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June	  12,	  2012	  Brenda,	  Here	  is	  some	  specific	  feedback	  from	  the	  Board	  of	  Education	  and	  some	  ...
To	  be	  clear,	  we	  are	  asking	  for	  choice	  for	  our	  teachers…you	  are	  asking	  for	  a	  monopoly.	  	  W...
A	  3%	  raise	  (1%	  one-­‐time	  stipend	  and	  2%	  ongoing	  from	  other	  sources)	  puts	  the	  District	  in	  ...
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DCSD Feedback

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DCSD Feedback

  1. 1. June  12,  2012  Brenda,  Here  is  some  specific  feedback  from  the  Board  of  Education  and  some  challenges  that  need  to  be  addressed,  in  no  particular  order.    Please  note  that  these  are  their  highest  priority  items.    Using  Pay  for  Performance  dollars  for  a  raise,  ongoing  or  one-­‐time,  is  a  problem.    It  depletes  the  pool  of  $4.2M  dollars  by  approximately  half,  greatly  minimizing  our  ability  to  make  progress  towards  the  Strategic  Plan  goals.      From  our  original  proposal  on  April  11:  Reengage  pay  for  performance  –  use  money  to  pay  great  employees  to  build  out  the  system  in  FY  2013.  Start  pilot  with  limited  group  of  new  hires  in  FY  2013.    Pay  employees  for  professional  development  associated  with  strategic  plan  and  pay  for  performance.    Transition  the  money  to  full  pay  for  performance  –  phase  in.  We  want  to  reengage  P4P,  in  the  form  of  funding  National  Board  Certified  Teacher,  Master  Teacher,  Site  Based  Responsibility,  Skills  Blocks/Personal  Learning  (Growth  and  Development)  Stipends  and  District  Responsibility.    With  the  suspension  of  Outstanding  Teacher  and  the  Group  Incentive,  we  will  have  the  flexibility  to  fund  additional  learning  opportunities  for  staff  and/or  a  limited  pilot  of  the  Pay  for  Performance  plan  we  are  developing  through  the  collaborative  work  around  Career  Ladders  and  the  other  associated  pieces.  Dues  Collection  DCFT  tentatively  agreed  on  the  issue  of  dues  collection.    In  fact,  we  understand  that  you  already  have  a  process  underway  to  collect  outside  of  a  District  payroll  deduction.    However,  the  statement  that  the  DCFT  wants  to  “reserve  the  right  to  take  legal  action  outside  of  this  if  we  so  feel  necessary”  is  troublesome.  (Session  5  audio  on  June  8,  2012  at  approximately  45:00)    DCFT’s  statement,  when  asked  about  the  dues  collection  in  the  recent  article  in  the  Colorado  News  Press,  was    “Though  the  Union  conceded,  Smith  said  it  retains  the  right  to  take  legal  action  on  the  issue  of  dues  deduction…”  (Colorado  News  Press  June  8,  2012)    These  statements  about  taking  legal  action  on  contract  items  to  which  DCFT  has  “agreed”  indicate  that  there  really  is  no  agreement  on  these  items.  Exclusivity  is  “non-­‐negotiable”  As  discussed,  we  want  to  change  the  language  on  page  3  of  the  current  CBA  to:  II.   RECOGNITION   A.   The   Board   recognizes   the   Union   as   the   exclusive   a   bargaining   agent   for   the   unit   of   teachers   its   members   as   herein   above   defined,   for   the   purpose   of   bargaining   on   the   following:    On  Friday,  DCFT  stated  “this  part  is  non-­‐negotiable”  in  reference  to  the  above  recommended  change.    Furthermore,  DCFT  stated  that  “we  as  an  organization  will  not  negotiate  ourselves  out  of  a  contract”.  (Session  1  Audio  on  June  8,  2012  at  approximately  11:20  –  12:10)  
  2. 2. To  be  clear,  we  are  asking  for  choice  for  our  teachers…you  are  asking  for  a  monopoly.    When  asked  about  other  collective  bargaining  agents,  you  stated  “No  language  needed.    In  accordance  with  Federal  law,  teachers  choose  their  own  collective  bargaining  agent.”  (DCFT  Bargaining  Offer  –A  Summary  of  Negotiations  on  May  9)      It  is  counter-­‐intuitive  that  as  a  teacher  I  have  a  right  to  choose  my  own  collective  bargaining  agent,  but  as  an  organization  we  only  recognize  one  organization  as  the  “exclusive”  bargaining  agent.    We  are  asking  for  flexibility  and  choice  for  all  employees.  No  Disruption  to  the  educational  environment  –  the  Union  will  not  spread  misinformation  about  Board,  Superintendent,  District  Leadership,  or  other  District  matters.  Recent  evidence  suggests  there  is  an  apparent  disconnect  between  “what  you  say”  and  “what  you  do”  regarding  your  commitment  to  the  repair  and  improvement  of  the  climate  and  culture  of  our  District.    The  language  that  has  been  proposed  by  the  DCFT  as  an  addition  to  the  CBA  is  a  good  start:  Q.  WORKING  CONDITIONS.    The  DCSD  and  DCFT  understand  that  positive  working  conditions  are  important  for  both  teachers  and  their  students.    To  help  foster  a  work  environment  conducive  to  student  learning,  both  parties  agree  to  work  on  the  following:      Improve  the  culture  and  climate  of  DCSD  by  collaborating  to  determine  appropriate  standards   for  working  conditions.        Improve  communication  and  distribute  accurate  information  within  the  District  and  between  the   District  and  the  DCFT.        