Negotiations Update 1-30-2018
This is the fifth Benicia Unified School District (BUSD) and Benicia Teachers Association (BTA) negotiations update from BUSD reflecting the January 24, 2018 negotiations meeting. Thanks to the members present during the negotiations meeting for working collaboratively as a team! This is greatly appreciated.
On January 23, 2018 BUSD provided a budget workshop via Chief Executive Officer of School Services of California, Ron Bennett, to BTA and Classified School Educators’ Association (CSEA) unit members along with administrators. The workshop centered on providing specific information related to school funding, including revenues and expenses, and to learn about a fair share formula as it relates to total employee compensation. Mr. Bennett used a broad set of comparative districts based on the Unduplicated Pupil Population (number of Low Income, English Learners, and Foster Youth students in a school district), and shared that BUSD receives the lowest revenue in the comparative group yet provides competitive class sizes and salary compensation. BTA Team members expressed interest in exploring the fair share formula further with the district. In the meantime, BTA wants to use the traditional bargaining system.
The Board of Trustees is committed to providing a fair and equitable settlement that also secures the financial viability of the District. With declining enrollment, steep and ongoing pension, step and column and special education cost increases, even with the proposed budget update from the Governor, which still must pass in June, BUSD needs to make budget adjustments totaling $800,000 for the 2018-19 school year.
BUSD proposed 1% off the salary schedule (one-time bonus) for the 2017-18 and 1% off the salary schedule (one-time bonus) for the 2018-19 school year, realizing the ongoing need to remain competitive with surrounding and comparison districts. BTA countered with a 5% salary increase this year and a 4.25% increase next school year.
The cost for a 1% increase for all employee groups is $355,000. The BTA proposed raise would cost $3.2 million over two years and then ongoing. While we are projected to receive an increase in revenue as reflected in the Governor’s proposed budget, which includes completing the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) funding two years ahead of schedule, starting in 2019-20, the return to COLA is projected at 2% to 3% while costs of pensions, health and welfare and step and column, are projected to increase at 4.5%. With these challenges in mind, the Trustees are committed to reaching a fair and equitable settlement while continuing to secure the financial viability of the District.
Listed below are the updates from January 24, 2018, negotiations meeting:
- Article 2– Wages- BUSD and BTA made counter-proposals.
- Article 3– Hours– BTA made a counter-proposal.
- Article 5– Health and Welfare Benefits– BUSD and BTA made counter-proposals.
- Article 6– Leaves– BUSD and BTA made counter-proposals.
- Article 9– Class size– BUSD made a counter-proposal.
- Article 10– Department Chairs– BTA made a counter-proposal.
- Article 20– Calendar– BSUD made a counter-proposal.
- Article 23– Duration– BTA did not make a counter-proposal.
Article 11– Procedures for Evaluations and Article 16- Peer Assistant Review: These articles were not discussed during this meeting and are being discussed in the Evaluations Subcommittee which is comprised of teachers and administrators.
Tentative Agreement reached and signed during the previous negotiation meetings:
- Article 12– Grievance Procedures
- Article 19– Organizational Security
- Article 22– NCLB/ESEA
The next negotiations session is scheduled for Tuesday, February 6, 2018. 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!