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Labor Negotiations: 2011–12 Bargaining Update Archive

Past Labor Negotiation Updates:
September 21, 2011 – OSEA
August 23, 2011 – OSEA
August 15, 2011 – EEA
August 3, 2011 – 4JA
June 23, 2011 – EEA
June 16, 2011 – OSEA
June 8, 2011 – EEA
May 31, 2011 – EEA
May 11, 2011 – EEA
May 5, 2011 – EEA
April 21, 2011 – EEA
April 13, 2011 – EEA
Current Information:
Current Teachers’ Union Update
Current Classified Union Update

Current Administrators’ Association Update
Current Labor AgreementsSchedule of Bargaining Sessions: EEA / OSEA

Because 4J’s mission is teaching and learning, most of its costs are in educators: Staff salaries and benefits account for more than 85% of the general fund operating budget. To develop a sustainable budget in line with new economic realities, the district must reduce compensation costs — this means fewer employees, lower compensation, or a combination of both.

The district projects an operating deficit of $21.7 million in 2011–12, and further shortfalls in the years ahead. The district is grateful that all 4J employee groups have agreed to share in sacrifices to retain jobs and class sizes over the past few years. The financial picture has worsened, and the district must ask them to make even deeper sacrifices now.

 

 


 

September 21, 2011 — OSEA Bargaining Update:

Final Labor Agreement Ratified and Approved

All district employee groups have now made proportionate agreements

The Eugene School District and its classified employees’ union, OSEA, have reached a labor agreement. A tentative agreement was reached in late August, union members ratified the agreement on September 20, and the Eugene School Board unanimously approved it on September 21.

 


August 23, 2011 — OSEA Bargaining Update:

4J, Classified Employees’ Union Reach Tentative Agreement

All district employee groups have now made proportionate agreements

The district and its classified employees’ union, OSEA, reached a tentative agreement on August 22.Under the terms of the tentative agreement, 4J classified employees such as such as bus drivers, school secretaries and classroom instructional assistants will be paid for six fewer work days and will not receive cost-of-living increases.

Combined with the comparable compensation deals made with administrators and teachers, this agreement will help close the district’s budget gap and preserve nearly a full school year.

Terms of the tentative agreement include:

  • Furlough Days: 4J’s classified staff will be paid for six fewer work days in 2011–12. One of the days will be cut permanently.
  • No COLA: Employees will receive no cost-of-living increase, resulting in a salary freeze for senior employees.
  • One-Time Payment: Experienced classified employees who have reached the top step on the salary scale will receive a one-time payment of $420, funded from the same insurance reserve fund for classified employees.
  • Step Funded by Classified Insurance Reserve: Less-senior classified employees remain eligible to move to a new step for experience on the salary scale. This step will be funded by ongoing transfers from a district insurance reserve fund designated for classified employees.
  • Insurance: There will be no increase in the district’s contributions toward insurance premiums.

As in the past, the 4J and OSEA bargaining teams followed a collaborative, problem-solving, interest-based process with the assistance of a facilitator. The tone of discussions, despite hard economic times, remained collaborative and respectful throughout the process.

The union’s membership and the Eugene School Board must each ratify and approve the agreement before it is final.

The district has already made agreements with teachers and administrators to achieve proportionate compensation cost savings. With ratification and approval of this final agreement, the district will achieve its $4 million cost-saving target for 2011–12. Approximately half of the savings represent long-term, ongoing savings to the district.

This is the third consecutive year that 4J classified employees have made compensation concessions. In 2009–10 classified employees’ concessions included three unpaid furlough days. Last year, in 2010–11, they took seven unpaid furlough days.

If you have questions, please contact Theresa Shelby, OSEA President, at 541-485-1832, or Christine Nesbit, Associate Director of Human Resources, at 541-790-7664.

 

 


August 15, 2011 — EEA Bargaining Update

4J, Teachers Reach Tentative Compensation Agreement

The Eugene School District and the Eugene Education Association have reached a tentative agreement that will help close the district’s budget gap and preserve nearly a full school year.

