintendent Diana Rigby’s) accepting liability for the District’s illegal actions.

(  )

Over this period, it appears the District spent approximately $400,000 – $500,000 trying to accomplish these types of retaliatory objectives.  Yet, it failed to mention the abuse of public trust and the significant financial costs associated with using public-monies to:

(A) retaliate against Union leadership

(B) defend its illegal actions (over a period of 2 years) in a State court, and…

(C) attempt to avoid legal accountability for its illegal behavior

The District’s brief notification, compelled by California “PERB”, also failed to mention that the CUSD School Board supported these violations by continuing to fund them (on several occasions) over the course of 2 years.   Nor did the CUSD’s notification attempt to explain its underlying violations,  (i.e. issuing Mr. Hotchner two Notices of Unprofessional Conduct [“45 Day Notices”] for engaging in protected union activity).  More specifically for :

1.)  representing classified employees in LAYOFF (“bumping  rights”) meetings; as permitted by the contract

2.)  representing certificated employees in grievance actions; as permitted by the contract

3.) representing employees who act to obtain copies of their personnel file; as permitted by the contract

PERB found that the District and its agents acted with an unlawful motive, because CUSD illegally issued the Notices as a result of the Union president’s (Mr. Hotchner’s) protected union activity.    Moreover, PERB determined that the District and its agents failed to prove that Mr. Hotchner engaged in the types of unprofessional conduct that the District used as a basis for the discipline it meted to CAUSE President Hotchner.  (  )

Moving Forward:

This victory sends a powerful message to the District administrators and Board Members who participated in and supported this retaliatory campaign.  It also further memorializes the CUSD’s unique anti-labor/anti-employee culture, fostered under Superintendent Diane Rigby and her select leadership team, as well as members of the CUSD Board of Trustees.   Like yourselves, they can be certain that your Union, led by CAUSE’s elected leadership and representatives, will fight for and protect its members from similar attacks and unprofessional administrative behavior.   We will not tolerate the District’s illegal actions. Nor should you.

We extend our appreciation to the many faculty, support staff, external agency partners, and District stakeholders who assisted in this matter and stood up to protect our critical Union rights!

It remains an honor to serve you.


C.A.U.S.E. – Yes We Can ! *



FREE COVID Home Tests | US Postal Service

Order at home tests now.


Good afternoon, CUSD Colleagues, Students, and Families.

You may follow the link, below, to order your FREE COVID HOME TESTS as soon as today.

Union leadership appreciates your proactive effort to minimize the transmission of COVID-19 and protect yourselves, your families, and the community at large.



C.A.U.S.E. – Yes We Can ! *


Masks and Transmission Times ?

Here’s the Best Chart We’ve Seen Yet



Greetings CUSD Colleagues, Students, and Families,

This week has brought significant increases in the number of COVID-19 positive students, employees, and family members reported across the CUSD.    (And there’s no telling exactly how many are not diligently reporting transmissions.)

Many District employees have experienced uncertainty and confusion when determining the best response after learning they’ve been exposed to a COVID positive individual (i.e. student, colleague, administrator, parent, etc.).   Many are unsure if they’ve had a “close-contact” or not, and realize that the District’s definition (“unmasked contact for more than 15 minutes”) is so over-simplified that it’s much less-relevant in the face of recent changes in guidance.

When determining whether you or a loved one should continue to provide service, attend school, or take-leave to either “ISOLATE” or “QUARANTINE”, this chart should be helpful.   It clarifies expectations related to COVID-19 transmission; depending on the variety of different masks being used.

CDPH and ETS Iso Quarantine_Jan2022.pptx (CAUSE.jH)

We hope this takes some of the mystery out of an already uncertain and stressful decision.

In Unity,

~ j. Hotchner


C.A.U.S.E. – Yes We Can ! *



Word’s of Wisdom from the CHS Principal

Tracking and Mitigating Further COVID-19 Transmissions




Good afternoon, CUSD Colleagues,

Recently, the CHS principal, Gerardo Cornejo, published an update regarding the high-school’s COVID-19 mitigation efforts.  There was much wisdom to be found in his email to staff and faculty.   Concerned that it is not being applied District wide, the Union is promoting several of the details Mr. Cornejo covered.  We’re also adding a few more for good measure.


1.) At this time we need to make the assumption that all students have been exposed to the virus. Therefore, it is very important that CUSD Staff and Faculty monitor both themselves and their students for symptoms.

2.) The CUSD uses AIRIES to maintain students’ daily attendance records. If a student has a Q on their attendance, please make sure they have completed their Quarantine as noted on the attendance page of Aeries.   If a student shows up earlier than the completion date in AIRIES, DO NOT ALLOW THEM INTO THE CLASSROOM.  Instead, send them to the school-site office immediately.

3.) If a student has an unverified absence on Aeries, send them to the office immediately.   Site administration must confirm the reason a student was absent and conduct any follow up inquiry if needed.

4.)  The CUSD is only providing COVID test kits to student; not employees.   Student testing has not been and is not a routine on our campuses.  In regard to the CUSD’s ability to confirm test-results, this approach is predicted to be a far less-effective approach than testing methods in surrounding Districts (ex. Like SBUSD – ).  Union leadership asks District faculty to go an extra-step; please contact the families of your students and emphasize that their child has been provided two (2) these test kits.  This may be done via  PARENTSQUARE, your teacher-website, GOOGLE CLASSROOM, or whatever method you use for routine communications.

As students and parents are our most immediate partners in education, many consistently engage in direct communication with teachers, but do not review the more politicized information and messaging that comes from the Superintendent’s office.  Therefore, your effort to communicate these details reinforces the distribution of tests by CUSD.  Given both the value and demand associated with these kits, Union leadership would like to see that our students and community realize a higher level of efficacy than is predicted by the CUSD’s hastily prepared roll-out.

6.) When you contact parents, you may want to cut and paste the reminders below (a.- d.), or put them in your own words.  Union leadership encourages each faculty member to reinforce the following:

a.  Given the OMICRON surge, clothe masks are far inferior to N-95 & KN-95 masks.

b.  If families do not have access to higher quality masks, double-masking is a better alternative to a single clothe mask.

c.  Masks are only effective if they are worn correctly. They should be worn securely over the nose & mouth, and it is now recommended that students wear masks indoors and outdoors when adequate social-distancing is not possible.

d.  Although students, employees, and families are not required to divulge their testing or COVID-19 status,  Union  leadership wants to discourage any stigma associated with the transmission of the COVID-19 virus.  Please consider transparently sharing whether your child or anyone in your household has been potentially exposed, is experiencing symptoms, or is / recently tested COVID positive.  (This same encouragement goes out to our teachers and support staff across the District, who are also encouraged to notify families of the same .  Let’s act to protect each other, our students, and their families.)

In support of public-health,

~ CAUSE Leadership



C.A.U.S.E. – Yes We Can ! *