Bargaining Update #7: Important Update Regarding Early Retirement & Retiree Health Insurance Coverage
November 1, 2019
LTA and the District met for their 8th and 9th negotiation sessions on Thursday, October 24th and Monday, October 28th. The sessions were productive with discussion and exchanges of proposals addressing all open articles including salary, health and welfare benefits, hours of employment, special education, class size, and safety, among others. The parties also spent time discussing the voluntary retirement program currently being offered to eligible bargaining unit members and additions to that program that address retiree health insurance coverage beyond 5 years up to age 65.

With respect to retiree health insurance coverage, under our current collective bargaining agreement, bargaining unit members who are 55 years or older, have been employed by LUSD for a minimum of 10 years, and who are receiving STRS benefits are eligible to receive health and welfare benefits through the District for a period not to exceed 5 years up to age 65 (Article 9.8). For purposes of the voluntary retirement program ONLY, LTA introduced a proposal that would modify this benefit as follows: Bargaining unit members who are 55 years or older, have been employed by LUSD for a minimum of 10 years, and who are receiving STRS benefits are eligible to receive health and welfare benefits through the District for a period equivalent to one year of medical coverage for every three years of service, not to exceed a maximum of 10 years, up to age 65.
Under this proposal: A bargaining unit member who is 59 and who has at least 18 years of service in the District would qualify for 6 years of retiree health insurance coverage; a bargaining unit member who is 58 and who has at least 21 years of service in the District would qualify for 7 years of retiree health insurance coverage; a bargaining unit member who is 57 and who has at least 24 years of service in the District would qualify for 8 years of retiree health insurance coverage; a bargaining unit member who is 56 and has at least 27 years of service in the District would qualify for 9 years of retiree health insurance coverage; and a bargaining unit member who is 55 and has at least 30 years of service in the District would qualify for 10 years of retiree health insurance coverage.
The District responded to this proposal in our session on October 28th and have agreed to move forward with these enhancements to the voluntary retirement program. The parties are in the process of drafting a Memorandum of Understanding that will memorialize this agreement and be submitted to the LUSD Governing Board for approval in their November 14, 2019 meeting. We felt it important to share this information with our membership now, so that those interested in the voluntary retirement program have all current information available to them in reaching their decision.
As of today, a total of 6 people have already submitted their paperwork to participate in the voluntary retirement program. LTA will be updating our membership regarding the number of participants in the program on a weekly basis through the notification deadline on December 16, 2019.
With respect to special education, we know this issue is important to our membership. LTA’s proposal on this subject includes: caseload maximums for RSP teachers and SLPs; SDC class caps; additional opportunities at the beginning of the school year for planning and preparation; additional time for department meetings and professional development; additional support for inclusion classrooms; additional time for collaboration between general education and special ed teachers; an increase in the responsibilities and bargaining unit member participation on the Special Education Committee; language addressing SLP assignments and transfers; and language addressing SLP assessments. Previously, LTA also provided the District a list of systemic and programmatic concerns shared with us by our bargaining unit members working in special education.

During the last two sessions, there were also productive exchanges on class size, safety, salary, and health and welfare benefits. With respect to class size, LTA is proposing maximums to student/teacher ratios and compensation for classes exceeding maximums. Regarding safety, LTA has introduced several proposals to address notification regarding facility issues and concerns, CPR and first aid training, participation and access to District safety committees, plans, and protocols, and processes surrounding student conduct issues. LTA also continues to push for a fair salary increase and improvements to health and welfare benefits for all bargaining unit members.

The parties are scheduled to meet again for negotiations November 13, 18, and 19. We will continue to keep you posted as we move through this process.
Stronger Together,
LTA Bargaining Team
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Bargaining Update: Tentative Agreement & Salary Schedules
October 25, 2018
We have posted the complete tentative agreement and salary schedules for your review on the LTA website at lynwoodta.org/bargaining/salary-schedules/. Ratification voting for the tentative agreement will take place at each school site on Monday, November 5, and Tuesday, November 6, 2018, and will be conducted by the school’s Site Rep(s).
We have received several questions regarding the salary increases reached in the tentative agreement. As we previously wrote in our update on October 18th, the tentative agreement includes:
2017-18A 3% one-time off-schedule bonus for 2017-18, based on annual earnings retroactive to July 1, 2017, terminating on June 30, 2018. This provision applies to active bargaining unit members as of June 30, 2018 (Teachers, Counselors, Adult School, SLPs, School Psychs, ECE).
2018-19A total of approximately a 4.15% on-schedule salary increase for 2018-19 as follows:
  • A 1.5% on-schedule increase to the LTA salary schedule retroactive to 7/1/18 for active bargaining unit members (Teachers, Counselors, Adult School, SLPs, School Psychs, ECE).
  • Beginning with the 2018/19 school year, an increase in the work year from 182 to 185 days, equivalent to an additional approximately 1.65% on-schedule. The additional days will be funded from LCAP and support the professional growth of teachers and provide additional opportunities for collaboration and lesson development to benefit student learning.
  • A 1.0% on-schedule increase to the LTA salary schedule effective 6/30/19 at 11:59pm to active bargaining unit members (Teachers, Counselors, Adult School, SLPs, School Psychs, ECE).
The salary schedules posted on the LTA website demonstrate that over the life of this agreement, salaries will improve significantly. For example, currently, the maximum step/column on the teachers’/counselors’ schedule is $94,480. Retroactive to July 1, 2018, the maximum step/column will move to $97,478.  An additional increase of 1% on-schedule, effective June 30, 2019, will move the maximum step/column to $98,453 by the end of this fiscal year. The TA also includes a 3% one-time off-schedule bonus for the 2017-18 school year.
As we reported in our last update, given the variables that factor into negotiations and the uncertainty that comes with impasse, we strongly believe this is the best possible settlement we can achieve at this time. The tentative agreement includes improvements in many of our key areas, including on-schedule salary increases, health and welfare benefit structure and district contributions, elementary honorariums, counselor workday, planning and prep time, parent/teacher conferences, and evaluation, among others.
It is important to note that our current collective bargaining agreement expires June 30, 2019. In successor bargaining, all articles may be opened and subject to negotiations. The salary increases and the improvements we made across reopener negotiations place us in a better position moving into the next round of bargaining, when we will have another opportunity to negotiate salary increases for the 2019-20 school year, make further improvements to health and welfare benefits, and address any new and outstanding issues concerning terms and conditions of work.
If the TA is ratified, it will go to the school board on Thursday, November 8, with an approximate date for issuance of retro and bonus checks being December 3/4, 2018. We urge you to review the tentative agreement and information posted on the LTA website prior to ratification voting.
Stronger Together,
The LTA Bargaining Team
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LTA Bargaining Update & District Offer Comparison
October 5, 2018
The LTA Bargaining Team returned to the table for negotiations with the District on October 3rd. Despite more than twelve hours of negotiations and discussion, the parties were unable to reach an agreement. While we were able to establish some understanding around several key issues, the parties remain split on salary and health and welfare benefits.
The LTA Bargaining Team made significant strides in its attempt to resolve negotiations this past Wednesday. In discussions with the District, it introduced a variety of concepts that it hoped would convince the District to move off its current position on salary and health and welfare benefits to meet our member’s needs. This included LTA’s latest proposal of a 2.75% on-schedule increase retroactive to July 1, 2017, a 2.75% on-schedule increase retroactive to July 1, 2018, and modest, incremental relief in employee out-of-pocket health and welfare costs.
Despite our efforts, the District maintained their offer of a 3% off-schedule bonus for the 2017-18 school year, and a 2% on-schedule increase retroactive to July 1, 2018. The District also continued to argue that any increase in its contributions towards health and welfare benefits would need to come at the expense of any on-schedule salary increase.
Click here for an updated side by side detailing the differences in our positions. Ultimately the parties agreed that further discussion would be futile and jointly agreed to file for impasse with the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB). Impasse paperwork was jointly submitted by the parties to PERB on October 4th.
NEXT STEPS
Bargaining impasse procedures are outlined in the California Educational Employment Relations Act. The first step in this process is mediation. PERB will now appoint a state mediator to assist LTA and LUSD in further bargaining discussions.
While timelines are not exact and may be influenced by a variety of factors, mediation will likely be scheduled within the next month.
LTA will be meeting with Site Representatives this weekend to discuss and review plans for moving forward, including its plan for a series of escalating organizing actions. While mediation is pending, it is important to note that the parties are able to return to the bargaining table at any time, with or without the mediator’s assistance.
We continue to maintain the District can make this right and find a way to reach a fair settlement with LTA. The District is claiming budget uncertainty, deficit spending, and the potential for future cuts, but has failed to take steps necessary to realign their priorities towards our educators, students, and the classrooms, including the need to provide competitive wages, benefits, and working conditions. We are not being unreasonable.
Standing together, we are powerful. We continue to push for a settlement. When we stand together and participate, we send a message that cannot be ignored. We are asking you to attend this week’s Board Meeting on Thursday, October 11th at 6:00 p.m. We encourage members who have not yet addressed the Board to step-up and make your voice heard. Now is the chance to express your concerns about the District’s offer on salary, health and welfare benefits, honorariums, duty-free recess and other bargaining issues. The LTA Bargaining Team and Executive Board is issuing this challenge to our membership: At this Thursday’s Board Meeting, October 11th @ 6pm, we need YOU to show up. WE NEED AT LEAST 200 LTA MEMBERS IN THEIR RED LTA T-SHIRTS SENDING AN INDISPUTABLE VISUAL MESSAGE TO THE SCHOOL BOARD THAT WE ARE UNITED IN OUR DEMANDS. WE WILL SEE YOU THERE!!!!
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LTA Bargaining Update & Impasse
September 18, 2018
Negotiations between LTA and the District continued on Tuesday, September 18th.  This was our 13th session.  We began bargaining way back on December 7, 2017.  While discussion at the table explored whether the parties might be able to find common ground on key open issues, unfortunately the result of these talks demonstrated greater differences than commonalities. The chart below outlines the key differences in LTA’s and the District’s current positions at the table.

