Negotiations Update

Santa Barbara Teacher's Association (SBTA)

SBUSD AND SBTA SECOND MEDIATION SESSION ENDS WITH NO AGREEMENT:
NEXT STAGE IS FACT FINDING

Bargaining teams for the Santa Barbara Unified School District (SBUSD) and Santa Barbara Teachers Association (SBTA) met with the State-appointed mediator for eight hours on April 10 to continue to pursue a contract settlement. At the end of the session, the mediator informed the parties he is “releasing” them from the mediation process. This means the parties may proceed to the next stage of the legally mandated impasse process: fact finding.

THE FACT FINDING PROCESS
Once mediation ends, one or both parties can request to proceed to fact finding where they both submit factual evidence to a panel that will make recommendations for a settlement.  The panel consists of three people: a neutral (either appointed by the Public Employment Relations Board [PERB] or selected by the parties) and one person selected by each party.  

Unless the parties agree to extend legal timelines, the panel must meet within 10 days of appointment and must hold a hearing and issue a fact finding report within 30 days of appointment.  The panel must consider a list of factors set forth by law. When the impasse is primarily over compensation, the major factors are usually the fiscal impact of the parties’ proposals and comparability with similar public school employers in similar communities. 

The length of the fact finding process depends on many factors, such as the timing and length of the fact finding hearing, whether the parties agree to extend timelines, and whether the parties engage in post-fact finding negotiations. Typically, the process can take anywhere from three to six months, depending on these variables.

The fact finding report is advisory only and provides recommended terms of settlement for consideration by the parties.  SBUSD must make the fact finding report public within 10 days of receipt.  

POST-FACT FINDING CONSIDERATION OF THE REPORT: EITHER AGREEMENT OR  END OF NEGOTIATIONS PROCESS
Once the advisory report is provided to the parties but before it becomes public, the parties must determine if recommendations in the report “break the impasse” and can serve as the basis for a settlement. This determination may involve further face-to-face negotiations or other means of communication. 

If the parties cannot reach an agreement, a “second impasse” is reached, and the parties have completed their legal duty to negotiate. Each party now has the lawful right to take unilateral action. This means SBUSD has the legal right to unilaterally impose terms and conditions within the scope of its last, best offer to SBTA, and SBTA may engage in a lawful strike. 

It is important for students and families to know that a legal strike typically cannot occur before the parties have gone through the entire impasse process.

The District will continue to participate in the impasse process in good faith in order to reach a fair and sustainable agreement for students, staff and the District community.

Next Steps:

Dr. John Becchio, Assistant Superintendent, Human Resources
Kim Hernandez, Assistant Superintendent, Business Services
John Schettler, Executive Director, Student & Family Services
Ann Peak, Director, Human Resources
Dare Holdren, Principal, San Marcos
Jennifer Foster, Principal, La Colina
Kelly Fresch, Principal, Adams
Gregory J. Dannis, Legal Counsel

SBUSD AND SBTA HOLD FIRST MEDIATION SESSION 

STATE MEDIATOR SCHEDULES SECOND DATE

SBUSD AND SBTA held their first meeting today with a State-appointed mediator in the first stage of the mandatory “impasse process” under our state collective bargaining law. After meeting for over eight hours, the mediator concluded the parties should continue their efforts to reach a settlement at a second meeting scheduled on April 10.

Since all conversations in mediation are confidential, this Update cannot disclose the options and ideas which were communicated through the mediator. The District is encouraged, however, that the mediator believes it is worthwhile to have a second meeting to continue our discussions in a good faith effort to reach an agreement. 

NEXT STEPS: Mediation session number two is on April 10, 2024. 

Dr. John Becchio, Assistant Superintendent, Human Resources
Kim Hernandez, Assistant Superintendent, Business Services
John Schettler, Executive Director, Student & Family Services
Ann Peak, Director, Human Resources
Dare Holdren, Principal, San Marcos
Jennifer Foster, Principal, La Colina
Kelly Fresch, Principal, Adams
Gregory J. Dannis, Legal Counsel

SBUSD AND SBTA AGREE TO ENTER NEXT STAGE OF NEGOTIATIONS:
THE IMPASSE PROCESS – MEDIATION IS THE FIRST STEP

SBUSD AND SBTA have been negotiating over a new 2023-2024 contract since November 15, 2023 and have reached an agreement on all issues except for Wages for all certificated staff (salary), and Hours and Conditions mostly related to special education.

Under our state’s collective bargaining law, when the parties are unable to come to an agreement, they must participate in what is known as the “impasse process.” The law defines an impasse as when “the parties to a dispute over matters subject to negotiations have reached a point at which their differences in positions are so substantial and prolonged that future meetings would be futile.”  

SBUSD and SBTA agree they have reached this stage and jointly declared an impasse on January 19, 2024. Since the parties are filing a joint declaration of impasse, the Public Employee Relations Board (PERB) is certain to“certify” the impasse.

The following is a summary of the impasse process:

MEDIATION
Once PERB certifies the impasse, the parties are assigned a state mediator whose services are provided at no cost to the parties.  The mediator generally meets with the parties in a joint session first and then separates the parties and moves between the two groups in an attempt to resolve the issues and reach an agreement.  

The mediator has no authority to force a specific resolution. There is no time limit on the duration of mediation (it can last months, although most involve at least two sessions), and only the mediator can terminate the mediation and send the parties to the next stage: fact finding.  

