2017 Contract Negotiations

Sign the Online Letter to the Board of Ed Today

Sign here: Urge the Board and the Admin to Agree to the 18% Wage Increase Proposed by the UESF Bargaining Team and to Stop the Cuts to Special Education.

Over 750 Rally at the Board of Education!

may9-rally1

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Resources

SFUSD Budget Analysis

Hold a T-Shirt Day at Your School Every Week

T-shirt Order Form

UESF Membership Survey Results
Read the recap of our December bargaining survey of over 1500 UESF members.

Introducing the UESF Bargaining Team

Media:

San Francisco ranks last for teacher housing, report, Curbed SF, 4-20-17

SF educators rally against lack of teacher housing, federal cuts to schools, SF Examiner, 4-11-17

Teachers sound off on slow pace of housing crisis, SF Chronicle, 3-23-17

Affordability tops agenda of SF school trustee Mark Sanchez,
Bay Area Reporter, 2-9-17

High cost of living is key issue in SF school board race,
SF Chronicle, 10-11-2016

SF educators still waiting for promised teacher housing, SF Chronicle, 2-14-17

Chronicle Special Report:

special-reportRead the bombshell report published by the San Francisco Chronicle on how SFUSD teachers are getting priced out of SF. (PDF version)

UESF Bargaining Team Makes Major Proposals
in Support of Safe and Supportive Schools Resolution

May 24, 2017

At the bargaining table yesterday, the UESF Bargaining Team introduced several major proposals that will strengthen and support the groundbreaking Safe and Supportive Schools resolution in the SFUSD. The package of proposals was developed based on substantial input from UESF’s allies in the Close the Gap Coalition, a community coalition that UESF is a part of that seeks to close the opportunity gap for low-income students of color.

The package proposed by the UESF team yesterday includes a proposal to establish a pilot project at five elementary schools that creates an alternative learning space for students who need time away from the classroom, either as a respite for their own learning or because their behavior has led to a disruption for other students. The alternative space would be staffed by educators who are trained in cultural competency, restorative practices, positive behavior interventions and support, Multi-Tiered Systems of Support, and trauma-informed practices, and would continue to be an academic space with social-emotional learning components for the students, as opposed to a punitive space like a detention center. The proposal acknowledges that students sometimes need a different space to re-focus when they are upset or overwhelmed, but also need continued access to their education.

Based on feedback from across the district, the UESF team also proposed the establishment of re-entry plans that set clear behavioral and academic expectations and supports that will be provided for students who have been removed from the classroom or school. The re-entry plan would involve parents, students, teachers, administrators, and if possible other school site support staff. The re-entry plan would be mandated for students who are suspended from class or school, and for students who spend two or more days in the alternative learning space.

The UESF team also proposed to insert UESF into the provision in the Safe and Supportive Schools resolution that directs the superintendent or his designee to find alternatives to the current disparate disciplinary outcomes for African American students. The proposal was made in order to ensure that the district is accountable to the worthwhile goal, and that UESF is an active participant in the endeavor.

Firming up essential training and support for the Safe and Supportive Schools resolution is also a constant theme throughout the UESF Bargaining Team’s proposals. The team proposed assurances for equitable access to Pupil Services supports, based on suspension and referral rates and a school’s MTSS tier, and included provisions for timely support from Pupil Services when coaching is needed for individuals, and when greater support is needed for school-wide communities.

Finally, the UESF team proposed several changes to the contract that would strengthen the current language on schoolwide student behavior plans, creating a more accountable structure for not only having a schoolwide plan, but for implementing and monitoring the plans as well.

At the table yesterday the UESF team accepted the SFUSD’s proposal for a special joint Special Education Committee to explore a school tiering system based on special education needs. The SFUSD had previously accepted UESF’s proposal for the same committee to explore the feasibility of a Special Education case coordination position. The team also re-iterated our proposal on caseload and workload for RSP teachers.

State Budget and District Finances

Yesterday at the bargaining table representatives from the SFUSD made a presentation on how the governor’s May revise to the state budget will impact district finances. The SFUSD analysts presented that despite news reports indicating schools would receive additional funding, the district was projecting slightly lower support from the state. Working with our state affiliates, UESF will conduct our own analysis of the state budget, which is set to be finalized in Sacramento at the end of June.

