On Friday morning AUSD released the details of the tentative agreement between the District and the teachers union, AEA. And later that day AEA members rejected the tentative agreement, according to the press release by AEA, by a two to one margin.
Honestly, I have no words for the frustration that I feel. I imagine that my frustration pales in comparison to everyone involved in the actual process, after all I’m not really an active participant other than having a child in the district. I thought that given the late night negotiations and the time and effort that had been put into this tentative agreement that it would have been accepted by AEA members, but I guess that is not the case here.
A few notable items from the rejected agreement, 2011-2012 teachers would have received a one-time 1% payment. Let’s call it a “bonus” to make it easy. While it is not the size of the initial request, it’s definitely a little something and would have been paid out to teachers on June 30th.
For the 2012-2013 school year, the District had agreed to salary increases contingent on the state budget. If the Average Daily Attendance compensation was greater or equal to $5226.64 per student then there would have been an on-going 1.5% salary bump. If the compensation was less than that number then the salary bump would only have been for the 2012-2013 and would have reverted back to 2011-2012 levels.
In the rejected contract there was a “collaboration pilot” for the 2012-2013 which I’m not sure actually means in concrete terms of how it would have made an impact within the classroom other than saying that the intent was to “improve instruction.” The collaboration pilot would have necessitated some slight adjustments in the school day for students either once a week or once every two weeks depending on the school.
There was a new “Academic Freedom” portion in the contract which would have allowed teachers to “exercise professional judgment” to fulfill their duties. Which essentially means that teachers would have been able to bring any supplemental materials that they thought would enhance their curriculum, but they still would have had to use District selected materials unless they found outdated or erroneous information within the text and then they would have needed to report that to the Director of Curriculum and Instruction.
In the rejected agreement there was language about the magnet and innovative programs that said that the provisions of 10.04.042 (p.50) would not apply to teachers who elected to go to magnet programs, which essentially just means no seniority preference for positions in the magnets and innovative programs.
There were also new class size maximums which replaced the old contract which would have reverted the K-3 class sizes back down to 20:1. So here were the new maximums for the grade levels:
So, if you are like me, you will note that in the Fiscal Emergency some of the maximize class sizes are actually lower than the normal class size maximums which is really odd. Added into the mix was a provision that if Measure A is repealed or expires, class sizes for K-3 will revert to 32:1.
Also, I don’t know if this was a new provision or not, too lazy to go back and check the old contract, but in this contract there was a clause that stated that if a teacher has more students than the established maximums within a certain time period then they will be compensated additional monies.
So that was sort of a brief summary of what was in the rejected contract. I honestly don’t know what happens now. I guess back to the bargaining table, but this uncertainty is so disheartening it feels like there will never be a compromise that works for both sides.