side-by-side comparison_091818_bargaining update

Key among our differences is the District’s unwillingness to provide an ON-SCHEDULE increase for 2017-18, make LTA members self-fund their own relief to health and welfare benefits by deducting it from any 2018-19 on-going salary increase, address minor salary corrections to CTE and ECE teacher pay, accept elementary honorariums and provide recognition for the substantive work elementary grade level chairs and mathathon coaches are currently doing on their own time, correct inequities in the counselor workday and corresponding salary levels, and increase time during parent/teacher conference weeks for affected unit members to prepare for and conduct parent/teacher conferences.  The District also has proposed introducing multiple measures of assessment to the evaluation process.  LTA’s response to this proposal is that prior to implementation, the parties should first study and research the pros and cons of implementing the use of multiple measures of student assessment in evaluation.
IMPASSE
The parties do not currently have another date scheduled for bargaining.  Based on discussions at the table, the District appears entrenched in its positions, especially around salary, health and welfare benefits, and any other proposal having costs associated with it.  The District continues to justify its salary proposal with concerns over deficit spending in future years, declining enrollment, increased STRS contributions, Soleil Academy, and state funding uncertainties.
While LTA is sensitive to the budget realities in the District, we disagree with the grim financial picture the District paints at the bargaining table.  For example, a review of the District’s 2017-18 unaudited actuals, published and distributed at the August 23, 2018 LUSD Governance Board meeting, demonstrate an increase in the District’s ending fund balance of close to $4 million dollars over 2016-17.   Based on our budget analysis, there are other line items which similarly support LTA’s position that there is ongoing money available to fund a fair contract settlement and more importantly prioritize teachers and the classroom over other District budget items.
Given the inability of the District to progress beyond its current positions, the LTA Executive Board met to review the options available to them for moving forward.  We remain committed to reaching mutual resolution at the table, but it must be a fair resolution.  Unfortunately, LTA has determined that parties have reached a point in the bargaining progress where we are at a deadlock.  Accordingly, it is LTA’s position that another meeting with the District would be more of the same and further delay progress toward resolution.  For these reasons, the LTA Executive Board has voted to declare negotiations at impasse.
LTA notified Dr. Crosthwaite and the LUSD Bargaining Team of its decision to declare bargaining at impasse earlier today.  LTA will also notify the California Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) that the parties are at impasse.
Bargaining impasse procedures are outlined in the California Educational Employment Relations Act.  The first step in this process is mediation.  PERB will now appoint a state mediator to assist LTA and LUSD in further bargaining discussions.
NEXT STEPS
During the impasse process, nothing limits the parties from revising their current bargaining positions and revisiting settlement discussions.  To this end, it is important members remain engaged and continue to demand a fair contract settlement of the District.
You are LTA.
If you are frustrated by the District’s unwillingness to provide a fair ongoing salary increase for 2017-18 and 2018-19, now is the time to get involved!  If you are frustrated by rising out-of-pocket costs to health and welfare benefits and the District’s proposal that YOU self-fund your own relief by taking it from your salary increase, now is the time to get involved!  If you are an elementary teacher and frustrated by the District’s unwillingness to acknowledge the work you and your colleagues do as grade level chairs and mathathon coaches, or address the ongoing issues with physical relief breaks and recess duty, now is the time to get involved!
We are fully prepared to enter mediation and make our case for a fair resolution on behalf of all LTA members.  We would prefer, however, the District reconsider its current proposals and help move this process forward by adequately addressing our members’ needs.  The District can make this right.
We are asking all members to send a strong message to LUSD Governance Board Members and Superintendent Crosthwaite for a Fair Settlement NOW by participating in the following activities next week:
TUESDAY SEPTEMEBR 25, 2018 – INFORMATIONAL PICKET AT ALL SCHOOL SITES
(SEE LTA SITE REP FOR INFORMATION and DETAILS)
 
THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 27, 2018 – LUSD GOVERENANCE BOARD MEETING
DISTRICT OFFICE, 6PM
ATTEND AND MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD!
 