The UESF team also made an information request to the SFUSD, requesting details about the promised 3% cuts the district committed to make to the central office departments and staff. The team also asked for the titles and number of new positions in the administration for this school year and those anticipated for next school year.

The first reading of the district’s 2017-2018 budget is set to be unveiled at the school board meeting on June 13th. The UESF team will review the budget and provide feedback to the administration and the Board of Education to ensure they are meeting their commitments to streamline the budget away from the classroom.

The next round of negotiations is set for June 6th, when the SFUSD has promised to bring a proposal on staffing and assignment for the certificated contract. The UESF team is working on proposals on reducing testing and strengthening language for itinerant teachers and other non-classroom educators. UESF members are encouraged to attend the June 13th Board of Education meeting when the 17-18 budget will be discussed.

Add Your Name to the Online Letter to the Board of Education

Thanks to the hundreds of UESF members who have signed the online letter to the Board of Education and district leadership urging them to offer a substantial wage increase and to stop the cuts to special education.

If you haven’t gotten a chance to sign the letter, please do so today. It takes just a moment!

Professional Pay and Respect for
Para-Educators Discussed at the Bargaining Table

May 17, 2017

Yesterday in negotiations, the UESF Bargaining Team and representatives from the SFUSD discussed issues of professional pay and respect for paraprofessionals.

The SFUSD responded to UESF’s 18% wage proposal for all para-educators with an 11% raise over three years, plus two additional professional development days. The revised proposal by the SFUSD represents an additional 1% wage increase above their initial offer of 10% over three years, with the same caveat for classified as for certificated that all 18 Prop. A PD hours would be eliminated for paras, thereby cancelling out some of the increased compensation.

The SFUSD negotiators also rejected the UESF Bargaining Team’s proposal that all C10 early education para-educators be placed on the same salary schedule as A01 paras, who do essentially the same work, but get paid $3 more per hour. The SFUSD did suggest the creation of a committee to review the UESF proposal, but highlighted the economic impact that the increase would have on the overall SFUSD budget. For the UESF team it is a matter of equity – educators who do the same work should be paid on the same salary schedule.

While the SFUSD did accept some of the language proposals on professionalization in Article 17 of the classified contract, including acknowledging the good work being done in the district on career pathways for paras, they also rejected a simple proposal on what to call paras.

At an earlier session, the UESF team proposed replacing all mentions of ‘paraprofessionals’ in the contract with ‘para-educators’. The simple change would cost the district no money, but would recognize that our classified staff are valuable educators in our schools and classrooms. Unbelievably, representatives from the SFUSD rejected this proposal, arguing that the definition of paraprofessional in the state education code has a very limited meaning, and that therefore not all paraprofessionals are educators.

Also at the table yesterday, the UESF team re-asserted our proposal that UESF members should be given the first opportunity to deliver beginning of the year professional development to fellow UESF members. The team also called for specific training on trauma-informed practices and Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports.

The UESF team spent part of the afternoon yesterday working on a Safe and Supportive Schools proposal. The next round of negotiations will take place on May 23rd.

SFUSD Counter Proposals on Wages and Special Education Show Little Movement

May 10, 2017

At the bargaining table yesterday, representatives from the SFUSD offered counter proposals on the UESF Bargaining Team’s proposals on wages and special education. Unfortunately, the SFUSD’s response on both counts came up short.

While the SFUSD negotiators did propose to increase their compensation offer to 11% over three years, in so doing they proposed eliminating the 18 hours of Prop. A professional development available to all UESF members every year. They also reiterated that in order to get to the 11% raise, two additional professional development days be added to every school year starting in 2018-2019.

The UESF team has made professional development a priority during this round of negotiations, arguing that in order to fulfill our obligations to properly implement the Safe and Supportive Schools resolution and Special Education, more and better training is necessary. So the team was quite surprised when the district proposed eliminating, and not expanding, essential Prop. A professional development.

The district’s offer on Special Education was also a mixed bag yesterday. The SFUSD agreed to symbolic language acknowledging that UESF is a partner in meeting the needs of students in Special Education. The district also was open to exploring the creation of a Case Coordinator position in the SFUSD to help educators with paperwork and scheduling, and they proposed that centralized special education staff be accessible for technical assistance to support inclusive practices.

