At a recent Fallbrook Union High School District (FUHSD) board meeting, negotiations with SEIU (the district’s classified union) and the certificated union began with the customary public notice or “sunshining” of the topics that will be included in the process.
In addition to the sunshining of the negotiations, two public hearings will inform the public that negotiations are going to begin. A public hearing was held at the FUHSD board meeting on May 12, but actual negotiations will not begin until June, when the current collective bargaining agreement expires, stated FUHSD superintendent Dale Mitchell.
While the entire contract and its articles are open for negotiations, district representatives have determined that several articles will intentionally be discussed.
According to the meeting agenda, some of the terms of contract that will be reviewed include evaluations, in-service training, compensation, insurance, work weeks and hours of work, full-time and part-time unit members, vacations and holidays, absences and leaves, and durations.
Because negotiations have not begun, specific details and expectations for the meetings have not been clearly stated. However, there was a small outline on each agenda item to explain basic ideas for negotiations.
In regards to in-service training, the district stated the representatives will discuss options and the need for a professional growth committee.
In regards to evaluations, the agenda stated that the board would discuss “frequency of probationary evaluations” and the “appeal of evaluation.”
“Probationary evaluations are implemented when an employee is new to the position,” explained Mitchell. “The probationary period is one year for employees new to the district and six months for those who are existing employees. Currently, probationary evaluations occur at the fourth and eighth month. We will discuss whether or not this works best for all parties.”
In regards to insurance, and full-time and part-time unit members, the representatives will discuss language, implications, and improvement of descriptions.
In regards to compensation, representatives will discuss the bilingual stipend and implementation of the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF).
“LCFF is the Local Control Funding Formula which is the new way schools are funded,” said Mitchell. “Base revenue limit funding no longer exists. This means that SEIU and the district, relative to Section 7, need to discuss alternative wording.”
The representatives will also discuss the five percent issue associated with a promotion.
“The district is seeking clarification from SEIU as to what this contract language means and how it is implemented,” said Mitchell.
In regards to the employees’ work week and hours of work, representatives will discuss vacation payout and vacation carry-over, including the holidays during a unit member’s vacation period. Negotiations will also include holidays discussion, specifically addressing the pay for 4th of July if employees work the day before or the day after.
In regards to absences and leaves, representatives will discuss enforcing sick leave, workman’s compensation, and extended illnesses for probationary employees.
Finally, in regards to duration, representatives will discuss contract term and reopeners.
“Negotiations should go well and to the benefit of all parties,” said Mitchell. “However, they may not be completed prior to a new superintendent starting to work.” The district is currently seeking Mitchell’s successor as he is retiring a few days after the start of the 2014-2015 school year.