Only with your support and participation can we achieve a fair contract for all bargaining unit members.
Stronger United,
LTA Bargaining Team
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LTA Bargaining Update #2 (2018-2019)
September 12, 2018
Negotiations between LTA and the District continued on Wednesday, September 12th.  When we concluded our prior session on August 29th, the District shared that they would have a complete response to LTA’s August 29th Package Proposal at the start of September 12th session.  The District entered Wednesday’s session without any proposal in hand.  It was not until approximately noon that LTA received the District’s response to LTA’s package proposal, covering all open issues including Article 8: Salary, Article 9: Health and Welfare Benefits, Article 10: Hours of Employment, and Article 13: Evaluation.
The District’s September 12th Package Proposal predictably included a reiteration of its August 29th positions on salary and health and welfare benefits, as well as proposals on hours of employment and evaluation.
To recap the District’s position on August 29th, the District is proposing an off-schedule 1% increase effective July 1, 2017, and an on-schedule 1% increase effective July 1, 2018, for all bargaining unit members.  This amounts to 1% on-schedule over two years.  The District’s proposal also includes language permitting LTA to designate ½% of the 1% on-schedule increase towards health and welfare benefits.  In the event LTA chooses not to designate 0.5% of the 1% on-schedule increase towards health and welfare benefits, contribution rates for this year will remain status quo; that is up to $660 per month for single coverage, up to $1,135 per month for two-party coverage, and up to $1,400 per month for family coverage.
With respect to Article 10: Hours of Employment, while the District indicated they are seriously considering LTA’s proposals to change the counselor workday from 7 ½ hours per day to 7 hours per day and add language addressing early dismissal of students and increased time during parent/teacher weeks for affected unit members to prepare for and conduct parent/teacher conferences, their written proposal did not include these changes.  The District also continues to reject LTA’s push for a 15-minute per day physical relief break for elementary school unit members.
With respect to Article 13: Evaluation, while the parties appear largely in agreement regarding most changes, the District continues to propose the inclusion of a new tool, multiple measures of assessment, as part of the classroom observation process between the principal and teacher.  LTA has rejected this proposal until such time the parties have an opportunity to do more research in this area and better understand its potential application at LUSD.
Following presentation of the District’s counter proposal, LTA caucused to review the proposal and draft its response.  At approximately 1:45pm, LTA provided its response to the District.  Key components of LTA’s September 12th Package Proposal include:
  • An on-schedule 3% salary increase retroactive to July 1, 2017 for all unit members;
  • An on-schedule 3.75% salary increase retroactive to July 1, 2018 for all unit members;
  • Adjustments to CTE teacher pay;
  • Inclusion of elementary honorariums;
  • Salary schedule adjustments to the ECE Salary Schedule;
  • Effective January 1, 2019, an increase in district contributions to health and welfare as follows:
    • From up to $660 per month to $750 per month for single coverage
    • From up to $1,135 per month to $1,250 per month for two-party coverage
    • From up to $1,400 per month to $1,550 per month for family coverage
  • A change in the counselor workday from 7 ½ hours per day to 7 hours per day, bringing the counselor workday and salary levels in line with the teacher workday and salary levels;
  • A 15-minute per day physical relief break for elementary school unit members;
  • Early dismissal of students and increased time during parent/teacher weeks for affected unit members to prepare for and conduct parent/teacher conferences.
Following presentation of our proposal, the District broke for caucus.  At approximately 2:50pm, the District informed us that they would need more time to consider LTA’s proposal and would have a response for us at our next session, scheduled for Tuesday, September 18th.
NEXT STEPS
Our next bargaining session is scheduled for September 18th.   We appreciate all the support we received from the sites on September 12th.  Photos of people wearing their red LTA shirts and stories of LUSD Governing Board Member responses to member emails lets us know that the membership is engaged in and behind our fight for a fair contract that includes a fair salary increase, relief to employee out-of-pocket health and welfare costs, and improvements to working conditions.  You can still send your emails if you have yet to do so.  We need to keep the pressure on!
Please Help Us Help You!
September 18, 2018:      Bargaining Date, LTA WEAR YOUR RED T-Shirt DAY, and ACTION
September 25, 2018:       School Site Actions
September 27, 2018:      SAVE THE DATE:  LUSD SCHOOL BOARD MEETING ACTION
Only with your support and participation can we achieve a fair contract for all bargaining unit members.
Stronger United,
LTA Bargaining Team
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LTA Bargaining Update #1 (2018-2019)
August 31, 2018
Negotiations between LTA and the District resumed on August 29, 2018.  LTA began the session by presenting a package proposal covering all open and outstanding issues being discussed under Article 8: Salary; Article 9: Health and Welfare Benefits; Article 10: Hours of Employment; and Article 13: Evaluation.  The concept behind the package proposal was that it would allow the parties to assess all open issues, identify priorities, and explore where there may be areas of compromise and resolution.
Key components of LTA’s August 29th Package Proposal include:
  • An on-schedule 3.25% salary increase retroactive to July 1, 2017 for all unit members;
  • An on-schedule 4.75% salary increase retroactive to July 1, 2018 for all unit members;
  • Adjustments to CTE teacher pay;
  • Inclusion of elementary honorariums;
  • Salary schedule adjustments to the ECE Salary Schedule;
  • An increase to the health and welfare pool to $9485 per employee, with corresponding increases to the District’s single, two-party, and family allocations effective January 1, 2019;
  • A change in the counselor workday from 7 ½ hours per day to 7 hours per day, bringing the counselor workday and salary levels in line with the teacher workday and salary levels;
  • A 15-minute per day physical relief break for elementary school unit members;
  • Early dismissal of students and increased time during parent/teacher weeks for affected unit members to prepare for and conduct parent/teacher conferences.
In response, the District provided a counter on two issues: salary and health and welfare benefits.  The District explained that they would not be able to provide a comprehensive response to LTA Package Proposal, inclusive of proposed changes to Article 10: Hours of Employment and Article 13: Evaluation, until the party’s next session, scheduled for September 12th.
The District’s August 29th salary proposal includes an off-schedule 1% increase effective July 1, 2017, and an on-schedule 1% increase effective July 1, 2018, for all bargaining unit members.  This amounts to 1% on-schedule over two years.  The District’s proposal also includes language permitting LTA to designate ½% of the 1% on-schedule increase towards health and welfare benefits.  When questioned what this would amount to and how it would be applied to the health and welfare benefit pool, per employee amount, and coverage allocations, the District was unable to respond, explaining that such would be subject to a final calculation by the District’s business office.
HEALTH & WELFARE BENEFIT OPEN ENROLLMENT PERIOD:
With respect to health and welfare benefits, the District is quickly approaching the open enrollment period which typically runs during the month of September.  During this time, members will have the opportunity to switch health care providers based on cost, coverage, and need.  It is important to note that health and welfare premiums are set by CalPERS on an annual basis.  For 2019, while Kaiser, Anthem HMO Select, Health Net Salud y Mas, and PersSelect premiums have decreased, rates for Anthem HMO Traditional, Blue Shield Access+ Health Net SmartCare, UnitedHealthCare, PersChoice, and PersCare have increased.
The 2019 CalPERS rates, with the percentage changes over 2018 rates, are available for review here.
Currently, the cost-share for medical insurance between the District and LTA is based on an amount equal to about $8600 per full-time equivalent bargaining unit member (“FTE”). Under this model, the total amount generated from $8600 per FTE is placed in a pool. The parties then determine the District’s cost of these plans by splitting the amount of money in the pool between single, two-person, and family plans. The current allocations are: up to $660 per month for single coverage, up to $1,335 per month for two-party coverage, and up to $1,400 per month for family coverage.  The employee picks up the difference in the amount covered by the District and the total premium.
LTA has repeatedly stated that providing members relief from increasing health and welfare benefit costs is a priority in this round of bargaining.  In our most recent package proposal, we proposed an increase to the health and welfare pool to $9485 per employee, with corresponding increases to the District single, two-party, and family allocations effective January 1, 2019.  This would provide improvements to the current allocated amounts at the same time CalPERS rates change, January 1, 2019.  Since negotiations are ongoing, this issue remains unresolved.
In the interim, however, the District plans to move forward with open enrollment and will likely publish the current allocations of up to $660 per month for single coverage, up to $1,335 per month for two-party coverage, and up to $1,400 per month for family coverage.  It is important members understand that while these rates will be published by the District for purposes of open enrollment, they remain unresolved in bargaining and are pending further discussion and negotiations by the parties.  This means that these rates may still change come January 1, 2019.
If anything, the increases to the 2019 CalPERS premiums demonstrate further the need for improvements to the District’s employer/employee cost share.  While members currently enrolled in Kaiser, Anthem HMO Select, Health Net Salud y Mas, and PersSelect will see decreases in employee out-of-pocket costs by virtue of the decrease in CalPERS premium rates, members enrolled in any other plan will see increases in their out-of-pocket costs.
Currently, the District has proposed no changes or improvements to health and welfare benefit costs other than those self-funded by LTA bargaining unit members; that is by applying ½% to health and welfare benefits from the District’s proposed 1% on-schedule salary increase.
NEXT STEPS
Our next bargaining sessions are scheduled for September 12th and September 18th.   The September 12th session will begin with the District’s presentation of proposals on Article 10: Hours of Employment and Article 13: Evaluation.
We had hoped more could be accomplished this week.  Unfortunately, the District was unprepared to address all open issues when we met on August 29th, further delaying negotiations and movement towards potential resolution.
It is important that members understand what is at stake in this round of bargaining.  We need your support to achieve a fair contract settlement.  The stronger we are and the greater member participation with have in LTA organizing activities, the more likely we will be in achieving our demands at the table.
Please Help Us Help You!

