By Allison Jarrell

Contract negotiations between the Capistrano Unified School District and the Capistrano Unified Education Association have officially stalled, according to a Friday, June 30, press release from the district.

CUSD officials reported that after 16 bargaining sessions with CUEA, both parties were unable to reach an agreement on June 29. The school district’s last offer to the union was a “two-year agreement that includes a 1.5 percent ongoing salary schedule increase effective July 1, 2016, a two-year increase (for plan years 2017 and 2018) to health and welfare benefits, and a retirement incentive for 2017-2018.”

In a notice online regarding the declared impasse, teachers union officials describe the parties as “far apart economically.”

“Their health and welfare offer would only make the Kaiser HMO plan a no co-premium to our members for 2017,” union officials said of CUSD’s offer. “Their proposed salary increase would likely be negated by an increase to members’ co-premiums to health and welfare in 2018.”

According to countywide school district salary settlement reports listed on CUEA’s website, of the 27 school districts in Orange County, CUSD was the sixth highest-paying school district on average in 2012-13, but declined over the years to the 20th spot in 2016-17.

In the school district’s press release, CUSD’s offer was defended with statements about the “uncertainties of future state funding,” and the “very broken Local Control Funding Formula that was created in Sacramento.”

CUSD and CUEA agreed to jointly file for impasse certification with the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB), according to the district’s release. A mediator will likely be assigned to help resolve the negotiations, which could take up to several months.

If the mediator and parties aren’t able to reach an agreement, the process continues to fact-finding, where a panel reviews the proposals and ultimately issues non-binding recommendations.

If the fact-finding process does not result in an agreement, CUSD would be able to impose its last, best and final offer, and CUEA teachers would maintain the right to strike.

For more information on the negotiations, visit www.capousd.org and www.cuea.org.

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comments (3)

  • How many times are we going to give raises we can’t afford on the backs of the children? More than $120 million in raises has been given in the past 4 years alone. And just last year CUSD asked for a billion dollar school facilities bond that would have grown to $2 billion with interest and fees after 40 years. I joined my fellow San Clementians during the last election season on foot going door-to-door to educate citizens about this bad bond measure which was none other than a bailout of CUSD’s failed leadership. Since Measure M failed, CUSD is now hard at work on a new school facilities bond for the 2018 ballot. When that election rolls around, think about all the millions CUSD just happens to find to fund increases for adult salaries yet can’t find money to: 1) address an academic program that is not yielding the desired outcomes as reported in the district’s LCAP; 2) fix deteriorating facilities at aging schools; 3) reduce class sizes; or 4) reinstate state mandated core programs cut by the district and only those schools able to fundraise will get art, science and music (which discriminates against those in high-poverty schools whose parents can’t afford to donate, so CUSD is not providing an equal education to ALL students). The message to CUSD the next time it asks you to vote to pay more taxes should be: “If you can afford the money for raises for 5 consecutive years, then you don’t need a school facilities bond.”

  • Teachers play a special role in the lives of children and should be compensated well. I think the board washenerous to offer 1.5% raise, along w health and benefit increases, on top of the 3% cost of living increase. So many hard working people never get a raise or cola….yet the union has come to feel entitled and acts “insulted” (unions words!) that the offer was not enough. Yes, we value teachers, but do the teachers value the kids? They are pushing class sizes higher again, cutting more educational programs and services….who will be the voice for the children?? The union has proven to be greedy and selfish….thank you trustees for remembering we are in the business of educating our future generation, not simply providing jobs.

  • Bottom line is that CUSD has been and continues to be fiscally unsound. It should be dissolved into smaller districts where local accountability and control can actually happen. Then there would be no need for voting districts which has nullified voter representation.

    The Trustees that have been teachers or have otherwise been affiliated with the Teachers Union have an inherent conflict of interest. Because of this, Trustees who are affiliated with Teachers Union should recuse themselves from participation in this process.

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