Mar 6 2011

School Board News – March 3, 2011


Highlights from the March 3, 2011 Special Board Meeting submitted by June Monach, Board of Education Trustee

Key Agenda Topic: Tentative Contract Agreement

    90% of Teachers Voted ‘YES’ to Tentative Contract Agreement: We have reached a momentous milestone for Piedmont. The Association of Piedmont Teachers (APT), lauded for its leadership and timeliness, announced the approval of a three-year contract agreement between APT and the Piedmont Unified School District (PUSD). The teacher support for the agreement is significant. According to APT President Harlan Mohagen, the vote was 128-Yes and 16-No.

    Public Disclosure of Agreement: Board President Roy Tolles reviewed the chronology of work that led to the overwhelming approval by APT of the 3-year contract agreement. Superintendent Constance Hubbard reviewed the specific terms of the agreement and its fiscal impact on the District’s financial projections, saying that a moderate approach was being used to address both short and long-term issues over time. Background details.

    Financial Impact of Agreement is Significant: Out of a projected 2-year cumulative shortfall in the District’s General Fund of approximately $4 million, $1.6 million will be addressed through provisions in the new contract agreement for 2011-12 and 2012-13. The cumulative 3-year impact is $2.82 million. The specific terms of the agreement were reviewed by the Board and disclosed to the public and will go to the Board for final approval at its March 9, 2011 regular meeting. A combination of ongoing and one-time expenditure reductions to certificated employee compensation will be achieved in the following ways:

    *Stipend schedule for certain certificated staff (e.g., department chair, elementary combination class teachers, special before or after-school program).

    Additional provisions include:

    • The District and APT will continue to develop a mutually acceptable Professional Common Planning Time model (currently early release time for students every Monday). Details will be finalized by April 15, 2011.
    • The District’s exposure to future post retirement benefits expenditures will be reduced based upon changes in the contract language.
    • The Employee Evaluation Committee will continue to develop and implement a new evaluation instrument and process, with support from consultant and facilitator Carol Boyd.
    • Contingency language for a 1.5% pay cut for all APT members will be triggered and in effect for the 2011-12 school year in the event the State of California imposes further reductions on school districts.

    Community Sentiments: Everyone expressed thanks and appreciation to the negotiating team, District administrators, APT leaders, and the entire APT membership for reaching an agreement that sets our educational institution on a more sustainable path towards bringing spending in line with funding. The collective bargaining process was viewed by all to be the vehicle by which common interests were addressed and real concessions made to address the District’s educational needs and fiscal situation. Although we wished there could be, everyone recognized that there was not a solution for every problem. We acknowledged the enormity of the concession to cap health care and dental expenditures, and commended APT for reaching agreement on a contract where the pain will be shared across the entire membership, both for the near term and in recognition of future uncertainties.

    Recommended Program/Service Reductions: Given the fiscal impact of the APT contract, the District administration was able to propose the Particular Kind of Service (PKS) list presented, identifying services currently provided by certificated employees that may be reduced in the 2011-12 school year. Superintendent Hubbard anticipates that:

    • 31 employees will receive some form of notification (lay-off, release, reassignment) which translates to 20.21 FTE (Full-time Equivalent)
    • After enrollment adjustments, leaves, retirements, and categorical funding sources are confirmed, the District anticipates that up to 4 of the 31 employees will be affected by program reductions and not be returning next year. This translates to $300,000 – $500,000 in program/service expenditure reductions

    The Draft PKS List is as follows:

    • .8 FTE * English
    • .6 FTE ** Math
    • .6 FTE ** Music
    • .4 FTE *** Library Services
    • .4 FTE *** Reading Resource/EL
    • .6 FTE *** Counseling
    • .2 FTE ** Physical Education Specialist
    • .6 FTE *** Science/Math Resource Specialists
    • .8 FTE *** Administrative Services


    * Requires lay-off of permanent employee
    ** Requires release of temporary employee and possible reassignment of permanent employees to different assignment / site
    *** Requires re-assignment of permanent employees to different positions for which they are credentialed to provide services


    Public Input on Proposed PKS List: Instrumental music teacher Andria Mullan, suggested that reductions to or elimination of the 4th and 5th grade instrumental music program, would have a detrimental impact on the scope of the instrumental music program. Teacher Librarian Robin Ludmer, thanked the Board and the community for their ongoing support of the library program in all the schools, and described what impact reductions would have on the services provided to students, teachers, and families. She explained that a 10% reduction to the program would mean that at Beach, the library would be open 2 ½ rather than 3 days per week, and wanted the Board to understand that when cuts are made, direct services to everyone must change. Parents Catherine Ogle and Jon Elliott, hoped that all re-assignments that occur are strategic and made in the best interests of the K-12 program and students served. Superintendent Hubbard confirmed that this would be central to any re-organization.

    Board Comments: The Board expressed its support for the proposed PKS list, recognizing the positive fiscal impact that the APT agreement will have on the current estimated multi-year shortfall and the educational impact of minimizing staff turn-over for the K-12 student experience. Vice President, Rick Raushenbush added that supporting the proposed list and approach being used, “leaves the apportionment of lay-offs to administrators, who have a better grasp of how to minimize the impact on our program.”

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