September 12, 2018:      Bargaining Date, LTA WEAR YOUR RED T-Shirt DAY, and ACTION PLAN (Info TBA by SITE REP)

September 27, 2018:      LUSD SCHOOL BOARD MEETING ACTION

Only with your support and participation can we achieve a fair contract for all bargaining unit members.
Stronger United,
LTA Bargaining Team
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Bargaining Recap – August 16, 2018

 

LTA Bargaining Update #9
June 5, 2018
LTA and the District met again for reopener negotiations on June 5, 2018. This was the 10th time the parties met this year. The parties first met in December 2017. At issue since this time has been Article X: Hours of Employment, Article XIII: Unit Member Evaluation, Article VIII Salary, and Article IX: Health and Welfare Benefits.
While throughout the spring the parties made some progress around Article X: Hours of Employment and Article XIII: Unit Member Evaluation, the parties continue to be far apart with respect to salary and health and welfare benefits.
To review discussions on salary and health and welfare to date: On January 31, 2018, LTA presented its initial salary and health welfare proposal. In its initial offer, LTA proposed exploring a two-year resolution, with proposed on-schedule salary increases effective July 1, 2017 and July 1, 2018, as well as proposed changes to the structure and out-of-pocket costs of health and welfare benefits to our members. The District responded on April 13, 2018. At that time, the District proposed a 0.2% off-schedule increase effective July 1, 2017 with no changes to the current health and welfare benefit cap and structure. At the next session, May 1, 2018, LTA countered again proposing a two-year resolution, with proposed on-schedule salary increases effective July 1, 2017 and July 1, 2018, as well as proposed changes to the structure and out-of-pocket costs of health and welfare benefits to our members. In that same session, the District countered with a 0.4% off-schedule increase effective July 1, 2017 with no changes to the current health and welfare benefit cap and structure. Negotiations on May 24, 2018 was largely unproductive related to salary and health and welfare benefits.
As outlined above, LTA has previously expressed a willingness to explore a two-year resolution to salary and health and welfare benefits. LTA and the District formally presented the LUSD Governing Board their sunshine proposals on 2018-19 reopener negotiations in the May 24, 2018 meeting.
Entering today’s session, the LTA Bargaining Team hoped the District would come prepared to work towards a resolution. Unfortunately, it became clear to the LTA team early on that a settlement would not be achieved today. First off, three of the District team members, Nancy Hipolito, Carlos Zaragoza, and Hector Marquez, were not even present at today’s session. Second, the District continued to take the position that more information was needed from the state and from Interim Chief Business Officer, Peter Wong, before they could fully advance discussions on salary and health and welfare benefits.
In response to LTA’s last offer, the District then proposed a 0.4% off-schedule increase effective July 1, 2017, a 0.3% off-schedule increase effective July 1, 2018, and no changes to health and welfare benefits. This amounts to 0% on-schedule for July 1, 2017, 0% on-schedule for July 1, 2018, and no health and welfare relief for our members.
On Article X: Hours of Employment, LTA has been attempting to remedy ongoing issues with physical relief breaks/recess duty for elementary teachers and exploring opportunities within the current required instructional minutes to create more conference time during parent/teacher conference weeks. Discussion on these items are ongoing.
On Article XIII: Unit Member Evaluation, the parties have been discussing clarifications to the current evaluation processes and PAR language as well as drafting evaluation forms and rubrics for program specialists, instructional leads and coaches, counselors, speech/language pathologists, and school psychologists. The parties are very close to presenting final drafts of evaluation forms and rubrics to program specialists, instructional leads and coaches, counselors, speech/language pathologists, and school psychologists for their feedback.
At the conclusion of today’s session, the District indicated a willingness to continue to meet over the summer and bargain. In response LTA expressed its unwillingness to meet in the dark of the summer when members are not in school and may not be available. Ultimately, LTA determined that the parties would be better served reconvening in the fall. The parties are scheduled to meet again on August 29, 2018.
We appreciate your continued support and dedication through the bargaining process this year. We had hoped to conclude this year on a positive note but regret to inform you the District was unprepared to do the work necessary to reach resolution today. Based on LTA’s review of the District’s 2017-18 financial information as well as the anticipated 2018-19 budget information, the District can do better than their current offer. As LTA has previously stated, we will not accept a settlement that fails to sufficiently address our member’s needs.
To close off this year, we are asking all LTA members to wear their red LTA t-shirts this Thursday, June 7th. LTA members will also be addressing the Governing Board regarding the status of negotiations when they meet on Thursday.
The LTA leadership and bargaining team will be meeting this summer to review next steps including plans to engage the membership in achieving a fair contract settlement at the start of next school year. We will be looking to your support when we return in the fall. We are stronger together.
Respectfully,
Your LTA Bargaining Team
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LTA Bargaining Update #8
June 4, 2018
LTA and the District met again for reopener negotiations on May 24th. While some continued progress was made towards addressing changes to Article 10, Hours of Employment & Working Conditions and Article 13, Evaluation Procedures, discussions on Salary and Health & Welfare Benefits were unproductive.
With respect to addressing salary and health and welfare benefits, while both parties expressed a willingness to explore resolving 2017-18 and 2018-19 reopeners together, the District was unprepared to make any progress in discussing a two-year resolution. Instead the parties remain split on 2017-18 proposals around salary and benefits. The District’s current proposal remains a 0.4% off-schedule salary increase retroactive to July 1, 2017. The District has proposed no changes to health and welfare benefits.
At the May 24th Board Meeting, both LTA and LUSD sunshined 2018-19 reopeners. Those notices can be reviewed on the District website. LTA remains interested in exploring a resolution that resolves both 2017-18 and 2018-19 reopeners and provides timely increases in salary, as well as equitable changes in health and welfare benefits for our membership.
Our next bargaining session is June 5th. This is the last date scheduled with the District before the end of the school year. Following the session on June 5th, a complete update will follow.
Stronger Together,
Your LTA Bargaining Team
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LTA Bargaining Update #7
May 14, 2018
Approximately 60 LTA members attended last Thursday’s board meeting to honor our teachers of the year and address the Governing Board. During the public comment section, LTA members, all dressed in red, spoke for a total of more than 30 minutes on a variety of topics related to negotiations and our terms and conditions of work. Since many of you were unable to attend due to other personal commitments, we wanted to recognize our colleagues who spoke and share their comments made before the Governing Board.
Debbie Diaz, LTA President, Will Rogers:
Currently, a mid-range mid-career teacher in Lynwood on Step 15 with a BA + 45 w/MA makes $80,643. The same teacher in Downey makes $90,532. The same teacher in Paramount makes $86,856. The same teacher in Baldwin Park makes $85,077. The same teacher in Norwalk-La Mirada makes $82,933. When you take into consideration the out of pocket cost LTA members pay to health and welfare benefits compared with comparable districts, our total compensation falls even farther behind. We know, based on revenue levels and projections moving forward, the District can do better. We are asking the District to get serious about settling at the table and providing a fair salary increase to all Lynwood educators.
 
