Will CUEA return to the bargaining table with CUSD?


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Earlier today I spoke CUSD Board of Trustees member Ken Maddox regarding today’s letter from Christine Balentine, CUEA Executive Director to Board President Bryson.

CUEA, the Capistrano Unified Education Association, is currently in negotiations with the Capistrano Unified School District,and threatening to strike, that has resulted in parents keeping their children out of the District’s public schools. Nice. Use our children as pawns in this fight. These tactics are in direct conflict with Ballot Measures supported by teachers unions that say “its for the children” but I digress.

The CUEA letter, That I obtained from the Capistrano Insider blog post, reads:

CUEA Proposal to the CUSD

“The District agrees that the salary and benefit cuts imposed on teachers will be temporary and expire on June 30, 2011. The District further agrees to restore salary, unpaid work days and benefit cuts in the event any additional funds are received that were unforeseen at the time this agreement was reached during the term of the agreement. The District further agrees to implement already jointly agreed to contract language as stipulated in the Fact Finding Hearing.

In order to expedite this process and avert a strike, the District has until Tuesday, April 20th at 5:P.M. to confirm to CUEA in writing that this proposal is acceptable. If the District fails to respond, or fails to accept this simple and straightforward proposal, it will understood by CUEA as a rejection and as a refusal to return to the bargaining table.

The CUEA Bargaining team is ready, willing, and prepared to return to the bargaining table on Tuesday, April 20 through Friday, April 23 in order to reach a settlement with CUSD.”

The letter was sent to John Rajcic, Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo with copies to Jodee Brentlinger, Assistant Superintendent, Personnel Services; Anna Bryson, CUSD Board of Trustees, President; and Vickie Soderberg, CUEA President.

This proposal was in response to statements made by School Board President Bryson and interim Superintendent Mahler that the District was prepared to negotiate a Memorandum of Understanding with the teachers union to make the salary and benefit cuts temporary.”

In our discussion Ken said that their responsibility is to make sure that our children get the best education possible with the funds available.  What the general public is not aware of is that School Districts, by state law, must maintain a minimum reserve in their budget.
Ken pointed out how well CUSD students have performed in recent testing which he attributes to the combined dedication of the students, parents and teachers.

Let me add that the $50 million Taj Mahal CUSD HQ was not authorized or constructed on the watch of any of the present Board Members.

Furthermore, they have no control of our state Legislature reductions in funding that impacts every District in the state.
To see how well CUSD has performed in the CA Standard Tests and CA High School Exit Exams simply go to :
http://www.greatschools.org/cgi-bin/ca/district-profile/467#CSTResults
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