FACT FINDING
One or both parties can request to proceed to the fact finding process where they both submit factual evidence to a fact finding panel in a hearing so that the panel may make recommendations for a settlement.  The fact finding panel consists of three people: a neutral (either appointed by PERB or selected by the parties) and one person selected by each party.  

Unless the parties agree to extend legal timelines, the panel must meet within 10 days of appointment, must hold a hearing and issue a fact finding report within 30 days of appointment.  The panel must consider a list of factors set forth by law. When the impasse is primarily over compensation, the major factors are usually the fiscal impact of the parties’ proposals and comparability with similar public school employers in similar communities. The official criteria in this area are: 

  1. The interests and welfare of the public and the financial ability of the public school employer; 

  2. Comparison of the wages, hours, and conditions of employment of the employees involved in the fact finding proceeding with those other employees performing similar services and with other employees generally in public school employment in comparable communities; and

  3. The overall compensation presently received by the employees, including direct wage compensation, vacations, holidays, and other excused time, insurance and pensions, and medical and hospitalization benefits.

The fact finding report is advisory only and provides recommended terms of settlement for consideration by the parties.  SBUSD must make the fact finding report public within 10 days of receipt.

POST-FACT FINDING CONSIDERATION OF THE REPORT: EITHER AGREEMENT OR  END OF NEGOTIATIONS PROCESS
Once the advisory report is provided to the parties but before it becomes public, the parties must determine if recommendations in the report “break the impasse” and can serve as the basis for a settlement. This determination may involve further face to face negotiations or communications such as texts or emails. 

If the parties cannot reach agreement, a “second impasse” is reached, and the parties have completed their legal duty to negotiate.  Each party then has the lawful right to take unilateral action.  This means SBUSD would have the legal right to unilaterally impose terms and conditions within the scope of its last, best and final offer to SBTA, and SBTA may engage in a lawful strike. 

It is important for students and families to know that a legal strike cannot occur before the parties have gone through the entire impasse process.

LENGTH OF THE IMPASSE PROCESS
The length of the impasse process depends on many factors such as how many sessions the mediator schedules, the timing and length of the fact finding hearing (and whether the parties agree to extend timelines), and whether the parties engage in post-fact finding negotiations. Typically, the process can take anywhere from three to six months depending on these variables.

SBUSD will continue to negotiate in good faith with SBTA and attempt to reach a final agreement by participating fully and with positive intent in the impasse process.

Dr. John Becchio, Assistant Superintendent, Human Resources
Kim Hernandez, Assistant Superintendent, Business Services
John Schettler, Executive Director, Student & Family Services
Ann Peak, Director, Human Resources
Dare Holdren, Principal, San Marcos
Jennifer Foster, Principal, La Colina
Kelly Fresch, Principal, Adams
Gregory J. Dannis, Legal Counsel

SBTA RESUBMITS SAME SALARY PROPOSAL OF 23% TO SBUSD

SBTA Rejects District's December 12 Across the Board Salary Increase of 13% Plus Salary Enhancements of 4% at First and Last Steps of Schedule

SBUSD Makes “Process Proposal” to Facilitate Resolution of Parties’ 
Different Views of District Finances Now 
Instead of Waiting Until End of Impasse Process
 

Introduction

This is Santa Barbara Unified School District’s (SBUSD) fourth Negotiations Update for 2024-2025 successor contract negotiations between the District and the Santa Barbara Teachers Association (SBTA). The District will continue to distribute the Negotiations Update after meetings with SBTA to inform our community on the progress of negotiations.

The parties met for their fourth negotiations session on January 11, 2024, a summary of which is below.

SBTA Resubmits Same Salary Proposal To SBUSD. SBTA Rejects District's December 12 Across the Board Salary Increase of 13% Plus Salary Enhancements of 4% at First and Last Steps of Schedule.

On December 12, 2023, SBTA proposed a 15% increase for the 2024-2025 school year and an 8% increase for the 2025-2026 school year.

On that same date, the District responded with an offer of a 9% increase for the 2024-25 school year and a 4% increase for the 2025-26 school year. In addition the District proposed a salary schedule restructuring designed to raise the beginning salary step by 4% and the highest salary step by 4%. 

SBTA responded by rejecting the District’s proposal and resubmitting its previous December 12 proposal unchanged. SBTA’s proposal stated: “Today SBTA is standing on our last compensation proposal”. SBTA called specific attention to rejecting the District’s proposal to add a new highest salary step, which would result in a 9% raise plus an additional 4% step increase July 1, 2024 for over 200 unit members who are frozen at that current highest salary step.

The District stated it did not believe SBTA’s response was good faith negotiations and placed it in a position of negotiating against itself until SBTA might decide a proposal is acceptable. In effect, the District would have to make proposal after proposal while SBTA made no new proposals. The District declined to engage in this kind of one-sided negotiations.

SBTA’s proposal included an explanation of why it believes the District can afford its repeated offer. The District stated this information reveals vastly different perspectives of the District’s finances, which led the District to make a “process proposal” summarized below.

SBUSD Makes “Process Proposal” to Facilitate Resolution of Parties’ Different Views of District Finances Now Instead of Waiting Until End of Impasse Process

If parties are unable to resolve their differences in negotiations, they must enter the impasse process which includes mediation and fact finding. At fact finding, each party presents its data and information to a panel that includes one neutral party in an effort to persuade the neutral that the fiscal “facts” support one of the parties’ proposals or something in between. Normally these presentations involve budget experts from CTA and the District.