Under the terms of the tentative agreement, 4J teachers and specialists such as librarians and counselors will be paid for six fewer work days and receive no cost-of-living increase.

Those eligible to advance a step on the salary schedule will receive only a half-step increase, while those already at the top of the salary schedule will receive a one-time payment of approximately $365, funded by a $200,000 transfer from a district insurance reserve fund.

This is the third consecutive year that 4J employees have made compensation concessions. In 2009–10 teachers took seven unpaid furlough days. Last year, in 2010–11, they again took seven unpaid furlough days and those advancing on the salary schedule received only a half-step increase.

The agreement will shorten the school year by up to three school days. Those days likely would be cut from the end of the school year unless school is cancelled due to hazardous weather during the year. In that case, hazardous weather days would be unpaid furlough days for staff.

The tentative agreement also changes some contract language around leave provisions for members of the association bargaining team and grievance committee. The district will continue to contribute toward retirement and insurance plans at the same level.

“We are grateful to our teachers for their making sacrifices for the third year in a row, helping to prevent further layoffs and retaining a longer school year than last year,” said Christine Nesbit, Associate Director of Human Resources. “This tentative agreement makes real progress toward a sustainable budget and helps prevent further impacts on our students.”

“We’ve worked extensively with the district negotiating team to find the right mix of savings and stability,” said Dayna Mitchell, President of the Eugene Education Association. “Through hard work, collaboration, and bargaining in good faith, we have struck an important balance between the district’s budget goals and our employees’ well-being.”

A similar agreement with administrators was reached earlier this summer; negotiations are still underway with the classified employees’ union. If all employee groups reach financially comparable agreements, the district will achieve its $4 million cost-saving target for 2011–12. Approximately half of the savings represent long-term, ongoing savings to the district.

The teachers’ union membership and the Eugene School Board must each ratify and approve the agreement before it is final.

 

 


August 3, 2011 — 4JA Update

District, Administrators Reach Tentative Agreement

4J has reached a tentative agreement with its administrators’ association that will help reduce costs, preserve school days and save jobs.Under the terms of the tentative agreement, all principals, assistant principals, and central service professionals and supervisors in 2011–12 will be paid for six fewer work days, will receive no cost-of-living increase, and those eligible for movement on the salary schedule (less than 30 percent) will advance only one-half step.

The superintendent and department directors will take a deeper cut, giving up one additional paid workday.

This is the third consecutive year that 4J administrators have made salary concessions. In 2009–10, administrators waived a 3.25% cost-of-living adjustment that had been agreed to earlier. Last year, in 2010–11, all administrators took nine (9) unpaid furlough days and those advancing on the salary schedule received only a half-step increase.

In 2011–12, principals and other administrators (4JA) will take five unpaid furlough days and senior staff will take six unpaid furlough days. In addition, one paid day will be trimmed from the regular work year on an ongoing basis, reducing administrator pay long-term. The agreement allows the work year provisions to be re-opened should the school year calendar be affected through negotiations with other employee groups.

Negotiations with teachers and other licensed staff and with classified staff are still underway. If all employee groups reach financially comparable agreements, the district will achieve its $4 million 2011–12 cost-saving target. Cost savings from the administrator agreement will total $400,000 for 2011–12. Approximately half of the savings represent long-term, ongoing savings to the district.

The tentative agreement will be reviewed by members of the 4J Administrators’ Association and is subject to approval of the Eugene School Board.

These are difficult times, and difficult conversations. The district thanks teachers, administrators and classified staff for the sacrifices they have made in the past, for the sacrifices they are being asked to make again, and for their continued dedication to doing what’s best for kids.