However, otherwise district representatives essentially rejected everything put forward by the UESF team at an earlier session, including our proposal that the district provide advanced notice to schools when they wish to place a new SOAR class or Special Day class at a school. Such notice would go a long way to ensure that educators can properly prepare for the students. The district also rejected the creation of a simple formula that would help balance the workload of RSP teachers based not only on the number of students, but the number of classes they teach.

The SFUSD also proposed that the joint UESF/SFUSD Special Education committee not deal with issues of concern at individual sites, instead only focusing on district-wide concerns. The UESF team does not support the idea of limiting the scope of the joint committee, because of the good solutions-based work that gets done there.

The UESF team is preparing more proposals that impact Special Education for an upcoming bargaining session. The next round of negotiations is set to take place on May 16th.

SFUSD Rejects UESF Team’s Proposals to Improve Professional Development

UESF reaffirms 184 day work year for certificated members

April 25, 2017

At the bargaining table yesterday, representatives from the SFUSD rejected nearly all of the professional development proposals previously made by the UESF Bargaining Team.

On March 21st the UESF team proposed major updates in the way professional development is delivered in order to support the Safe and Supportive Schools resolution and the delivery of special education in the district. The proposal called for two of the first three teacher training days at the beginning of the school year to focus on (1) school-wide, class-wide, and individual student behavior plans, (2) restorative practices, and (3) special education inclusive practices. The UESF team also proposed that the design and facilitation of these training sessions first be offered to qualified and willing UESF members at the sites or from other district sites, instead of outside consultants.

While the UESF Team, parent advocates, and the district’s own LCAP task force see these areas as critical for the success of our students, SFUSD negotiators claimed that spelling out the essential trainings would tie the hands of the district, insisting on the need to maintain flexibility. The district also questioned the ability of our members to deliver high quality professional development, saying that there simply wasn’t enough capacity within our ranks. The district also rejected our proposal that beginning of the year trainings be made available to all substitute teachers. Needless to say, the UESF team disagrees with the district’s assessment and rejection of the proposals.

On a more promising note, SFUSD negotiators agreed to a UESF proposal increasing the amount the district would reimburse special education teachers for tuition when they are required to get additional authorizations to retain their credentials. The agreed upon amount will now be increased from $1,500 to $2,000.

Yesterday at the bargaining table, the UESF team also presented the final piece of our compensation proposals. We reaffirmed the current 184 day work year for certificated members and proposed additional time for para-educator professional development and planning time.

In and era when more and more is expected of para-educators, quality professional development is key to ensure that they have the skills and training to do the work. To that end, and in response to the SFUSD’s earlier proposal of two PD days for paras, the UESF team proposed three days of professional development for all paras at the beginning of every school year.

In order to strengthen the communication and coordination between para-educators and teachers, the UESF team also proposed requiring the district offer an hour of planning time per week for all paras. Current language in the contract established that such planning time be made available, but not required, and in practice many para-educators simply do not get the much-needed planning time.

The UESF team spent the afternoon discussing the union’s response to the district’s rejection of the union’s professional development proposals. The next round of negotiations is scheduled for Tuesday, May 9th, the day of our big rally at 555 Franklin. RSVP today (http://www.uesf.org/may9/), and make sure you work with your co-workers to maximize turnout from your site. Contact UESF Organizing Director Sarah Wilson atswilson [at] uesf [dot] org for support.

UESF Team Makes Major Proposal on SPED and Compensation for Paras

April 25, 2017

Today at negotiations with the SFUSD, the UESF Bargaining Team put forward major proposals on improvements to Special Education, an improved salary schedule for Early Education paraprofessionals, and an additional salary step for paraprofessionals.

A critical part of UESF’s campaign for Stable, Safe, and Supportive Schools is to ensure that SFUSD fully supports students with IEPs and the educators who serve them. With that goal, today the UESF Team put forward a package of proposals that would increase and improve support and training in Special Education. Proposals include:

* Providing more support for inclusive practices within general education classrooms, including development and delivery of relevant professional development.

* Timely notification to faculty and staff when new SDC or SOAR programs or services are placed at their site, so school communities can plan and implement relevant professional development, behavior and safety plans, and other related services.

