SCUSD Chapter News & Bargaining Update #20
As you all know, COVID and the Omicron variant have decimated our schools this month. The short staffing has led to chaos, and the District has no plan to address it.
At the last SCUSD Board of Education meeting on January 13:
- The Board extended the deadline to have all students vaccinated for another month. They did NOT extend the staff deadline to vaccinate or submit an exemption by Jan 31.
- The Board heard numerous parent, teacher, and staff public comments about how our District is putting children and staff at risk through short staffing
- In an unprecedented move, three Board members (Lavinia Gracie Phillips, Chinua Rhodes, and Leticia Garcia) requested “COVID leave extensions” be added to a future meeting agenda.
On January 19, we met with the District again for contract negotiations. Given the current staffing and health/safety crisis, we asked for an immediate side letter agreement to address the ongoing catastrophe.
Specifically, we made THREE PROPOSALS to help us raise morale and alleviate the staffing crisis:
- HAZARD PAY – We asked for $3,000 for each SEIU-represented employee
- EXTENSION OF COVID SICK LEAVE – We want the District to immediately extend COVID sick leave banks that would be retroactive to January 2021 as well as going forward.
- TWO WELLNESS DAYS – We asked for all employees to get two upcoming paid days off to boost morale and give employees time who are struggling with time to get vaccinated, get boosted, or do their own research on the vaccine.
The District told us they “would get back to us” regarding our proposals.
The District gave us a counterproposal on new employee orientations which we do not agree with: They want them to remain always virtual. The union prefers to be able to meet the members in person. Our next collective bargaining session is scheduled for Wednesday, January 26.
Stay safe and healthy:
We have lost at least two of our classified staff to COVID so far, and we have another suffering from long COVID illness who can no longer work. Their families have been devastated.
- We strongly encourage all staff to get vaccinated, get boosted, or file for an exemption if they cannot.
- We urge all staff to wear an N95, KN95, or KF94 mask at all times at work, regardless of vaccination status.
- Right now, the USPS is providing 4 free at-home rapid COVID-19 testing for each household. Register now for delivery here. They will mail each household the kits within 2-3 weeks time.
Governor Newsom submitted an initial budget proposal that includes record funding for education. This means the District not only has the money to pay for our proposals, but their budget situation is continuing to look more positive than we already know it is.
- We will have scheduled “strike school” dates to educate
members on what our choices will be if the District continues to
engage in illegal unfair labor practices. We want everyone
trained and prepared in the event that we ever decide to take
action against the district. Those dates will be sent out
- *No strike has currently been called. A strike can only happen following a vote of union members.
- We are filing legal charges. If you have experienced or are currently experiencing unsafe working conditions or are being asked to do work that you are not properly trained to do safely, please let us know the details of what is happening occurring and when.
- Please sign our petition if you haven’t already! Signing this
petition is the first step in showing solidarity with your union
in standing against unfair treatment from the employer. By
providing your name, personal email, and phone number, you also
ensure we can keep you informed on any actions that your union is
planning for the future.
- Sign the petition online here.
- Or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a hard copy of the petition.
Listen to teacher Erin Duarte speak at the last board meeting about how COVID is impacting our schools. (Make sure to listen all the way to the end!)