The District stated to SBTA its belief that when the process is impeding progress, the process should be changed, and SBTA’s resubmission of its month-old proposal demonstrated that the process was not working well. The District proposed a new process referred to as “Fact Finding Before Fact Finding,” summarized as follows:

Proposal: Fact finding Before Fact Finding: Instead of waiting for months until the final stage of the impasse process to engage in this in-depth budget analysis, the parties can and should do so now. This process could be as follows:

  • Each party would bring in their budget experts who would receive all relevant budget documents and any information proposed by either party to be included.
  • The budget experts would meet and confer as they determine, e.g., in person or digitally, with or without the parties present.
  • The budget experts would report out findings and recommendations as they determine, e.g., in writing to the parties and/or in person at a negotiations session. These findings and recommendations do not necessarily need to be in agreement; for example each budget expert could make their own recommendations and findings.
  • The negotiating teams would use the information provided to inform their proposals and, hopefully, move to an agreement or at least closer to an agreement.
  • Even assuming no agreement is reached, it is likely both parties will be better informed and more prepared to engage meaningfully in the impasse process.

The District emphasized that having “new eyes” examine financial information held a better promise of moving the parties forward than continuing the present process, stating, “We want to reach an agreement and we think this will help.”

SBTA stated it would consider the “Process Proposal” and respond to the District soon, possibly as early as Thursday evening.

Next Steps: The next negotiations session is on January 19.

Dr. John Becchio, Assistant Superintendent, Human Resources
Kim Hernandez, Assistant Superintendent, Business Services
John Schettler, Executive Director, Student & Family Services
Ann Peak, Director, Human Resources
Dare Holdren, Principal, San Marcos
Jennifer Foster, Principal, La Colina
Kelly Fresch, Principal, Adams
Gregory J. Dannis, Legal Counsel

SBUSD AND SBTA REACH TENTATIVE AGREEMENTS 
ON HEALTH & WELFARE BENEFITS AND CLASS SIZE

 

District-Paid 75% Of Medical Premiums Under Any Plan
Reduced Class Sizes Placed Permanently In Contract

 

December 12 SBTA Salary Proposal: 
15% Increase for 2024-2025 and 8% Increase for 2025-2026

District Presents Financial Information Showing Impact of SBTA Proposal

 

December 12 SBUSD Salary Counterproposal: 
9% Increase for 2024-2025 
4% Increase for 2025-2026
Increase Beginning Salary Step by approximately 4%
Add new Step 20 at 4% Increase

 

Introduction

This is Santa Barbara Unified School District’s (SBUSD) third Negotiations Update for 2024-2025 successor contract negotiations between the District and the Santa Barbara Teachers Association (SBTA). The District will distribute the Negotiations Update after meetings with SBTA to inform our community on the progress of negotiations.

The parties met for their third negotiations session on December 12, 2023, a summary of which is below.

SBUSD and SBTA Reach Agreements On Health & Welfare Benefits And Class Size

After only three bargaining sessions, SBTA accepted the District’s’ 11/15/2023 Health and Welfare Benefits proposal and the District’s 11/28/2023 counterproposal on Class Size. The parties signed tentative agreements (TAs) on these two major subjects of negotiations, which provide:

Health and Welfare Benefits - District to Pay 75% of Medical Benefits:

Currently the District covers 40% to 60% of medical benefits premium costs, depending on the plan chosen by employees. Under the current contract, the District would cover up to 1% in premium increases absent a new agreement.

Under the TA, effective July 1, 2024, the District will cover 75% of medical benefit premium costs (including future premium increases) regardless of the plan chosen.

The District shared data on the impact of this proposal which would reduce monthly employee out of pocket costs as follows (the range depends on the plan chosen): 

  • $102 to $406 (employee only coverage) 
  • $340 to $736 (employee plus one) 
  • $371 to $937 (family)

The above amounts are paid on a ten-month basis, so the annual savings to unit members are $1,020 to $4,060, $3,400 to $7,360 and $3,710 to $9,370.

The estimated District cost of this proposal is $3,081,422 to cover only the SBTA bargaining unit.

Reduced Class Sizes Placed Permanently In Contract

For the last three years, the District and SBTA have agreed to a year-to-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) calling for reduced class sizes below the maximums in the negotiated agreement. SBTA accepted SBUSD’s 11/28/2023 proposal to include reduced class sizes permanently in the negotiated agreement.

The reduced class sizes will be an additional $6.3M ongoing cost out of the regular budget because they were formerly paid for out of expiring one-time funds.

New SBTA Salary Proposal: 15% Increase for 2024-2025 and 8% Increase for 2025-2056 SBTA initially proposed a 20% salary increase for the 2024-2025 school year. SBTA’s new offer is for a 23% increase over two years – 15% in 2024-2025 and 8% in 2025-2026. SBTA stated that the current District reserve is 17% and can be reduced to the Board Policy of a minimum 10% reserve in furtherance of funding a salary increase.

District Presents Financial Information Showing Impact of SBTA Proposal
SBUSD presented SBTA with multiyear budget projects (MYPs) showing the impact of SBTA’s salary proposal as applied only to SBTA and as applied to all employees (the District assumes it will give the same raise to all employees). SBUSD also provided an MYP showing the impact of the District’s last salary proposal (8% increase in 2024-2025 and 4% increase in 2025-2026, as summarized below:

Proposal                                                                   Projected 2025-2026 District Reserve

  • SBTA 12/12/2023 Proposal 15% 2023-25;
    8% 2024-25 for SBTA only:                             5.18%*
  • SBTA 12/12/2023 Proposal 15% 2023-25;
    8% 2024-25 for all employees:                        <.35%>*
  • SBUSD 11/28/2023 Proposal 
  • for all employees:                                            8.61%*

*Assumptions for these calculations: 

  • Class Size reduction continues $6,310,255
  • Increased Health Insurance contribution: $3,502,410
  • Projected reductions: 20% in services/contracts and 15% in supplies, effective 2024-2025.
  • Elimination of all one-time funded positions
  • Significant cuts in areas including management, classified and certificated positions, contracted services, books and supplies, and travel and conferences

Based on the above, the District asked SBTA how its proposal could be reconciled with its statement in support of maintaining a minimum 10% reserve. The District noted that even its own initial proposal of 11/28 would require going below the 10% reserve mark.