* Establishing a formula to determine how many students teachers with blended caseloads are responsible for. The formula depends on the number of students and the number of classes assigned to the teacher.

* Assigning full-time Resource Specialists at all Tier 2 and Tier 3 schools from the beginning of the year, regardless of the number of students with IEPs, and maintaining full-time RSP support for one to two years for schools that are reclassified to lower tiers in the district’s tiered system of supports.

* A further commitment that the work of the Inclusion Team and the review of IEP and IFSP documents will occur during time allotted within the workday.

* Requiring schools with SOAR programs to provide a classroom and an adjacent, appropriate, and adequate de-escalation room.

* Establishing a joint UESF/SFUSD committee to explore the creation of a case coordinator position to assist special education teachers and service providers in paperwork and coordination.

Equity for Paras

This week a study released by rental site ApartmentList  found that San Francisco ranked dead last of 50 cities surveyed for rent burden placed on local teachers. But the rent burden placed on paraprofessionals, who make on average $27,000 a year, is even more extreme. The impact has been felt across the City, with massive para turnover on a year-to-year basis and the district unable to fill critical para positions throughout the entire school year, especially for paras working in special education.

To help address the crisis, and as a stand for equity for paras and the students they serve, the UESF Team today proposed an additional 5% step on the salary schedule for all paraprofessionals. The amount would be in addition to the salary increase proposed last week. The UESF team also called for a longevity bonus of $1.00 for all paras with 15 years of experience, replacing the current longevity bonus of $.30 an hour for paras with ten years of experience.

Unfortunately, upon hearing the UESF proposal on para pay, SFUSD’s initial response was incredibly disrespectful, as it was said that the proposal would cause costs to go through the roof. It would seem keeping paras in the schools for the long term is low on their priority list. This is why our school board rally on May 9th is so important.

Negotiations with the SFUSD are set to resume on May 2nd.

UESF Bargaining Team Proposes 18% Raise Over Three Years

Wage Re-Openers and Dependent Healthcare Coverage Also Put on Table

April 18, 2017

In recognition of the continuing destabilizing impact the affordability crisis is having on our profession and our schools, today at negotiations with the SFUSD the UESF Bargaining Team proposed an 18% raise over the coming three school years for all members: A 7% raise in 2017-2018, a 6% raise in 2018-2019, and a 5% raise in 2019-2020. The UESF team also proposed re-openers on wages in the 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 school years should district revenues exceed projections, with no possibility of givebacks.

In addition to the wages proposal, and in recognition of high healthcare costs pushing educator families out of the district, the UESF team also proposed an increase in the district’s contributions to dependent care coverage: Increasing the district contribution from $223.72 to $346.02 a month for employee plus one dependent and increasing the district contribution from $273.72 to $729.92 per month for employee plus two dependents.

According to the state budget blueprint released by the Governor in January, funding increases for K-12 public education will slow considerably during the coming three years. However, the severity of the affordability crisis and the resulting turnover crisis in the SFUSD mean that the district must now make the hard decisions necessary in order to prioritize the classroom. Otherwise the crisis is only going to get worse.

The UESF team does not accept the district’s proposal that any wage increase above 10% would need “reductions in collectively bargained working conditions” (also known as student learning conditions). Over the past several years the administration has grown substantially in the SFUSD. For example, administrator salaries have increased from 5.4% of the total budget in 2011-2012 to 7.08% this school year, with spending on central office (a subset of all of the administration) increasing by over $4.6 million during that time. According to data recently obtained by the UESF Bargaining Team, total district office staff has increased by over 9% since the 2013-2014 school year alone.

In addition to streamlining administration, the SFUSD should also look at using the district portion of Prop. A (QTEA) revenue to support educator wage increases and to spending down some of their ending fund balance. As a matter of course over the past several years, the SFUSD has consistently under-estimated projections for their ending balance, on average underestimating the amount by about $19 million a year. This conservative approach may seem like prudent management, but the costs of maintaining such high balances is the staff turnover that now overwhelms the district.