Glenda Arellano, LTA Bargaining Chair, LMS:
Let me begin by saying no teacher goes into this profession because of the pay. We all know that teaching is the most underpaid and under-appreciated professional career in this nation, even more so in this district. It makes no sense for a college educated professional to qualify for WIC, EBT, and other forms of low income assistance. Teachers, who have all completed at least some post-graduate education, should not need financial assistance, but there are some in OUR district who do receive these benefits to keep [themselves] afloat.
We, as a nation, are entering another period of teacher shortage. New teachers who enter the profession are in high demand and can easily find jobs in any of our neighboring districts, offering better pay, better benefits, and better working conditions. If we want to continue to improve our district we must keep this in mind and start paying our teachers.
 
Margarita Mata, Helen Keller:
We, as a district, fail to look at the reasons our students leave our district. Many students and parents have told me they leave to neighboring districts in search of smaller class sizes and more safety. If we, as a district, would have real consequences for behavior, and real support for those in need, we would retain our students, and even recruit others from neighboring areas. We have excellent programs that students want to take advantage of, but they need to feel safe, and we’re lacking in that area. We need you to look at how our funds are being spent, audit the numerous consulting firms and other organizations we pay and analyze their effectiveness. That money should be invested wisely in our students.
 
Myrna Vergara, LTA Bargaining Team/LTA Elementary Director, Lindbergh:
There are 89 honorariums for the High School and 25 honorariums for the middle school, but 0 for elementary school teachers. Where is the equity? Where is the professional parity? Many of my colleagues do track and field and are required to supervise on their weekends for competitions and they dedicate many hours preparing and motivating their teams, and they don’t get compensated adequately. Mathathon coaches dedicate countless hours before school, after school, some of us even on weekends, so that our students show up prepared, proud, and confident–ready to take the stage. Grade level chairs at the elementary level help ensure that every document, duty, and communication gets disseminated to all. They are the leaders that help make the decisions for our school sites. It is time for our elementary school teachers to get recognized and compensated for the hard work and countless hours that they dedicate to our children and community.
 
Regina Williams, Lindbergh:
I don’t know if it’s just me, but every year it feels like more and more responsibilities are piled onto our plates. We not only teach, but we mentor, encourage, nurse, council, guide, and do so much for our students. We squeeze so much into our school day–reading, writing, math, technology, science, social studies, art, P.E., ELD, social skills–but there is one thing that is very hard for us to squeeze in, and that is time for teachers to relieve our bladders!
 
Stellina Shepherd, LTA Bargaining Team, CCMS:
I am reading this statement on behalf of a colleague who could not be here this evening. She writes: “I am deeply concerned in regards to my deductions, especially my Kaiser Family Plan. I pay $680.42 plus my dental, $121.54, which is a total of $801.96. Also, because my zip code is in Orange County, I pay $75.19 more than the LA County Kasier Family Plan. In addition to this high monthly payment, my co-payments have increased to $15/visit, and medicine is $10 and up/prescription. After 18 years of service in Lynwood, I now net less than I did 10 years ago, so my salary is decreasing instead of increasing. I am a single mom with three children, and unable to afford/survive with this astronomical medical deduction. Please realize this is hurting me and my children! Moreover, I work very hard to give my students the education they deserve, and I deserve the same respect and consideration other teachers receive in comparable school districts. All I am asking is that you do the right thing. I am asking you take a hard look at LTA’s proposal on health and welfare benefits and move towards a more equitable cost share model.”
 
Carla Canon, Helen Keller:
I wanted to address the rising costs of health and welfare benefits. I am a single mom and my family depends on the health and welfare benefits provided by the District. In recent years, the out of pocket costs of health and welfare have skyrocketed. Unfortunately, our current cost share model forces me to choose between cost and need. I know many of my colleagues are in a similar position, sometimes enrolling in a less costly plan despite their health needs. While I understand that this is partially due to how health insurance is structured in our country, LTA’s proposal in this area attempts to make costs more equitable, predictable, and manageable. Under our current structure, when health insurance premiums go up, the district does not share this increase in cost. The burden falls entirely on the employee. While the district appears content having certainty tied to the amount it is prepared to spend on health and welfare benefits and its budget, it is not willing to extend that same privilege to its employees and our personal budgeting. A more equitable model, like the one LTA is proposing at the table, would be one where the increase is shared.
 
Cynthia Webb, Early Childhood Education, Rosa Parks:
I wanted to shed light on the structural inequities in our salary schedule. While most educators, staff, and administrators are awarded with an annual step increase and gradually move up the salary schedule, early childhood teachers are forced to sit at the same salary rate on their schedule for sometimes 5 years. Our step schedule also is 25 steps opposed to most other groups which achieve top salary at step 20, or sometimes even less. Combine with the areas on our salary schedule where there is not movement, this means that not only do ECE teachers receive fewer increases over the span of our career in LUSD, but fewer increases over a longer period of time. LTA is trying to remedy this by reducing our salary schedule down from 25 steps to something more comparable with the other educators in our unit.
 