New SBUSD Salary Counterproposal: 9% Increase for 2024-2025 and 4% increase for 2025-2026,  Plus Increase Beginning Salary Step 1 by approximately 4% and add new Step 20 at 4% 

The District increased its 11/28 salary proposal (8% for 2024-2025 and 4% for 2025-2026) as follows:

2024-2025:

  • 9% salary schedule increase effective 7/1/2024
  • Make dollar amount of step 1 across all columns of certificated salary schedules equal to the dollar amount of step 2, effective 7/1/2024 (approximately a 4% increase)
  • Add new step 20 at the bottom of certificated salary schedules across all columns in an amount 4% greater than step 19.

2025-2026: 

  • 4% salary schedule increase effective 7/1/2025

Next Steps:

The next negotiation sessions are scheduled January 11, and 19, 2024 and February 6, 2024.

Dr. John Becchio, Assistant Superintendent, Human Resources
Kim Hernandez, Assistant Superintendent, Business Services
John Schettler, Executive Director, Student & Family Services
Ann Peak, Director, Human Resources
Dare Holdren, Principal, San Marcos
Jennifer Foster, Principal, La Colina
Kelly Fresch, Principal, Adams
Gregory J. Dannis, Legal Counsel

 

SBUSD PROPOSES $22 MILLION TOTAL COMPENSATION PACKAGE TO SBTA

EQUAL TO A 19% RAISE OVER TWO YEARS

8% SALARY INCREASE FOR 2024-25 AND 4% SALARY INCREASE FOR 2025-26
DISTRICT-PAID 75% OF MEDICAL PREMIUMS UNDER ANY PLAN

CLASS SIZE REDUCTION PLACED PERMANENTLY IN CONTRACT

Introduction

This is Santa Barbara Unified School District’s (SBUSD) second Negotiations Update for 2024-2025 successor contract negotiations between the District and the Santa Barbara Teachers Association (SBTA). The District will distribute the Negotiations Update after meetings with SBTA to inform our community on the progress of negotiations.

The parties met for their second negotiations session on November 28, 2023, a summary of which is below.

The District is interested in reaching a fair settlement in a timely manner and to further this goal today, the District brought forward a proposal it believes can form the basis for an agreement. The District is intent on not engaging in incremental bargaining and put forth a proposal to bring an early settlement.

SBUSD Proposes $22 Million Total Compensation Package To SBTA - Equal to a 19% Raise Over Two Years 

SBTA’s initial proposal of November 15, 2023 was for a 20% wage increase for 2024-25 and permanent class size reduction. Together, this proposal was estimated to cost $26.2 million.

In response, the District proposed a total compensation increase amounting to about $22 million over two years (2024-25 and 2025-26) for salary increases, an increase in the District’s contribution to medical benefits, and retaining reduced class sizes on an ongoing basis. Based on the cost of a 1% raise for the SBTA bargaining unit, the District’s total compensation package is estimated to be equal to a 19% raise over two years.

8% Salary Increase For 2024-25 And 4% Salary Increase For 2025-26
The District’s wage proposal is as follows:

SBUSD Counter Offer = $12,000,000 

  • 2024/2025: 8% salary increase effective July 1, 2024
  • 2025/2026: 4% salary increase effective July 1, 2025 
  • 2026/2027: Contract reopeners for Article IV – Wages

The District provided SBTA with data showing that the 2023-24 increase alone would result in SBUSD ranking first out of six comparison unified districts in both beginning and maximum scheduled salaries: 

Source: District Salary Schedules on Websites

The District also noted that the latest projections show the State Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for 2024-2025 to be around 1% (the prior projection was 3.94%).  While the State’s projected COLA is 1%, the District’s proposal for that same year is for an 8% salary increase.

District-Paid 75% Of Medical Premiums Under Any Plan

As summarized in SBUSD’s Negotiations Update #1 (November 15, 2023), currently the District covers 40% to 60% of medical benefits premium costs, depending on the plan chosen by employees. Also, under the current contract, the District would cover 1% of premium increases absent a new agreement.

Under its new proposal, effective July 1, 2024, the District would cover 75% of medical benefit premium costs (including future premium increases) regardless of the particular plan chosen.

The District shared data on the impact of this proposal which would reduce monthly employee out-of-pocket costs as follows (the range depends on the plan chosen): 

  • $102 to $406 (employee-only coverage) 
  • $340 to $736 (employee plus one) 
  • $371 to $937 (family)

The above amounts are paid on a ten-month basis, so the annual savings are $1,020 to $4,060, $3,400 to $7,360 and $3,710 to $9,370.

The estimated District cost of this proposal in 2024/2025 is $3,081,422 to cover only the SBTA bargaining unit. This would be an ongoing cost that would increase by $427,812 in 2025/2026, making this a total of $3,509,234

Class Size Reduction Placed Permanently In Contract
For the last three years, the District and SBTA have agreed to year-to-year side letter agreements calling for reduced class sizes. SBTA has proposed to include the side letter language – and in some cases to further reduce those numbers – permanently in the negotiated agreement.

