The Turlock School Board approved rescinding all pending pink slips except the ones sent out due to lack of work, despite negotiations with the Turlock Teachers Association (TTA), California School Employees Association (CSEA), and Turlock Classified-American Federation of Teachers (TC-AFT) have been stalled out.
On May 18th at the Turlock Unified School District (TUSD) Board Meeting, the TUSD Board of Trustees accepted a 2 percent salary reduction by District administrators.
TUSD Superintendent Sonny DaMarto announced that the California Governor’s May Revise of the state budget did not further negatively impact TUSD’s budget projections for the 2010-11 year.
The TUSD Board has budgeted deficit spending from the reserve in the amount of $4 million for 2010-11 year.
Superintendent Sonny DaMarto requested the TUSD Board of Trustees rescind all of the certificated layoffs except the number of positions needed to cover the remaining 2 percent budget shortfall left after TUSD administration agreed to take a 2 percent salary reduction.
The TUSD Board of Trustees approved rescinding layoffs to save 59 certificated positions on May 18th.
There were still 19 certificated and 55 classified layoff notices pending until Tuesday’s June 1, 2010 TSUD Board Meeting.
On June 1st, the TUSD Board approved rescinding all the pink slips except the ones sent out due to lack of work, however the number of issued pink slips that will result in layoffs is still unknown as the District figures out what reduced services will not need employees. It was stated that all but four of the teacher positions will be saved
Superintendent DaMarto sent out a memo to staff stating that on May 4, 2010 the District filed for impasse with the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB). Impasse means that the parties are deadlocked as each party is holding firmly to their respective positions. At this point, PERB will be working with all parties to assist in breaking the stalemate .
The TUSD Board of Trustees did not allocate any more than the planned $4 million in reserves to rescind the pink slips, but rather are counting on the fairness of mediation in respects to the TTA, CSEA, and TC-AFT negotiations to come to the same 2 percent salary and benefit reduction agreement the District administrators offered.
“There have been suggestions that we furlough 700 teachers, we increase class sizes for 14,000 students, or we consider a reduction in salary and benefits… It seems like such a no-brainer to me,” said TUSD Trustee John Sims. “I’m amazed that we are still talking about these same things.”
Trustee Sims continued saying “I can not signal strongly enough to the community and to our employee groups that the reduction of the salaries… This Board is committed to that direction. And as long as it takes for us to be able to acquire that reduction is as long as we’ll be here asking for it”
TUSD Trustee Lauren Holt said “I’m happy to rescind the layoff notices, I think it’s important. It shows that the Board does not want to do that, does not want to layoff the teachers, does not want to increase the class size, and cares about the school calendar and the number of days. I think that creating furlough days can send the unwelcomed message that we don’t need to teach 180 days, and that we could get by with less number of days… We send the wrong the message by having furloughs go out.”
“I think this is a good move forward,” said TUSD Trustee Bob Weaver. “I’m never been in favor of furlough days, I’m not in favor of increasing class size; those two items are not good for the students of our district.”
TUSD Board President Frank Lima recapped that the Board was first asking for 2.5 percent salary reductions, found out attendance revenue was better than expected, administration adjusted down projections to require a unilateral salary reduction of 2 percent, and that the administrators offered their 2 percent salary and benefit reductions.
President Lima explained that he understands a lot of bad press has been put on teachers and unions, whether it’s from the state or local, but that it’s not really accurate.
“The reality is that we are all in this together,” said Lima. “It’s not because of the teachers, it’s not because of the administrators, and it’s not because of the parents, it’s not because of the Board; it’s because of all of us and we all have to step it up.”
TUSD Trustees Bob Weaver, Eileen Hamilton, and President Frank Lima reiterated that it was important to them that employees don’t have the uncertainty in regards to their livelihood.
The TUSD Board of Trustees voted unanimously to approve rescinding all layoff notices possible except those issues due to lack of work. Trustee Tami Muniz was not present.