Review  and  find  ways  to  reduce  class  loads  and  case  loads  in  order  to  improve  certified  employee   and  student  contact  ratios,  which  improve  student  learning  and  outcomes.      Review  ways  for  certified  employees  to  be  more  involved  in  decision  making  at  sites  and  across   the  District.    However,  since  the  time  this  was  first  brought  up  as  an  issue  for  Negotiations,  there  have  been  several  instances  that  have  been  counter  productive.    Most  recently  the  “door  hangers”  distributed  in  the  community  regarding  budget  twisted  facts  and  the  threat  to  perpetuate  misinformation  at  a  recent  Open  Negotiations  session  from  one  of  your  team  members  to  one  of  mine…to  paraphrase  “I  think  I  will  send  that  article  out  to  all  teachers,  what  do  you  think  of  that?”    At  the  April  11  Open  Negotiations  meeting,  the  following  was  shared  verbally  and  in  a  PowerPoint:    District  Proposes  a  Healthier  Culture  and  Climate  to  Improve  Morale  (Quality  of  Life)  Commitment  to  the  attributes  of  healthy  organizations:   • Expectation  of  positive,  accurate  communication  to  schools  and  community   • Protect  the  educational  environment   • Commitment  to  freedom  and  choice  for  employees    We  are  committed  to  the  above  statements,  as  we  know  they  are  very  important  for  our  staff  and  students.    If  you  agree,  please  provide  specific  examples  of  the  actions  you  will  take  to  ensure  it.  
  3. 3. A  3%  raise  (1%  one-­‐time  stipend  and  2%  ongoing  from  other  sources)  puts  the  District  in  an  unsustainable  financial  position.    As  was  shared  at  Negotiations,  the  1%  retention  stipend  (one-­‐time  dollars)  is  funded  in  our  budget  proposal.    We  realized  $6M  dollars  of  cost  of  business  savings  this  year,  and  would  like  to  use  $2.8M  to  fund  the  retention  stipend  for  all  employees.    There  are  “no  strings”  attached  to  this  retention  stipend  except  for  returning  contracts  by  the  June  15,  2012  deadline.    In  addition  we  have  committed  the  remaining  $3.2M  in  the  form  of  $50.00  per  student  back  to  our  schools.    The  $6M  dollar  savings  will  be  ongoing  in  future  budgets,  and,  as  you  know  we  have  used  the  recurring  $6M  to  reduce  the  reoccurring  budget  by  $18.1M,  so  that  we  can  recommend  a  balanced  budget  for  FY  2013  -­‐  one  that  does  not  rely  on  one-­‐time  money  for  on-­‐going  costs.    As  previously  outlined,  the  District  proposed  1%  ongoing  pay  increase  may  be  accomplished  by:   • Phase  Out  of  Longevity   • Phase  Out  of  Extended  Service  Severance   • Phase  out  of  KLA  (Certified  Only)    At  this  time,  based  on  your  proposal  last  Friday,  you  have  identified  very  limited  savings  toward  the  $2M  certified  only  cost  to  fund  a  1%  raise.      In  addition,  you  have  added  another  1%  on  top  of  the  District’s  proposal  offering  a  questionable  $1  M  to  $1.4  M  of  savings  from  those  long  term  employees  who  willingly  forgo  the  extended  severance  assuming  they  will  receive  the  2%  ongoing  pay  increase.    For  certified  only,  each  1%  pay  increase  has  a  value  of  $2  M.  Each  year,  somewhere  between  50  and  100  teachers  retire  at  an  average  cost  of  about  $2  million  each  year.    Assuming  this  trend  continues  at  the  end  of  FY  2013,  it  is  extremely  unlikely  that  anyone  planning  to  retire  at  the  end  of  this  fiscal  year  would  choose  the  2%  raise  over  the  severance.    The  average  value  of  the  severance  is  over  $38,000  for  each  employee.    We  would  not  see  any  savings  in  this  line  for  at  least  the  next  3  years  putting  at  risk  our  financial  stability.        More  specifically,  this  would  require  the  district  to  commit  to  and  recommend  deficit  spending  until  we  either  secure  a  new  revenue  source  and/or  cut  our  schools  to  fund  the  increase  –  exactly  what  happened  in  FY  2009  after  the  District  agreed  to  a  2.7%  pay  increase.        We  must  plan  ongoing  budgets  that  allow  us  to  live  within  our  means.    We  are  committed  to  finding  a  way  to  propose  a  1%  on-­‐going  pay  increase  for  all  staff,  so  we  need  to  work  out  the  logistics  within  the  three  variables  mentioned  above  to  get  there.  In  closing,  should  you  be  interested  in  improving  this  potential  CBA  package  for  the  BOE  to  consider,  I  can  be  available  to  discuss  it  the  week  of  June  25-­‐28.    I  would  be  interested  in  a  topic-­‐specific  session  to  improve  our  current  package…  focusing  on  the  above-­‐mentioned  areas.    I  am  thinking  that  2-­‐3  hours  with  extensive  front-­‐loading  of  specific  proposals  and  a  commitment  from  all  to  stay  on  task  would  be  necessary.  In  the  meantime,  the  Board  of  Education  shared  that  “Open  Negotiations”  can  also  include  the  passing  of  proposals  and  counters  electronically  as  long  as  that  information  is  posted  to  the  website.    If  you  have  proposals,  clarifications  or  improvements  regarding  the  above  issues,  I  would  be  happy  to  respond  as  necessary.  Regards,  Dan  McMinimee  

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