The District agreed with SBTA to place class size reduction permanently in the contract and proposed to continue the class size reduction numbers contained in the latest side letter agreement. These reduced class sizes have been funded by one-time funds which are expiring.  This means the $6.2 million ongoing cost to maintain reduced class sizes would have to be paid out of regular District funds and represents a new, ongoing $6.2 million expenditure for the SBTA bargaining unit.

Next Steps:
The third negotiation session is on December 12. Additional dates have been set for January 11th, January 19th, and February 6th.

Dr. John Becchio, Assistant Superintendent, Human Resources
Kim Hernandez, Assistant Superintendent, Business Services
John Schettler, Executive Director, Student & Family Services
Ann Peak, Director, Human Resources
Dare Holdren, Principal, San Marcos
Jennifer Foster, Principal, La Colina
Kelly Fresch, Principal, Adams
Gregory J. Dannis, Legal Counsel

SBUSD AND SBTA HOLD FIRST NEGOTIATIONS SESSION 
FOR SUCCESSOR CONTRACT

Parties Exchange Proposals on Total Compensation:
District Proposes to Increase Contribution to Cover 75% of Medical Premiums and
SBTA Proposes 20% Wage Increase for 2024-2025 School Year 

SBTA Proposes to Maintain Class Size Reductions

Introduction
This is Santa Barbara Unified School District’s (SBUSD) first Negotiations Update for 2024-2025 successor contract negotiations between the District and the Santa Barbara Teachers Association (SBTA). “Successor” negotiations means all sections of the contract can potentially be discussed.  The District will distribute the Negotiations Update after meetings with SBTA to inform our community on the progress of negotiations.

The District and SBTA met for their first session on November 15, 2023. Before providing its initial proposal to SBTA, the District negotiations team presented its “Core Values” which will serve as its criteria to analyze proposals and counterproposals from both parties during these negotiations:

SBUSD Core Values In Negotiations

  • Improve student outcomes 
  • Support quality educators to promote success for all students
  • Remain fiscally solvent in both the short and long term
  • Be transparent and adhere to our agreements
  • Pursue coherence and clarity of purpose while acknowledging diverse needs across the District 
  • Be passionate about the issues through respectful dialogue

Parties Exchange Proposals on Total Compensation
The District believes “total compensation” is comprised of two major factors - health benefits and salaries. At the parties’ first session, the District gave SBTA an initial health benefits proposal and SBTA gave the District its initial salary proposal.

District Proposes to Increase Contribution to Cover 75% of Medical Premiums
Currently the District covers 40% to 60% of medical benefits premium costs, depending on the plan chosen by employees. Also, under the current contract, the District would cover 1% of premium increases absent a new agreement.

Under its new proposal, effective July 1, 2024, the District would cover 75% of medical benefit premium costs (including future premium increases) regardless of the particular plan chosen.

The District shared data on the impact of this proposal which would reduce monthly employee out-of-pocket costs as follows (the range depends on the plan chosen): 

  • $102 to $406 (employee only coverage) 
  • $340 to $736 (employee plus one) 
  • $371 to $937 (family)

The above amounts are paid on a ten-month basis, so the annual savings are $1,020 to $4,060, $3,400 to $7,360 and $3,710 to $9,370.

The estimated District cost of this proposal is $3,081,422 to cover only the SBTA bargaining unit.

About 600 SBTA unit members (out of about 850 total) participate in District-provided medical benefits, so the District’s proposal would benefit about 70% of the bargaining unit, not counting additional unit members who might elect to participate based on the District’s 75% proposal.

SBTA Proposes 20% Wage Increase for 2024-2025 School Year 
SBTA’s initial proposal is for “a 20% increase in salary across all steps and classes (including stipends), beginning with the 2024-25 school year.” SBTA stated its proposal represented a “seismic shift.” SBTA clarified that this increase is proposed to occur in one year – the 2024-2025 school year.

SBTA agreed with the District’s initial estimate that the cost of this proposal would be $20 million for the bargaining unit. In response to District questions, SBTA stated its belief that the District could afford this proposal through spending down reserves (which are one-time funds) and making potentially major changes in District spending.

SBTA Proposes to Maintain Class Size Reductions
For the last three years, the District and SBTA have agreed to a year-to-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) calling for reduced class sizes below the maximums in the negotiated agreement. SBTA has proposed to include the MOU class size maximums – and in some cases to further reduce those numbers – permanently in the negotiated agreement.

SBTA agreed with the District’s estimated $6.2 million cost of maintaining the MOU reduced class sizes. The District reminded SBTA that the MOU reduced class sizes have been funded by one-time funds which are expiring.  This means the $6.2 million ongoing cost to maintain MOU class sizes would have to be paid out of regular District funds.

Next Steps:
The next negotiation session is on November 28.

Dr. John Becchio, Assistant Superintendent Human Resources
Kim Hernandez, Assistant Superintendent, Business Services
John Schettler, Executive Director Student Family Services
Ann Peak, Director Human Resources
Dare Holdren, Principal, San Marcos
Jennifer Foster, Principal, La Colina
Kelly Fresch, Principal, Adams
Gregory J. Dannis, Legal Counsel

Did You Know?