The UESF compensation proposal was put together after weeks of thorough analysis by the UESF Bargaining Team and is as high as the team feels the district can go without hurting direct student and educator supports and services. Yet the turnover crisis in the SFUSD, punctuated by the heart-wrenching testimony of dozens of UESF members at the March 22nd housing hearing at City Hall, clearly shows that more must be done and fast. That is why the SFUSD must join with UESF and other education supporters in placing a revenue measure on the San Francisco ballot as soon as possible to support our schools, and why the district and the City leaders must find the political will to finally commit to building educator housing ASAP. This three-pronged approach is our best bet to address the crisis for the long term.

At the table today, the representatives from the SFUSD also presented counter-proposals to several UESF proposals, including leaves for all UESF members and professional development for new paraprofessionals.

All Out to the May 9th Rally at the Board of Education

may9-rallyLet’s show the SFUSD that we, and our students, are worth the investment by showing up in force at the board meeting at 555 Franklin on May 9th! Together we will take a stand for Stable, Safe, and Supportive Schools, celebrate the Day of the Teacher, and welcome the new superintendent to his very first board meeting! The rally will take place from 4:15-6:00 p.m., with a speak-out during public comment. Spread the word and RSVP online and on UESF’s Facebook page.

Bargaining Update: District Compensation Offer a Solid First Step

April 5, 2017

Yesterday at the bargaining table, representatives from the SFUSD made an initial compensation offer to the UESF bargaining team. The UESF team had requested the district make the offer at the previous negotiating session as a sign of good faith to UESF members.

While the UESF team acknowledges the district’s proposal is a solid first step in negotiations, the offer is insufficient to meet the growing affordability crisis faced by educators in San Francisco. Without a stronger commitment, the SFUSD will continue to see staggering teacher and para turnover in the years ahead, which will continue to destabilize our schools.

Additional funding from the state of California is slowing considerably this year, and hard decisions will need to be made to meaningfully address the crisis. While urgently pursuing educator housing and working to identify additional revenue sources to support our under-funded schools are essential, the most important thing the district can do at this moment is to prioritize the work in the classroom and at the school sites within the current budget.

Unfortunately, the district’s offer included a proposal that any additional compensation above and beyond what they offered yesterday would need to be offset by “reductions in collectively bargained working conditions”. It is unclear what exactly this means.

We believe instead that any and all cuts should come as far away from teaching and learning as possible. Possible revenue sources include the district portion of the Prop. A parcel tax (QTEA), and cuts to the central administration.

The UESF team is also deeply concerned about the district’s proposal to hold a meet and confer on wages in the third year of the contract with the potential of reducing the proposed salary increases should revenue projections fall short. The certainty of any scheduled wage increase is essential to keep educators in our schools.

The UESF bargaining team will continue to evaluate the SFUSD proposal in the coming days. The next negotiating session will take place on April 11th, immediately before our march and rally for public education and a new contract from 4:00-6:00 p.m.

SFUSD offer details:

Compensation

For paraprofessionals the offer includes a 10% raise over three years, plus an additional two paid professional development days at the beginning of each school year, starting in 2018-2019 and ongoing thereafter.

For teachers and other certificated educators, the offer includes a 10% raise over three years, with an extension of the work year from 184 days to 186 days starting in the 2018-2019 school year and ongoing thereafter. The two additional days would be in the form of additional professional development days. Pay for this additional work would be encompassed in the wage increases on the salary schedule.

Healthcare

Starting in the 2018-2019 school year, and ongoing thereafter, the SFUSD would increase its contribution by $50 per month for all UESF members with employee + 1 healthcare, and $100 per month for all UESF members with employee +2 healthcare. While moving in the right direction, this offer also falls short of providing the relief our members with families need.The UESF team is also deeply concerned about the structure of the district’s healthcare proposal, which would be delayed by a year should the UESF team not sign off on the new contract by June 30, 2017. Setting an arbitrary date to delay their offer seems unnecessarily mean-spirited and certainly doesn’t instill confidence that the district is a family-friendly workplace.

UESF Team Pushes SFUSD for Compensation Proposal and Puts Forward Major Safe and Supportive Schools Training Proposal

Bargaining Update 4 – March 28, 2017

The UESF Bargaining Team met with representatives from the SFUSD at the bargaining table last Tuesday, March 21st. A day before dozens of UESF members offered incredible testimony at City Hall on the impact the affordability crisis is having on educators in every corner of the City, the UESF team pushed the district representatives to put forward a compensation package that will meet the crisis head on.

