Send in your ballots! Last chance to vote NO on this contract.

EDU has been out at the informational meetings for the tentative contract agreement the past two days. If you’re still holding that ballot, get it in the mail this Thursday to make sure it is delivered to the union office by Monday evening!

We haven’t changed our minds about voting no. Here’s a few more reasons why:

EED: layoffs
When asked how many pre-K paraprofessionals would lose their jobs because of the consolidation of hours, president Dennis Kelly answered that the district says there will be no additional layoffs. Yes, the district has already laid off all the paras they’re going to layoff as a result of this deal, which has not yet been voted on. A few problems with this. 1. We should not take the district at their word. There’s no contractual guarantee they won’t lay off. 2. SFUSD doesn’t have any limits on when to layoff EED paras like in the regular school day program ( the March and May 15th dates we’ve all become so familiar with). They can lay off whenever they want with a 45 day notice. 3. So….since the paras have already been laid off this is supposed to be a good thing that no additional layoffs will happen? I don’t get it. Our para force is shrinking, they haven’t had a raise in years and they don’t make a living wage. It’s outrageous.

Class size: staffing allocation table gone (except for K-3)
One bargaining team member said in response to questions about the staffing allocation table being removed for all but K-3 that we, ” never had class size limits.” I just don’t get it. Many years in this district I have walked into my principal’s office with the contract in hand, pointed to the staffing allocation table and demanded that changes be made. It was a tool that helped members fight for their rights at their own sites. It’s gone now. Everyone is clear that the word “goals” doesn’t mean limit.

Special Education: Resource specialist responsibility changes and INCREASED caseload!
While classroom teaching responsibilities for resource specialists(31.9.1.2) could be a positive role toward developing inclusive practices and RTI at a school site, the TA does not lower the caseloads forteachers willing to teach in blended classes. The SFUSD audit suggested caseloads of 8-14 for all special education teachers as a final goal. It’s not unreasonable at all to demand a dramatically lower caseload for resource specialists; they cannot effectively implement inclusive practices and develop an RTI model with such large caseload responsibilities. Unfortunately, the TA eliminated the staffing allocation table and with it the 24 student RSP limit. The “goal” section remains with RSP at 28 students. giving teachers 4 more students and hitting the limit of the federal mandate. This is going in the opposite direction of the audit recommendations and increasing the exploitation of RSPs. It is bound to fuel more SPED burnout.

One union member asked, “A lot of what I’ve read is what we conceded to or status quo. What’s the big pluses of this contract?” Here’s part of the answer this member got: “If you’re in k-3 it’s a significant defense” and “some of the advancements were holding our ground” Holding ground and defenses are not advances. They just aren’t. We won’t win win advances without a struggle. We have not yet struggled.

Vote NO and send a message to SFUSD that we are ready to fight for our students, our city and our jobs.