March 15th Reduction In Force Notification Deadline

 

Community Schools Partnership  

Community Schools Partnerships

 

 

Travel  and Conferences

DidYouKnowTravelandConferences

 

DidYouKnowTravelandConferencesSpan

LCAP Process Beginning

DidyouKnowLCAPEnglish

 

 DidYouKnowLCAPSpanish

Budget Process 

DidYouKnowBudgetProcessEnglish
DidYouKnowBudgetProcess

Restricted and Unrestricted Funds 

Restricted Funds
Restricted Funds Spanish

 

School District Budgets and Reserves

What Happens in the Impasse Process?

California School Employee Association (CSEA)

SBUSD and CSEA Exchange Proposals for Shift and Floater Premium Pay

Introduction
This is Santa Barbara Unified School District’s (SBUSD) sixth Negotiations Update for successor contract negotiations between the District and the California School Employee Association (CSEA). The District will distribute the Negotiations Update after meetings with CSEA to inform our community on the progress of negotiations.


SBUSD and CSEA Discuss the Concept of Adding Mediation as a Formal Step in the Grievance Process  

The current grievance process does not include a formal step for mediation. CSEA’s initial proposal today proposed language that would add a formal mediation step to the grievance process. SBUSD agreed with CSEA that adding a mediation step will improve the grievance process and increase the chance of resolving grievances without the need for arbitration. 


SBUSD proposed in its counter proposal that there be an added step for mediation but in the same mediation session, if there is no resolution, the mediator will become the arbitrator and make a binding decision. This puts mediation and arbitration in the same step in the process, saving both time and money. CSEA will review SBUSD’s counter proposal. 

CSEA Makes Initial Proposal for Changing Shift Premium Pay
After receiving the proposals to change shift differential and floater premium from 5% premium rather than the current set amount, the District made a counter offer to accept a new criteria for the shift differential definition so that it would apply to any employee whose shift ends after 7pm. The District did not accept changing the premium to the 5% but is open to negotiating further regarding the set amount of the stipend. 


CSEA Proposes New Contract Language for Working out of Class and Reclassification 
CSEA made an initial proposal for a new article that would contain language on both the work out of class and reclassification process. Both topics are a part of the current contract but exist in different places within the contract. Current contract language specifies that to receive work out of class pay the employee must have worked out of their classification for at least 5 days. CSEA is proposing that there be no 5 day criteria in order for an employee to be paid for work out of class.

 
CSEA also proposed a new process for reclassification and SBUSD needs to review that proposal further. 

 

Next Steps:
The next negotiation sessions are on April 26, May 9, and May 15.


Dr. John Becchio, Assistant Superintendent Human Resources
Kim Hernandez, Assistant Superintendent, Business Services
ShaKenya Edison, Assistant Superintendent of Student and Family Services
Tara Wise, Classified Personnel Manager
Ed Gomez, Santa Barbara High School Assistant Principal

SBUSD and CSEA Reach Two Tentative Agreements For Compensatory Time And Transfers

 

Introduction

This is Santa Barbara Unified School District’s (SBUSD) fifth Negotiations Update for successor contract negotiations between the District and the California School Employee Association (CSEA). The District will distribute the Negotiations Update after meetings with CSEA to inform our community on the progress of negotiations.


SBUSD and CSEA Reach Fifth Tentative Agreement on Compensatory Time Off (CTO)

The District and CSEA agreed to implement a formal process for recording and tracking CTO. A unit member who is approved for CTO in lieu of overtime pay will be allowed to accrue up to 40 hours of CTO. Submissions that exceed 40 hours shall be automatically paid out at the overtime rate.


SBUSD and CSEA Reach Sixth Tentative Agreement on Transfers

The District and CSEA agreed to update contract language on transfers. Five days notice will continue to be given before a transfer occurs. If the unit member is off contract (e.g., over the summer when the employee isn’t working), confirmation that the member is aware of the transfer must occur before the five-day clock begins.

Additionally, CSEA and the District agreed on transfer decisions to occur based on the following priority order:
1. Needs of the district, 
2. Special qualifications or circumstances,
3. Seniority.


Lastly, if a transfer will cause a unit member to lose shift differential pay, the transfer will not be made without mutual agreement between the supervisor and the unit member, unless the transfer is being made for a disciplinary reason. 

CSEA Makes Initial Proposal for Changing Shift Premium Pay

At the end of the bargaining session, CSEA brought forward a proposal to provide qualifying unit members with a 5% shift differential pay, rather than the current amount of $108 per month. CSEA is proposing that shift differential pay apply to all members who work a regular shift that ends between 6:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. The District will review the proposal and discuss it at a future negotiation session.


Next Steps:

The next negotiation sessions are on April 12, April 26, May 9, May 15.


Dr. John Becchio, Assistant Superintendent Human Resources
Kim Hernandez, Assistant Superintendent, Business Services
ShaKenya Edison, Assistant Superintendent of Student and Family Services
Tara Wise, Classified Personnel Manager
 

 

SBUSD and CSEA Exchange Proposals on Transfers, Compensatory Time, and Discipline

Introduction
This is Santa Barbara Unified School District’s (SBUSD) fourth Negotiations Update for successor contract negotiations between the District and the California School Employee Association (CSEA). The District will distribute the Negotiations Update after meetings with CSEA to inform our community on the progress of negotiations.

SBUSD Countered with Clarifying Contract Language Around the Transfer Process

SBUSD and CSEA exchanged proposals regarding the transfer process. SB Unified offered a counterproposal aimed at defining transfers in a manner more similar with the SBTA contract. The priorities are based on the district, special qualifications or circumstances, and seniority.