Dr. Lydia Hollie, LTA Vice President, Lindbergh:
I have been a member of the LCAP Stakeholders Committee, I am keenly aware of the District’s finances since the implementation of LCFF in 2013. Since that time, the Lynwood USD has been the recipient of funding that other districts would envy. Yet, the District has chosen on far too many occasions to enhance the coffers of vendors and consultants, such as Principal Exchange for 7 years, with millions of dollars without reservation. Those millions have been allocated without any programmatic formative and/or summative evaluations that have been published to the Lynwood community to justify those funds. However, at the bargaining table, the District has chosen to offer a paltry 0.4% off-schedule for compensation. What makes vendors and consultants more valuable than the certificated personnel who are responsible for implementing the District’s strategic plan, its mission and objectives thereby enabling the District to boast of its accomplishments on state and national levels? If you truly honor and salute teachers, then compensate us with a credible offer on the salary schedule as a tangible demonstration of your expressed appreciation.
 
Joy Deyarmond, LTA Elementary Director, Marshall:
With the hostile climate schools currently face in today’s world, we don’t feel prepared with the proper training and procedures necessary to ensure our students’ safety. The current safety plan recently drafted by the district does not address the safety measures each site needs. There is no one-size-fits-all to our safety. Based on recent school site safety assessments, it is incomprehensible that the district feels a standardized, rather than individualized, plan would adequately address each site’s needs. Our district needs to be proactive, rather than reactive, in our approach to site concerns that jeopardize teachers’ and students’ health.
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LTA currently has two more negotiation dates scheduled with the District, May 24th and June 5th, before the end of the school year. While we would like to have resolution before the end of the school year, LTA will not accept a settlement that fails to sufficiently address our members’ needs. The District needs to get serious about salary, health and welfare benefits, and resolving elementary school physical relief break/recess issues.
Thanks to all those who came out to the Board Meeting last Thursday, May 10th, to help voice our concerns and move the negotiation process forward. In the coming days, we will be calling again on the membership to help move the District to a fair settlement with LTA.
Stronger Together,
Your LTA Bargaining Team
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LTA Bargaining Update #6
May 2, 2018
LTA and the District met again for reopener negotiations on April 26th and May 1st. During the two sessions, the parties discussed proposals pertaining to hours of work and employment, evaluation, salary, and benefits.
With respect to hours of employment and working conditions, LTA has argued at the table that something must be done to provide physical relief breaks for elementary teachers and bring consistency across the district in managing recess duty. LTA has proposed elementary school unit members receive one 15-minute physical relief break per day scheduled during the unit member’s grade level recess time.
During the session on April 26th, bargaining team members shared the challenges elementary teachers face with using the restroom during the instructional day. This is due to a lack of campus monitors, difficulty requesting coverage, location of staff bathrooms, and at some sites an insufficient number of staff bathrooms. In the past, all schools employed campus monitors to cover recess duty. This provided time for elementary teachers to use the restroom. During budget cuts, however, recess duty responsibilities were piled on our teachers. While some schools have hired back campus monitors, the positions were restructured such that coverage continues to be sporadic and inadequate. LTA strongly argued that we need to solve this problem in this round of bargaining. We are awaiting a response from the District on this subject.
We also engaged in a discussion regarding instructional minutes and parent/teacher conferences. At the elementary level, elementary teachers must participate in two weeks of parent/teacher conferences per school year, one week at the end of the First Quarter and one week at the end of the Second Quarter. During parent/teacher conference week, elementary teachers are expected to cram close to 30 parent/teacher conferences in their schedule, typically staying in school into the evenings at least once and sometimes having to give up prep time in the morning to meet with parents. The structure of the week does not provide enough time to adequately meet the needs of our parents and our community. LTA shared its interest in exploring whether elementary instructional minutes can be reduced during parent/teacher conference week in order to better accommodate parent, as well as teacher needs.
The parties also continued discussions around evaluation, making significant progress on updating PAR language and drafting evaluation criteria, forms, and rubrics for instructional leads and coaches, program specialists, counselors, ECE teachers, and school psychologists.
In negotiations on May 1st LTA also responded to the District’s initial salary and benefits proposal. LTA’s salary proposal includes across-the-board salary increases for all bargaining unit members effective July 1, 2017 and July 1, 2018. LTA’s salary proposal also includes a restructure to Steps 17-20, Groups 3-7 on the teachers/counselors’ salary schedule, stipend pay for counselors, a restructure and compression to the ECE salary schedule, corrections to CTE teacher pay, and the addition of elementary school honorarium pay for grade level chairs and Mathathon coaches. LTA also discussed exploring moving from an 11-month pay schedule to a 12-month pay schedule.
With respect to health and welfare benefits, LTA maintained its current proposal, moving away from our hard-cap pool-based cost share model to a percentage-based cost-share formula. Under LTA’s proposal, since the cost-share will be tied to a percentage rather than a fixed amount, any changes to the total cost of medical insurance will be more equally shared, the employee picking up a percentage and the District picking up a percentage.
In response to LTA’s proposals, the District offered a 0.4% off-schedule increase, coming up just 0.2% from their prior offer. A 0.4% off-schedule increase on a $78,889 salary would result in a one-time off-schedule payment of $315.56 for the 2017-18 school year. While the District did not propose a salary increase for July 1, 2018, they shared at the table that they would be “sunshining” on 2018 in their upcoming board meeting which would allow them to expand discussion of salary and benefits into next year, when the state budget is expected to be more positive than it was this last year. While it’s true next year’s budget is expected to be better, that’s not to say this year’s budget was bad. The Governor’s May Revise budget will be out in mid-May and should represent a strong indicator of where the budget may land.
LTA is closely watching developments in these areas and thus far at the table has indicated a willingness to look at both salary increases effective July 1, 2017 and salary increases effective July 1, 2018. From LTA’s standpoint, we have repeatedly engaged in a game of catch-up when it comes to negotiating salary and benefits. We remain interested in exploring whether we can shift past practice to one where we are negotiating ahead of schedule and providing timely increases in salary and equitable changes in health and well fair benefits for our membership.
LTA currently has two more negotiation dates scheduled with the District, May 24th and June 5th. While we would like to have resolution before the end of the school year, LTA will not accept a settlement that fails to sufficiently address our member’s needs. The District’s current offer fails to maximize the resources available to address our bargaining unit members priorities, specifically a fair salary increase, relief in health and welfare costs, and improvements in terms and conditions of work. The District needs to get serious about salary, health and welfare benefits, and resolving the language issues we discussed above. To assist in these efforts, it is critical LTA members join us for the school board meeting on Thursday May 10th at 6pm at the District Office to demonstrate our support for a fair contract settlement.
Stronger Together,
The Bargaining Team
 
