This is the third Benicia Unified School District (BUSD) and Benicia Teachers Association (BTA) negotiations update from BUSD reflecting the November 7, 2017 negotiations meeting. Thanks to the members present during the negotiations meeting for working collaboratively as a team! This is greatly appreciated.

The District’s presentation at the table regarding its interests and financial presentation has been highlighted by the Superintendent during the school board and site level meetings. BUSD is currently facing a financial challenge as our expenses are exceeding revenue due to declining enrollment, significant and ongoing increases in pension (STRS and PERS) costs, increases in special education costs, and increases in energy costs, resulting in the potential of two-million dollars in budget adjustments for 2018-19.

With that said, it is important to note the BUSD Governing Board, Superintendent, and the Management Team care deeply for our students and staff members. The overall educational program we offer our students is something for which we are all very proud.  We value the relationship we have with our employees and greatly appreciate their contributions, hard work, and dedication to the students of Benicia.  We believe our mutual educational goals are achieved through a strong working partnership centered on students, rooted in trust, and reflecting a genuine respect for one another.  

The Governing Board and Management Team is committed to a positive bargaining relationship and believes we can find a balance between the educational needs of our students, the needs of our employees and the fiscal solvency of the district now and in the future.  To avoid undue concern and worry to our employees, and to ensure the most accurate possible budgetary picture for BUSD, the Management Team suggested waiting for the Governor’s budget proposal in January 2018 before completing the discussion of wages and benefits.  The District will continue negotiating other non-monetary items with BTA, and will not stop making progress at the table. The intent of waiting for the Governor’s January budget proposal is to make the best possible financial counterproposal to BTA.

Listed below are the updates from November 7, 2017 negotiations meeting:

Tentative Agreement reached and signed:

  • Article 19 – Organizational SecurityTentative agreement has been signed for this article.
  • Article 22 NCLB/ESEATentative agreement has been signed for this article.

 

BTA and BUSD Teams agreed to work on the following articles on December 12, 2017:

  • Article 3 – Hours– BTA and BUSD made counter proposals.
  • Article 6 – Leaves– BUSD did not make a counter proposal.
  • Article 9 – Class size– BTA did not make a counter proposal.
  • Article 10 – Department Chairs– BTA made a counter proposal.
  • Article 12 – Grievance Procedures– BUSD and BTA made counter proposals.
  • Article 16 – Peer Assistance and Review– BUSD and BTA made counter proposals.

BTA and BUSD Teams agreed to work on the following articles on January 24, 2018 after the Governor’s budget update becomes available:

  • Article 2 – Wages– BUSD proposed to discuss Article 2 on January 24, 2018 after receiving Governor’s budget update.  
  • Article 5 – Health and Welfare Benefits– BTA made a counter proposal.
  • Article 23 – Duration– BTA did not make a counter proposal.
  • Article 20 – Calendar– BTA made a counter proposal.

Other:

  • Article 11 – Procedures for Evaluations– This article was not discussed during this meeting but it is open to be discussed. A subcommittee started working on the evaluation process last year and is set to reconvene this year.

Next negotiations session is scheduled for Tuesday, December 12, 2017. BUSD is committed to serving the students, staff, and community and will continue to share the negotiation updates with the BUSD and Benicia Community. Thank you!

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