SBUSD Offered Counterproposal to Report and Track Compensatory Time

Both CSEA and SBUSD have shown interest in improving the process for tracking compensatory time accrual. The District's counterproposal suggests incorporating language on the subject and forming a committee with CSEA to design the process collaboratively.

SBUSD Counters CSEA’s Progressive Discipline Language

SB Unified is reviewing a CSEA proposal aimed at ensuring employees receive written notification following verbal warnings, along with guaranteeing their right to union representation in disciplinary communications. SBUSD also rejected a CSEA proposal to make Hearing Officers' decisions binding in appeal hearings. The District aims to maintain the current language to uphold the Board of Education's authority in making employment decisions.

Next Steps:

The next negotiation sessions are on April 3, April 12, and April 26.

Dr. John Becchio, Assistant Superintendent Human Resources
Kim Hernandez, Assistant Superintendent, Business Services
ShaKenya Edison, Assistant Superintendent of Student and Family Services
Tara Wise, Classified Personnel Manager
Ed Gomez, Santa Barbara High School Assistant Principal

SBUSD and CSEA Reach Two More Tentative Agreements

SBUSD AND CSEA REACH TWO MORE TENTATIVE AGREEMENTS

SBUSD and CSEA Agree to Increased Hourly Compensation for Specific Salary Ranges

SBUSD and CSEA Agree on a “Me Too” Compensation Clause in the Contract

SBUSD Considering CSEA Proposal on Compensatory Time

CSEA Considering SBUSD Counter Proposal on Transfers

CSEA Proposes Changes to Progressive Discipline Language

Introduction
This is Santa Barbara Unified School District’s (SBUSD) third Negotiations Update for successor contract negotiations between the District and the California School Employee Association (CSEA). The District will distribute the Negotiations Update after meetings with CSEA to inform our community on the progress of negotiations.

SBUSD and CSEA Agree to Increased Hourly Compensation for Specific Salary Ranges

The tentative agreement proposes that on July 1, 2024, the following Ranges on the salary schedule receive the hourly rate increase. The chart below lists both the current rate range and the increase and what the new range will be. It is important to note that these changes are separate from any compensation increase that all members may receive.

 

Step 1 Current Rate

Step 19 Current Hourly Rate

Hourly Increase

Step 1 Increased Hourly Rate 

Step 19 Increased Hourly Rate

Range 16

$16.01/ Hour

$21.07/ Hour

$1.55/ Hour

$17.56/ Hour

$22.62/ Hour

Range 18

$16.01/ Hour

$21.07/ Hour

$1.55/ Hour

$17.56/ Hour

$22.62/ Hour

Range 20

$16.65/ Hour

$22.94/ Hour

$1.10/ Hour 

$17.75/ Hour

$24.04/ Hour

Range 21

$17.05/ Hour

$23.41/ Hour

$0.82/ Hour 

$17.87/ Hour

$24.23/ Hour

Range 24

$18.07/ Hour 

$24.93/ Hour

$0.30/ Hour 

$18.37/ Hour

$25.23/ Hour

This agreement was reached out of mutual interest in having the lowest ranges on the classified salary schedule start at an hourly rate closer to $20/hour, knowing that pending wage negotiations will continue to increase the agreed amounts. The goal is to be more competitive with both the State minimum wage of $16/hour and recent CA legislation that calls for fast food employees to receive a minimum wage of $20/hour. These salary proposals will add around $254,000 in ongoing costs to the District’s budget.

SBUSD and CSEA Exchanged Proposals “Me Too” Compensation Clause in the Contract

For many years, CSEA and SBUSD have operated with an informal understanding that any compensation agreement with another employee group would be guaranteed as the minimum implemented with CSEA. This is commonly referred to as a “Me Too” compensation clause. This tentative agreement places a “Me Too” compensation clause in the collective bargaining agreement.

SBUSD Considering CSEA Proposal on Compensatory Time

CSEA and SBUSD have a mutual interest in improving the process for tracking the accrual of compensatory time. The proposal suggests that compensatory time is tracked in a similar fashion to how overtime hours are recorded and paid out.

CSEA Considering SBUSD Counter Proposal on Transfers

CSEA asked the District to base transfers on seniority, instead of based around District needs. Additionally, CSEA asked for 10 days written notice ahead of a transfer instead of 5. SB Unified countered with an allowance of five extra days with mutual agreement between the employee and District. CSEA Proposes

Changes to Progressive Discipline Language

SB Unified is considering a CSEA proposal to ensure that employees are notified in writing that they have received a verbal warning, along with making sure employees are made aware of their right to union representation in every disciplinary communication.

Next Steps:

The next negotiation sessions are on March 18 and April 3.

Dr. John Becchio, Assistant Superintendent Human Resources
Kim Hernandez, Assistant Superintendent, Business Services
Tara Wise, Classified Personnel Manager
Ed Gomez, Santa Barbara High School Assistant Principal

Labor Negotiations Update 2/26/24

SBUSD AND CSEA REACH TENTATIVE AGREEMENT ON
HEALTH & DENTAL BENEFITS 

SBUSD to Increase Medical and Dental Premiums

SBUSD and CSEA Exchanged Proposals “Me Too” Compensation Clause in the Contract

CSEA Proposes Salary Schedule Enhancements to 10 Classifications,
Along with Changes to Transfer and Comp Time Language

Introduction

This is Santa Barbara Unified School District’s (SBUSD) second Negotiations Update for successor contract negotiations between the District and the California School Employee Association (CSEA). The District will distribute the Negotiations Update after meetings with CSEA to inform our community on the progress of negotiations.

