by Bob Prola
OGEA’s last bargaining date with the district for this school year is on May 31. At this point it appears that we will need to resume bargaining into the fall of the 2019-2020 school year on the 3 year successor contract. We are currently negotiating to improve class sizes, case loads, hours of employment, compensation, safety and leaves. We still have a school closure moratorium proposal that the district has not responded to. Be ready to hit the ground running in the fall. Look for information and updates about bargaining and potential actions that can be taken to move the district towards a settlement.
The bargaining team will continue to monitor the state and district budgets going forward. As of right now, the governor is pushing for a Cost of Living Adjustment of 3.26% for the 2019-2020 school year. He is also pushing for STRS relief which would reduce district contributions. Both of these proposals mean more money for the district. Unfortunately, this is offset by the ongoing decline in student enrollment that the district is experiencing.
OGEA did not push for a raise this school year (2018-2019) in an effort to help the district deal with its fiscal problems. Additionally, the district received a COLA of over 2% for the 2018-2019 school year. However, the district has still not been able to solve its financial difficulties. We remain concerned about the district’s budgetary priorities, as other districts in the county, who also have declining enrollment, have been able to negotiate pay raises with their unions.
A bargaining victory for OGEA unit members this year was in the area of evaluations. We successfully negotiated evaluation forms for our members in non-classroom positions. This affects psychologists, nurses, counselors, speech, adaptive P.E. and TOSAs, in a positive way. They now have formal evaluation forms that are relevant to their positions. Prior to this, they were evaluated on the teacher evaluation form.
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