Both UESF President Lita Blanc and Executive Vice-President Susan Solomon stressed to the district that their initial wage offer should recognize not only the crisis at hand, but should demonstrate respect and commitment to the thousands of educators who work for the SFUSD. The UESF leadership also refused to accept the false dichotomy of cutting services to students as a necessary “trade-off” for increased wages, instead stressing that if any cuts are necessary, they should come as far away from teaching and learning as possible. The UESF team also reminded the district that they had yet to offer a promised presentation on the SFUSD’s restricted budget, the portion of the budget that is earmarked for specific purposes.

In 2014, the SFUSD Board of Education passed the Safe and Supportive Schools resolution, a landmark effort to address issues of racial inequality in the SFUSD. UESF was an early supporter of the resolution, and has worked to ensure its successful implementation. As part of that commitment, the UESF team put forward a major proposal on Tuesday on professional development to support Safe and Supportive Schools. The proposal calls for two of the first three teacher training days at the beginning of the school year to focus on (1) school-wide, class-wide, and individual student behavior plans, (2) restorative practices, and (3) special education inclusive practices. The trainings would be available to all certificated members, including substitute teachers.

The team also proposed that the design and facilitation of these training sessions first be offered to qualified and willing UESF members at the sites or from other district sites, instead of outside consultants.

The proposal is powerful because it supports three critical areas identified by UESF members: Student behavior plans, special education inclusive practices, and restorative practices. Parents and the larger education community also understand the importance of PD in these areas as a critical way for educators to support the most at need students. The proposal would place UESF members, the actual educators implementing the Safe and Supportive Schools Resolution, in charge of developing and implementing the trainings, another key priority identified by members. Another major benefit of the proposal is that it is virtually cost-neutral for SFUSD.

At the table on Tuesday, the UESF team also put forward two new proposals for paraprofessionals. With TK-12 schools set to close for the entire Thanksgiving week in the coming school year, many paras will be pushed to the financial limit during the November/December holiday season, when there are far fewer days of work. In order to make sure paras, who often live paycheck-to-paycheck, are able to get by that week, the UESF team proposed an additional two floating holidays for all paraprofessionals.

In order to ensure that paraprofessionals have a successful beginning to their careers in the SFUSD, the UESF team also proposed that all newly hired para-educators receive on-site in-service training within five days of their first day on the job. The district was open to the idea, but countered that the training should take place within the first twenty days.

The UESF team reiterated that paraprofessionals who serve in the absence of a teacher should receive additional pay for that work. District negotiators have counter-proposed that no paraprofessional should be requested to serve in the place of an absent teacher, even in an emergency.

Finally, the UESF team put forward a proposal increasing district support for tuition for mandated Special Education authorizations to $2,000, up from $1,500.

The next bargaining session is set for Tuesday, April 4th. UESF has also called for a major rally at the Board of Education meeting on April 11th. Save the date and look for more information soon!

Bargaining Update 3: Budget Discussions are An Issue of Priorities
March 9, 2017

The SFUSD has made it clear that in order to provide essential salary increases for teachers, para-educators, and other front-line educators, that certain tradeoffs will be necessary in the broader budget. Unfortunately, the tradeoffs they have publicly shared with parents and the broader community typically involve cuts to programs and staff that directly impact student learning and success.

From UEF’s perspective, the issue is one of priorities. We believe that any cuts the district makes should come as far away from critical teaching and learning as possible. Frankly, the first place to look is directly at 555 Franklin. For example, financial documents filed by the SFUSD show that the Central Office budget, which is just a portion of 555 Franklin, has grown from $14.7 million in the 2011-2012 school year to $19.3 million this year – a 32% increase! Surely there is space to not only streamline, but to re-align a good portion of that funding.

As budget discussions are underway at the school sites and throughout the district, it is imperative that we hold the district accountable to the core mission of supporting our students and the educators who directly serve them. It’s that simple.

UESF Seeks Parity for Para-Educators for Leaves

At the bargaining table on Tuesday, after a morning work session by both sides, the UESF Bargaining Team met for two hours with district representatives. Most of that time was devoted to UESF counter-proposals on leaves for both certificated and classified members. A key goal of the UESF team is to achieve gains for para-educators that are already in the certificated contract. The improvements we proposed included setting a guaranteed minimum daily pay for those using extended sick leave days for pregnancy leave and allowing two parents to take family leave, if both are SFUSD employees.