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LTA Bargaining Update #5
April 17, 2018
On April 13th, LTA and the District met again for re-opener negotiations. During this session, the parties largely discussed evaluation, specifically the forms, rubrics, and criteria for counselors, early childhood education teachers, instructional coaches and leads, program specialists, and school psychologists. For the last two months, each member of the LTA Bargaining Team has been working closely with a subcommittee of bargaining unit members in these areas to research and draft evaluation standards and criteria relevant to member duties and responsibilities for these positions. While additional time is needed to align the forms, rubrics, and criteria consistent with the collective bargaining agreement, the initial discussions with the District on this subject were productive and positive.
Less productive were discussions pertaining to salary and benefits. LTA presented its salary proposal on February 7th and health and welfare proposal on January 31st. While the parties are currently in 2017-18 re-opener negotiations, LTA’s initial proposal included an across-the-board salary increase for all bargaining unit members effective July 1, 2017 and July 1, 2018. LTA’s salary proposal also includes a restructure to Steps 17-20, Groups 3-7 on the teachers/counselors’ salary schedule, stipend pay for counselors, a restructure and compression to the ECE salary schedule, corrections to CTE teacher pay, and the addition of elementary school honorarium pay for grade level chairs and Mathathon coaches. LTA also discussed exploring moving from an 11-month pay schedule to a 12-month pay schedule.
With respect to health and welfare benefits, LTA proposed moving away from our hard-cap pool-based cost share model to a percentage-based cost-share formula. Under LTA’s proposal, since the cost-share will be tied to a percentage rather than a fixed amount, any changes to the total cost of medical insurance will be more equally shared, the employee picking up a percentage and the District picking up a percentage.
In response to LTA’s proposals, with the exception of offering a minuscule 0.2% off-schedule increase, the District proposed maintaining status quo across all areas. To put this in real dollars, a 0.2% off-schedule increase on a $78,889 salary would result in a one-time off-schedule payment of $157.78 for the 2017-18 school year. The District was quick to point out that LTA would likely reject this proposal.
With four more dates scheduled through the end of the school year, given how far the parties remain apart, it is critical LTA members assist us in moving this process forward toward a resolution. It is important to note that in addition to salary and benefits, the District has thus far been unwilling to agree to duty free recess for elementary school unit members.
We are asking all members to join us for the school board meeting on Thursday May 10th at 6pm at the District Office to demonstrate our support for a fair contract settlement. LTA Site Reps are currently signing people up to attend the school board meeting on May 10th. Please see your LTA Site Rep for details.
The next bargaining session is scheduled for Thursday, April 26th. During this session, LTA will be responding to the District’s salary and benefit proposal and continuing the discussion related to the evaluation article. A subsequent report will follow.
Respectfully,
Your LTA Bargaining Team
 
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LTA Bargaining Update #4
March 19, 2018
The LTA Bargaining Team and the District met again for reopener negotiations on March 8th. During this session, the parties exchanged proposals on Article 10: Hours of Employment and Working Conditions; Article 13: Evaluation, Article 8: Salary, and Article 9: Health and Welfare Benefits.
With respect to Article 10, Hours of Employment and Working Conditions, while the parties have made progress on several proposed changes to the current language, key issues brought to LTA’s attention by our membership remain unresolved. This includes language concerning relief breaks for elementary teachers. Practices at elementary school campuses across the District are inconsistent when it comes to providing educators a physical relief break during recess duty. Due to the manner in which recess duty is staffed, many teachers have shared with LTA the challenges they encounter with using the restroom during the instructional day. While research suggests this issue may not be unique to Lynwood teachers, it is something we can remedy at the bargaining table. LTA has proposed language that would provide elementary teachers with one 15-minute physical relief break per day, scheduled during the bargaining unit member’s grade level recess time. For more information on this issue, see the following article: The Atlantic: Using the Restroom: A Privilege If You’re a Teacher, July 27, 2015.
LTA also proposed language pertaining to bargaining unit member planning and preparation time. Our proposal in this area would require the District pay bargaining unit members 1/5 their per diem pay when a unit member is assigned to attend a parent-teacher conference, IEP, or SST during their preparation and planning time.
Regarding Article 13: Evaluation, during negotiations last year, both parties agreed to create evaluation forms and rubrics for Counselors, SLPs, School Psychologists, Early Childhood Educators, Instructional Leads, and Program Specialists. Currently, these groups are all evaluated using the evaluation forms and rubrics for Teachers. To remedy this, each member of the LTA Bargaining Team has been working with a team of bargaining unit members from each affected group to develop rubrics which match their duties and responsibilities. The District Team has also designated staff from their side to serve in this process. The parties will continue discussions in this area and plan to have new evaluation forms & rubrics in place for these groups by the end of the school year.
On Article 13, Evaluation, the parties also continued their dialogue around the PAR (Peer Assistance and Review) Process, including discussions pertaining to the length of time one may serve on the PAR Panel and the consulting teacher application process.
Regarding proposals on Salary and Health and Welfare Benefits, LTA previously shared our proposals in these areas with the District. As reported in the last bargaining update (see entry below), LTA’s initial salary proposal includes an across-the-board salary increase for all bargaining unit members, an adjustment in Steps 17-20 for Teachers and Counselors, stipends for Counselors to account for the additional 30 minutes they work per day, compression of salary steps for ECE teachers, language pertaining to CTE Teachers salary, and the addition of Honorariums at the elementary level. The parties also discussed moving from an 11-month pay schedule to a 12-month pay schedule. With respect to Health and Welfare Benefits, LTA proposed moving away from our hard-cap pool-based cost share model to a percentage-based cost-share formula. Under LTA’s proposal, since the cost-share will be tied to a percentage rather than a fixed amount, any changes to the total cost of medical insurance will be more equally shared, the employee picking up a percentage and the District picking up a percentage.
In our session on March 8th, the District did not have an immediate response to our Salary or Health and Welfare proposal. Since our proposal includes providing increases to all members both for July 1, 2017 and July 1, 2018, the District proposed waiting until after the state budget was signed to address salary. This would likely postpone negotiations into Fall 2018. The District shared that without the 2018-19 state budget finalized, they could not commit dollars to an increase effective July 1, 2018. LTA rejected this proposal. From LTA’s standpoint, there is nothing prohibiting the parties from addressing July 1, 2017 while continuing discussions around July 1, 2018 connected to the 2018-19 state budget process.
The next negotiation session is scheduled for Friday, April 13th, 2018. The Bargaining Team will continue to provide the membership with bargaining updates after each session.
Stronger Together,
The Bargaining Team
 
