School Board to Disclose Latest Collective Bargaining Agreement and Its Impact on Budget Issues
• District Cannot Call May Tax Vote an ‘Emergency’ Measure But Gives No Explanation of Why Not
BY SUZANNE GULDIMANN
BY SUZANNE GULDIMANN
At its Feb. 18 meeting in Santa Monica, the Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District board of education, struggling to cope with a $14 million deficit, will discuss the terms of a collective bargaining agreement contract tentatively reached with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Local 99 and the district covering the period beginning July 1, 2008, and ending June 30, 2010, according to the meeting agenda.
The agreement includes a complex array of what are represented as cost-saving measures, ranging from a five-day reduction in the school year for the next two years—anticipated to save the district $2 million per year, to early retirement incentives for district employees.
The proposed agreement still needs to be ratified by the unions that represent district teachers and employees. SEIU’s membership vote is expected to be completed before March 4, 2010.
Salaries would be frozen as part of the agreement, but health and welfare benefits would not be touched, according to a staff report.
The plan counts on passage of a $198 per property parcel tax in May. If the tax fails to pass, negotiations would have to be reopened, and additional layoffs are predicted.
Administrators are also reportedly taking cuts. Superintendent Tim Cuneo, who has been under fire recently for receiving one of the highest salaries in the area for his past, has stated that he will be affected by the proposed furlough days, which will result in cutting approximately six days of pay and approximately $5000 in benefits from his $220,000 salary.
At the same meeting, the board of education is scheduled to discuss removing the word “emergency” from the language of the proposed parcel tax measure. Instead, the measure will be called “a special temporary tax,” rather than an emergency tax.