 

Tentative Agreement Summary

Salary (Cost-of-Living Adjustment) 0% COLA
Salary (Step Increases) Employees eligible for movement on the six-step salary schedule (less than 30% of 4J’s administrators, professionals and supervisors) would advance a half-step in 2011–12.Combined with the current year’s half-step advancement, the net result is an ongoing step savings equivalent to one whole step freeze.
Work Year Reductions One (1) paid day will be trimmed from the regular work year on an ongoing basis, reducing administrator pay long-term.All administrators also will take five (5) unpaid furlough days. (6 for the superintendent and senior staff.)Because negotiations with other employee groups are still underway, the agreement allows the work year provisions to be re-opened should the school year calendar be affected through negotiations with teachers or classified staff.
Insurance The district will continue its agreement to contribute $1,100 per member per month toward insurance premiums.

 


What’s Next?

The tentative agreement will be reviewed by members of the 4J Administrators Association (4JA) and is subject to approval of the Eugene School Board.

 

June 23, 2011 — EEA Bargaining Update

District, Teachers’ Union Continue to Make Progress in Contract Talks

The district and its teachers’ union continued to make progress in labor negotiations on June 23. The two bargaining teams hope to resolve the remaining points of difference when they meet again in August.

The district’s latest proposal seeks about $4 million in compensation reductions, shared proportionately by 4J’s teachers, classified staff and administrators. Because one-time reductions will not lead to a sustainable budget for our schools, 4J is seeking a combination of ongoing and one-time compensation sacrifices.

4J’s offer balances our valued employees’ need to retain stable compensation in these tough financial times, with the community’s need to retain jobs, programs and class sizes in the face of shrinking school funding.

All teachers and licensed specialists’ salaries would increase next year under the district’s current proposal.

These are difficult times, and difficult conversations. The district thanks teachers, administrators and classified staff for the sacrifices they have made in the past, for the sacrifices they are being asked to make again, and for their continued dedication to doing what’s best for kids.

4J/EEA Bargaining Proposals Summary (June 23, 2011)

District’s Latest Offer Union’s Latest Offer
Salary (Cost-of-Living Adjustment) 0% COLA 0% COLA
Salary (Step Increases) Employees eligible for step movement would advance a half-step in 2011–12. The step would be 1.85% over the 2010–11 salary schedule.Combined with the current year’s half-step advancement, the net result is an ongoing step savings equivalent to one whole step freeze. Employees eligible for step movement would advance a half-step in 2011–12. The step would be 1.85% over the 2010–11 salary schedule.Combined with the current year’s half-step advancement, the net result is an ongoing step savings equivalent to one whole step freeze.
One-Time Payment One-time payment of $500 to each teacher or licensed specialist not eligible for step advancement, pro-rated for part-time employees. (Funded by a transfer from the licensed insurance reserves.) One-time payment of $500 to each teacher or licensed specialist not eligible for step advancement, pro-rated for part-time employees. (Funded by a transfer from the licensed insurance reserves.)
Ongoing Work Year Reductions Reduce standard teacher work year to 191 days by removing 1 planning/professional development day Reduce standard teacher work year to 191 days by removing 1 planning/professional development day
One-Time Work Year Reductions Reduce work year by 5 additional contract days for 2011–12 only:• 1 school improvement and planning day• 1 professional development and planning day

• 3 school days (up to 3 hazardous weather days would be unpaid; if schools close for hazardous weather for fewer than 3 days, substitute instructional furlough days)

• The district would have the discretion to add back furlough days upon 30 days notice to EEA

• Any instructional furlough days would be scheduled at the end the school year

Reduce work year by 7 additional contract days for 2011–12 only:• 1.5 school improvement and planning days• 1 professional development day

• 4.5 school days (up to 4.5 hazardous weather days would be unpaid; if schools close for hazardous weather for fewer than 4.5 days, substitute instructional furlough days)

• The district would have the discretion to add back furlough days upon 30 days notice to EEA

Insurance Maintain previously agreed contribution of $1,100 per member per month.(The licensed insurance reserve has about $1.5 million that can be used to defray costs for members if rates increase.)
Increase district contribution to $1,120 per member per month.(The increase would be funded for the first year by a transfer from the licensed insurance reserves, but in following years would increase the district’s costs by more than $150,000 per year.)
One-Time Transfer One-time transfer of $375,000 from licensed insurance reserves to district general fund:• $275,000 to cover cost of one-time payment to employees not eligible for step advancement• $100,000 additional to the district general fund

• Discontinue ~$75,000 transfer that partially covered the cost of last year’s insurance increase; district assumes full cost of that increase.