SBUSD and CSEA Reach A Third Tentative Agreement on Health & Dental Benefits

After only two bargaining sessions, CSEA accepted the District’s’ Health and Welfare Benefits proposal, which included increasing the District’s contribution to 75% of premiums for health and dental.

Currently, the District covers 40% to 60% of medical benefits premium costs, depending on the plan chosen by employees. For dental benefits, the District currently covers between 24 to 74% of dental benefits premium costs.

Under the TA, effective July 1, 2024, the District will cover 75% of medical and dental benefit premium costs (including future premium increases) regardless of the plan chosen and number of dependents enrolled. This does not include the District’s lowest-cost PPO plan, which the District may cover an additional amount in accordance with the Affordable Care Act.

The estimated District cost of this proposal is $1,288,108 to cover only the CSEA bargaining unit.

SBUSD and CSEA Exchanged Proposals “Me Too” Compensation Clause in the Contract

CSEA brought forward language on Article 9 (Wages) to include a clause that would match any potential wage increases with other bargaining units. The parties exchanged language and will continue the discussion at the next negotiation session.

Salary Schedule Enhancements to 10 Classifications Brought By CSEA

CSEA proposed enhancements to ten classifications with the intent of increasing salaries in the lowest-paid ranges. The District said it will review the proposal and assess the cost.

CSEA Makes Initial Proposals on Transfers and Comp Time Language
At the end of the bargaining session, CSEA brought forward two proposals on Transfers and Comp Time. CSEA asked for an increase in the amount of time between notification of involuntary transfer and the effective date. Additionally, a proposal was made to submit comp time electronically. The District will review these proposals and discuss them at a future negotiation session.

Next Steps:

The next negotiation sessions are on March 7, March 18, and April 3.

Dr. John Becchio, Assistant Superintendent Human Resources
Kim Hernandez, Assistant Superintendent, Business Services
ShaKenya Edison, Assistant Superintendent of Student and Family Services
Tara Wise, Classified Personnel Manager
Ed Gomez, Santa Barbara High School Assistant Principal

2022-2023 Labor Negotiations Updates

Ed Zuchelli

The District is looking forward to upcoming labor negotiations with Santa Barbara Teachers Association (SBTA). The negotiations process begins with the required sunshining (announcing) of both the SBTA and SB Unified proposals for labor negotiations at tonight’s (Tuesday) Board Meeting. At the November 14th Board Meeting, the proposals will be voted on by the School Board. After Board approval, the District and SBTA have agreed and are scheduled to meet for their first negotiation session on November 15th. We have two other dates in November and December already scheduled for further negotiations prior to Winter Break. Last Spring, the District expressed interest in starting negotiations early and is following through on that by starting approximately three to four months earlier than in previous years. The District has proposed to SBTA additional negotiation dates in January, February, and March, knowing that this process could take us into the Spring. 

The entire contract is open for negotiations, and compensation and health benefits are the most critical and impactful topics to solve. The District values its employees and stands ready to engage in meaningful negotiations on November 15th of any proposals that are brought forward. 

Ed Zuchelli

We are pleased to announce Santa Barbara Unified and CSEA reached tentative agreements on articles that were brought forward for negotiations last school year. I want to thank the work of the CSEA and SB Unified negotiations teams.  These tentative agreements are the representation of our mutual interest to do what is best for our employees.

Tentative agreements are centered around the following articles: Vacation Leave and Uniform Allowance.

The deal is pending ratification from CSEA members and approval of the School Board. 

Ed Zuchelli

The District met with CSEA for a sixth round of negotiations on Friday, July 7. 

The District and CSEA reached a tentative agreement on Article 27- Vacation Leave. The changes are designed to better outline the process of how vacation requests and approvals occur. As of July 7, CSEA and the District have not come to an agreement on Articles 30 & 38 related to Workers’ Compensation.  All items agreed to by both sides are pending ratification from CSEA members and approval of the School Board. 

SBTA
Additionally, the Board of Trustees ratified the agreements with Santa Barbara Teacher’s Association during the June 27 meeting. Click here to review the agenda and see the ratified articles. You can also find them on this webpage.

Ed Zuchelli

The District met with CSEA for a fifth round of negotiations on Friday, June 9. 

The District and CSEA reached a tentative agreement on Article 15 - Uniform Allowance. This article will cover the cost of uniforms for employees in certain classifications.

Both sides will meet for negotiations again on June 23rd to continue discussing Articles 27- Vacation Leave and Articles 30 & 38 related to Workers’ Compensation. 

Next Steps
The District is confident both will continue to work together in good faith to reach a mutually acceptable agreement.

The next CSEA negotiating session is June 23.

Ed Zuchelli

We are pleased to announce Santa Barbara Unified and SBTA reached tentative agreements on all articles that have been brought forward. As superintendent, I am so proud of the work of the SBTA and SBUSD negotiations teams, as the final products from the negotiations bring coherence and consistency to our programs and practices.  These tentative agreements are the representation of our mutual interest in what is best for our employees.

Tentative agreements are centered around the following articles: special education caseloads, secondary working conditions related to zero and seventh periods, elementary prep time, adjunct duties, and leaves.

The deal is pending ratification from SBTA members and approval of the School Board. 

There were no labor negotiations with CSEA this week.

Next Steps

The District is confident in the ability to work with CSEA in good faith to reach a mutually acceptable agreement.

The next CSEA negotiating session is June 9.