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LTA Bargaining Update #3
February 9, 2018
The LTA Bargaining Team and the District met again for re-opener negotiations on January 31st and February 7th. During these sessions, the parties discussed Hours of Employment and Working Conditions, the PAR process language in Article 13, Health and Welfare Benefits, and Salary.
With respect to Article 10, Hours of Employment and Working Conditions, while the parties have made progress on a number of proposed changes to the current language, key aspects remain unresolved.  This includes language concerning relief breaks for elementary teachers and uninterrupted planning time. We are also awaiting instructional minute data and cost analysis information regarding sub pay issues.
On Article 13, Evaluation, the parties engaged in an open dialogue regarding the PAR (Peer Assistance and Review) Process.  While PAR has been inoperable within LUSD for a number of years, LTA and LUSD are committed to renewing this program.  Earlier this year LTA and LUSD reconstituted the PAR Panel.  This independent committee of teachers and administrators were trained in January and are currently meeting and planning so that the program is up and running for eligible bargaining unit members next school year.  The parties used our session on February 7th to check in on the PAR Panel’s progress and review whether there might be changes to the current contract language that might benefit the PAR process.
With respect to Health and Welfare Benefits, LTA proposed moving away from our hard-cap pool-based cost share model to a percentage-based cost-share formula.  Currently, the cost-share for medical insurance between the District and LTA is based on an amount equal to about $8600 per full-time equivalent bargaining unit member (“FTE”).  Under this model, the total amount generated from $8600 per FTE is placed in a pool.  The parties then determine the District’s cost of these plans by splitting the amount of money in the pool between single, two-person, and family plans.  The employee picks up the difference in the cost.
Since the $8600 per FTE is a fixed amount and health insurance premiums have increased, the employee has picked up a greater share of the total cost of health insurance.
Under LTA’s proposal, since the cost-share will be tied to a percentage rather than a fixed amount, any changes to the total cost of medical insurance will be more equally shared, the employee picking up a percentage and the District picking up a percentage.
Regarding salary, LTA’s initial proposal includes an across-the-board salary increase for all bargaining unit members, an adjustment in Steps 17-20 for Teachers and Counselors, stipends for Counselors to account for the additional 30 minutes they work per day, compression of salary steps for ECE teachers, language pertaining to CTE Teachers salary, and the addition of Honorariums at the elementary level. The parties also discussed moving from an 11-month pay schedule to a 12-month pay schedule.
The next negotiation session is scheduled for Thursday, March 8, 2018. The Bargaining Team will continue to provide the membership with bargaining updates after each session.
Stronger Together,
Your LTA Bargaining Team
Crystal Hinds, Counselor, Lynwood Middle School
Angela Porter, Early Childhood Education, Helen Keller Elementary School
Jorge Rodriguez, Mark Twain Elementary School
Stellina Shepherd, Cesar Chavez Middle School
Myrna Vergara, Lindbergh Elementary School
Glenda Arellano, Bargaining Chair, Lynwood Middle School
Tom Pinkava, CTA Regional Uniserv Staff, LTA
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LTA Bargaining Update #2
January 16, 2018
On January 11th, LTA and the District met again for reopener negotiations. During this session, the parties largely discussed 2018-19 staffing levels. While the District is not currently planning for staff reductions, they shared concerns regarding declining enrollment and the impact the incoming charter, Soliel Academy, might have on elementary school site enrollment next school year.
In order to better prepare for 2018-19 staffing levels and assignments, the District presented LTA with an Early Retirement Notification Incentive proposal. The District shared that in the past, some people did not notify Human Resources that they planned to retire until the end of the school year, or even until during the summer, causing last minute vacancies and changes in staffing and assignments for the subsequent school year. The District discussed its desire to have a better grasp on who might retire this year in advance of March 15th staffing decisions. The intent of the Early Retirement Notification Incentive is to incentivize early retirement notification with a one-time lump sum payment.
It is important to note, this is not an early retirement incentive package similar to that offered in Spring 2016. Generally, early retirement incentives or supplemental early retirement packages are offered every 5 years or so. The purpose of this proposal is to incentivize potential retirees to submit their notification early only, not incentivize people not currently considering retirement to retire earlier than planned.
Given the urgency and timelines associated with this proposal, the LTA Bargaining Team agreed it should provide members considering retirement this year the ability to also receive a one-time lump sum incentive for early notification. The parties reached an agreement for a Memorandum of Understanding on an Early Retirement Notification Incentive as follows:
  • Employee must be eligible for STRS retirement. Employee must submit an irrevocable retirement letter on or before Friday, January 19, 2018 at 8:00 a.m. and no later than 4:00 p.m. on Friday, February 16, 2018.
  • The effective date of the retirement must be at the end of the employee’s 2017-2018 work year.
  • The irrevocable retirement notice will be date/time stamped and accepted by Human Resources Office staff. Bargaining unit member retirement notices verified to be within the first twenty (20), on a first come first serve basis, will automatically qualify for the incentive.
  • By mutual agreement of the District and the Lynwood Teachers Association, the cap of twenty (20) may be increased.
  • The irrevocable request for retirement will be confidential to the extent possible until they are processed to the board for final approval on June 7, 2018.
  • The amount of the incentive will be a one-time lump sum of $5,000 for full time employees.*
  • The incentive will be prorated for part time employees based on their current FTE status.
A full copy of the Memorandum of Understanding is available for viewing using the following link: Early Retirement Memorandum
The LTA Executive Board reviewed and approved the Memorandum of Understanding in its meeting on January 16, 2018. The Memorandum of Understanding went to the school board for approval on Thursday, January 18th. Bargaining unit members interested in taking the Early Retirement Notification Incentive must submit an irrevocable retirement letter on or before Friday, January 19, 2018 at 8:00 a.m. and no later than 4:00 p.m. on Friday, February 16, 2018.
For any interested employees, CTA is also offering a pre-retirement workshop Saturday, February 3, 2018, 9:00am – 12:00pm, at the Doubletree, Commerce (at the Citadel Outlets), 5757 Telegraph Rd, Commerce, CA 90040. STRS will be hosting the workshop and answering any questions you may have regarding retirement. If you are interested in attending, please RSVP to ltaoffice@lynwoodta.org by Thursday, January 25th.
The next negotiation session is scheduled for Wednesday, January 31st. During this session, the parties will be reviewing the District’s financials and discussing proposals on salary and health and welfare benefits. The District has also informed LTA that it will have a response to our December 7th proposal on Article X, Hours of Employment & Working Conditions.
Respectfully,
Your LTA Bargaining Team
Crystal Hinds, Counselor, Lynwood Middle School
Angela Porter, Early Childhood Education, Helen Keller Elementary School
Jorge Rodriguez, Mark Twain Elementary School
Stellina Shepherd, Cesar Chavez Middle School
Myrna Vergara, Lindbergh Elementary School
Glenda Arellano, Bargaining Chair, Lynwood Middle School
Tom Pinkava, CTA Regional Uniserv Staff, LTA
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LTA Bargaining Update #1
December 11, 2018
The LTA Bargaining Team held its first negotiation session for re-opener bargaining with LUSD on Thursday, December 7th. In addition to salary and health and welfare benefits, LTA has designated Article 10, Hours of Work and Employment, as its reopener, and the District has designated Article 16, Evaluation, as its re-opener.
The parties started off its first session with introductions. The LTA Bargaining Team includes: Bargaining Chair Glenda Arellano, Lynwood Middle School; Stellina Shepherd, Cesar Chavez Middle School; Myrna Vergara, Lindbergh Elementary; Angela Porter, Early Childhood Education; Crystal Hinds, Lynwood Middle School; Jorge Rodriguez, Mark Twain Elementary. The LUSD Bargaining Team includes: Nancy Hipolito, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources; John Caldecott, Human Resources Representative; Carlos Zaragoza, Principal of Lynwood High School; Geraldine Rescinito, Principal of Lincoln Elementary.
The parties then discussed ground rules and reviewed calendars, setting bargaining dates through February.
LTA then presented its proposal on Article 10, Hours of Work and Employment. Discussion included review of current instructional minutes; minimum day student dismissal; planning and prep time; online grade book rubrics; the work year calendar for ECE Teachers, SLPs, and School Psychologists; sub assignment practices; and elementary duty-free recess.
Following this, the District discussed some general ideas for what LTA might expect from LUSD’s forthcoming proposals. The parties will pick up negotiations when we return in the New Year. The next negotiation session is scheduled for Thursday, January 11, 2018. The Bargaining Team will provide the membership with bargaining updates after each bargaining session.
Stronger Together,
The Bargaining Team