One-time transfer of about $426,000 from licensed insurance reserves to district general fund:• $275,000 to cover cost of one-time payment to employees not eligible for step advancement• $151,000 to cover first-year cost of proposed insurance increase

• Discontinue ~$75,000 transfer that partially covered the cost of last year’s insurance increase; district assumes full cost of that increase.

 

What’s Next?

The 4J and EEA bargaining teams will meet again on August 15.

 


June 16, 2011 — OSEA Bargaining Update:

Representatives for the Oregon School Employees Association (OSEA) and the Eugene School District began bargaining in late April 2011 and will continue to meet over the summer. The parties have identified their interests and discussed language issues of mutual concern.The parties have deferred discussion of financial issues until they reach closure on other matters, with the expectation that they will likely begin talks on compensation and insurance in late July.

The tone of discussions, despite hard economic times, has been collaborative and respectful. The teams are hopeful that they will settle the contract prior to its expiration on September 30, 2011.

Employees and members of the public are welcome to attend negotiation sessions. The next scheduled sessions are set for July 22, 25, 26, and 27, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., in the Parr Room at the district’s Education Center, 200 North Monroe Street. A non-public session of the subcommittee on seniority issues will be held on June 27, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., in the Parr Room.

If you have questions, please contact Theresa Shelby, OSEA President, at 541-485-1832, or Christine Nesbit, Assoc. Director, Human Resources, at 541-790-7664.

 


June 8, 2011 — EEA Bargaining Update

District, Teachers’ Union Make Progress, No Agreement Yet

Read the District’s June 9 Proposal and Illustration of Step Advancement

The district and teachers’ union bargaining teams made significant progress in a marathon session on June 8, but had not yet reached an agreement by the time they adjourned around 3 a.m.

The teachers’ union opened the evening by offering a creative two-year proposal. Without advance notice, however, the district bargaining team did not have authorization from the school board to negotiate a two-year deal, and the two teams returned to discussing one-year proposals.

The district’s latest proposal seeks about $4.5 million in sustainable and one-time compensation reductions, shared proportionately by 4J’s teachers, classified staff and administrators.

This most recent proposal would keep staff reductions to the approximately 130 FTE detailed in the approved budget. Earlier proposals, which asked for greater sacrifices from all employees, would have prevented many teacher layoffs and kept class sizes from increasing as much.

Under the district’s current proposal, all teachers and licensed specialists would receive an increase in salary next year.

4J/EEA Bargaining Proposals Summary (June 9, 2011)

District’s June 9 Proposal (2:00 a.m.) Union’s June 9 Proposal (2:45 a.m.)
Salary (COLA) and Retirement Contributions 0% COLA and discontinue the practice of paying additional contributions to PERS based on the amount the district contributes to employees’ personal retirement accounts (TSAs).–or–Reduce salary schedule by 0.25%.Continue paying additional contributions to PERS based on the amount the district contributes to employees’ personal retirement accounts (TSAs). 0% COLA–and–Continue paying additional contributions to PERS based on the amount the district contributes to employees’ personal retirement accounts (TSAs).
Salary (Step Increases) Employees eligible for step movement would advance a step in 2011–12. The step would be 1.85% over the 2010–11 salary schedule.For purposes of status quo, employees eligible for step movement would advance a step in 2012–13. The step would be 3.7% over the 2011–12 salary schedule.Steps would match the employee’s years of experience. Employees eligible for step movement would advance a step in 2011–12. The step would be 1.85% over the 2010–11 salary schedule.For purposes of status quo, employees eligible for step movement would advance a step in 2012–13. The step would be 3.7% over the 2011–12 salary schedule.Steps would match the employee’s years of experience.
One-Time Payment One-time payment to unit members not eligible for step advancement: Approximately $475, pro-rated for part-time employees. (Total of $200,000 distributed to eligible employees.)The lump sum would be paid by Nov. 30, 2011.
One-time payment to all employees: $600, pro-rated for part-time employees.The lump sum would be paid on Feb. 1, 2012.
Ongoing Work Year Reductions Reduce standard teacher work year to 191 days by removing 1 planning and professional development day Reduce standard teacher work year to 191 days by removing 1 planning and professional development day
One-Time Work Year Reductions Reduce work year by 6 additional contract days for 2011–12 only:• 1 professional development and planning day• 1 school improvement and planning day