During the discussions, the district also proposed eliminating the language in the contract that allows for para-educators to provide emergency coverage for absent teachers in response to our previous proposal to compensate para-educators who are being asked to do so. Paras covering for teachers in the classroom is such a frequent practice at so many schools in the SFUSD that we can only wonder what their proposal would mean practically in the classroom. What other options do schools have in an emergency situation?

In our effort to get all of the information we need about the district’s finances, the UESF team continues to demand more transparency from the SFUSD in their budget reports, including greater details on the district’s restricted budget, which covers programs such as

UESF members at the UESF LCAP and organizing meeting Wednesday night wear red in support of International Women’s Day. Ready to get organized at your school site? Contact UESF Organizing Director Sarah Wilson at swilson [at] uesf [dot] org.

In our effort to get all of the information we need about the district’s finances, the UESF team continues to demand more transparency from the SFUSD in their budget reports, including greater details on the district’s restricted budget, which covers programs such as Special Education and Early Education.

During talks Tuesday, the UESF team also proposed to maintain the status quo on sabbaticals in response to the district’s proposal to temporarily suspend the program.

The next bargaining session will take place on March 21st.

Para Working Conditions, Maternity Leave, and Sabbaticals Discussed at the Table

March 1, 2017

At our second bargaining session on February 28, 2017, UESF made two proposals to address working conditions for para-educators. First, in order to ensure that para-educators get the support they need at the beginning of their careers, we proposed that in-service training be provided for newly hired paras within five days of hire. Second, in recognition of the all-too-common reality that para-educators are called upon to fill in for absent teachers, we also proposed additional compensation for any who are asked to do so.

In order to align our contracts with new California Education Code rules providing for improved maternity and paternity leaves, which went into effect on January 1, 2017, the District proposed substantial changes to contract language for both certificated and classified members. The Bargaining Team is carefully reviewing all of these proposed changes to make sure we are getting maximum benefit for our members from the new legislation. We are also continuing to seek parity between the classified and the certificated contracts, as we have for many years.

The UESF Bargaining Team also called on District negotiators to clarify the cost of a 1% raise for our members.  Last week, Interim Superintendent Leigh incorrectly stated in a memo that a 1% across the board increase for UESF members would cost the SFUSD almost $5 million.  After being called out on the mistake, the District stated that the accurate figure for a 1% raise for UESF members is $4.2 million, and that the higher sum included administrative salaries. But even this seems high, as the initial figure we received from the SFUSD for a 1% raise for all UESF members was $3.7 million. We are seeking verification from the district what the accurate number truly is, along with all supporting documentation.

At the table, the district also proposed eliminating all sabbaticals for the 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 school years, seeming to hedge on their commitment to reinstating them after that. The reason given for the proposal was the teacher shortage, and no explanation was given as to what they would do with the cost savings.

The Bargaining Team is continuing to analyze the district budget in advance of talks on compensation. The team is also developing proposals around special education, professional development, and safe and supportive schools. The next round of negotiations will take place on March 6, 2017.

March 8th LCAP Discussion & Organizing Meeting

All UESF members are welcome at our UBC training on Wednesday, March 8th in the auditorium of Rosa Parks Elementary School (1501 O’Farrell St.).

From 4:00-5:00 p.m., we will take part in a conversation with district representatives from the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) Task Force. Members of the task force will share information about the budget & LCAP development process, provide context for SFUSD’s budget picture for the next few years, and hear from UESF members about our priorities.

From 5:00-6:00 p.m., we will hold a contract campaign organizing meeting, when we will hear an update from members of the UESF Bargaining Team, discuss site-based organizing strategies, and discuss parent and community outreach.

Please RSVP online.

Report on Opening Day of Negotiations

February 15, 2017

The first session of formal contract negotiations between UESF and SFUSD took place yesterday. We started with introductions of UESF’s and SFUSD’s bargaining team members to each other, followed by UESF communicating our belief that SFUSD must identify funds for a substantial across the board raise for all our members.

Both sides reviewed and agreed to ground rules for our meetings, which included our proposal that Executive Board members who are not on the Bargaining Team will be able to attend negotiating sessions as observers. The District presented its budget report for its Unrestricted General Funds, including its three-year projections for the 2017-18, 2018-19, and 2019-20 school years. At UESF’s request, SFUSD also presented the QTEA budget and agreed to provide UESF with the figures for its Restricted Funds, those which are earmarked for specific purposes, such as Special Education and Early Education. SFUSD declined our request for a presentation on the budget of SPARK, the District’s philanthropic arm which channels corporate and other donations to targeted programs within the District.

Upon UESF’s request, the District also provided us with an overview of its Local Control Accountability Plan, which accounts for the allocation of the funds that SFUSD receives from the state through the Local Control Funding Formula, tax revenue generated by Proposition 30, to be followed next year by its extension, Proposition 55.

The District’s most recent budget projections will inform the work of the UESF bargaining team, which will be meeting next week, as it has several times already, to continue our work of crafting and further developing our initial proposals. Beginning on February 28th, we are scheduled to meet with the District every Tuesday for the remainder of the school year.

Click here for a complete list of the members of the UESF Bargaining Team, and for links and resources for our contract campaign, check out the resource portion of this web page.

Special thanks to Cassondra Curiel from Visitacion Valley Middle School and Dante Popalisky from Washington High School who spoke up at last night’s Board of Education meeting, sharing their stories of how the affordability crisis is undermining their ability to deliver a quality public education to our students. To watch a video of their testimony, click here and then click on item ‘J. Public Comment on General Matters.’ If you would like to share your story with the media or at an upcoming Board of Ed meeting, please send an email to UESF Communications Director Matthew Hardy at mhardy [at] uesf [dot] org.

In recognition of our contract talks opening with the SFUSD on Valentine’s Day, we asked educators throughout San Francisco what love means to them. Thanks to all who responded! Please check out and share this Facebook photo album for a sample of the dozens of UESF members who submitted their photos!In recognition of our contract talks opening with the SFUSD on Valentine’s Day, we asked educators throughout San Francisco what love means to them. Thanks to all who responded! Please check out and share this Facebook photo album for a sample of the dozens of UESF members who submitted their photos!

What Love Means to UESF Members

love-means9In recognition of our contract talks opening with the SFUSD on Valentine’s Day, we asked educators throughout San Francisco what love means to them. Thanks to all who responded! Please check out and share this Facebook photo album for a sample of the dozens of UESF members who submitted their photos!

 

 

Contract Campaign for Stable, Safe, & Supportive Schools Begins February 14th

Schools encouraged to hold t-shirt days on Tuesday and take photos with “Love Means” cards to kick off negotiations

February 10, 2017

On Tuesday, February 14th the UESF bargaining team will sit down with representatives from the SFUSD to begin contract negotiations. The talks begin as the SFUSD is projecting the need to fill 664 certificated positions next school year, one out of every seven teachers who work in the district. And the turnover crisis for paraprofessionals is perhaps even worse, with many positions still unfilled months into this school year.

The affordability crisis continues to destabilize our schools, pushing more and more educators out of the City every year. The impact is clear to everyone: Our schools are being hit hard and the ability to deliver the education every student deserves is being threatened. Stable schools become even more important in light of the developing national political situation. Ensuring that our school communities have the stability and strength to take care of our students and their families requires educators who live in the communities we serve.

We are ready to stand up for our students, but we need the district’s help in order to do so.

To start the campaign, we ask that all school communities begin holding weekly t-shirt days, starting with next Tuesday, February 14th. If you need more t-shirts, please fill out and return this order form with payment to the UESF office and we will bring them to you as soon as we can.

Let the SFUSD Know What Love Means to You as We Start Our Contract Campaign

As the first day of negotiations begins on Valentine’s Day, we ask UESF members to take a photo with our first action card of the campaign, “Love Means“. Send photos to mhardy [at] uesf [dot] org and they will be posted online. A handful of rank-and-file educators will also speak out at the Board of Education meeting on Tuesday night, making sure the district leadership understands the human cost to the deepening affordability crisis.

As contract negotiations get underway, we will post updates and materials on this page. Updates will also come via our Facebook and Twitter feeds.

Staff at Drew Elementary lead the way on our “Love Means” message to the SFUSD!

 

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