• 4 hazardous weather days would be unpaid; if schools close for hazardous weather for fewer than four days, substitute instructional furlough days

• Any instructional furlough days would be scheduled at the end the school year

• The district would have the discretion to add back furlough days upon 30 days notice to EEA

Reduce work year by 6 additional contract days for 2011–12 only:• 1 professional development day• 1 school improvement and planning day

• 4 hazardous weather days would be unpaid; if schools close for hazardous weather for fewer than four days, substitute instructional furlough days

• Any instructional furlough days would be scheduled in collaboration between the district and the teachers’ union

• The district would have the discretion to add back furlough days upon 30 days notice to EEA

Insurance Maintain current contribution of $1,100 per member per month.(The licensed insurance reserve has about $1.5 million that can be used to defray costs for members if rates increase.) Increase to $1,125 per member per month.
One-Time Transfer One-time transfer of $200,000 from licensed insurance reserves to district general fund One-time transfer of $200,000 from licensed insurance reserves to district general fund

 

What’s Next?

The 4J and EEA bargaining teams will meet again on June 23 at 8:30 a.m.

 

Read the District’s June 9 Proposal and Illustration of Step Advancement

 


May 31, 2011 — EEA Bargaining Update

District, Teachers’ Union Continue to Seek Resolution

Read the District’s May 31 Proposal and Salary Examples

The district and teachers’ union bargaining teams met May 31 in a marathon session that continued past midnight. The union and the district each presented two proposals in turn over the course of the evening.

The school district’s latest proposal seeks $5.1 million in sustainable and one-time compensation reductions, shared proportionately by 4J’s teachers, classified staff and administrators.

This represents significant movement from the district’s May 11 proposal, which would have resulted in $6.7 million in compensation reductions, prevented some of the scheduled employee layoffs, and kept class sizes from increasing as much.

Under the district’s latest proposal, all teachers and licensed specialists would receive an increase in salary in 2011–12 and in 2012–13.

 

Proposal Details

The district’s May 31 proposal is:

Salary Reduction (COLA):

  • Reduce salary schedule by 0.9%

Step Increases:

  • Employees would remain on current step, funded at 50%, in 2011–12.
  • The step would be funded at 100% on June 30, 2012. Step-eligible employees would automatically receive 1.85% salary increases.
  • Step increase in 2012–13, funded at 50%, for purposes of status quo. Step-eligible employees would receive 1.85% salary increases on July 1, 2012, unless otherwise negotiated.
  • Create a new step below the current Step 1, which would apply to new entry-level employees not affected by the step freeze, effective July 1, 2011.

Reduce Work Days:

  • Reduce standard teacher work year to 191 days by removing one planning/professional development day.
  • Cut 3 additional paid days for only the 2011–12 work year:
    • 1 additional school improvement and planning day would be cut.
    • 2 hazardous weather days would be unpaid (if schools do not close for hazardous weather or close only for one day, substitute one or two instructional furlough days to end the school year early).
    • All designated holidays would continue to be paid days off.

Health Insurance:

  • Maintain current contributions to health insurance of $1,100 per teacher per month.
  • (The licensed insurance reserve has about $1.5 million that can be used to defray costs for members if rates increase.)

Retirement Contributions:

  • Discontinue the practice of paying additional contributions to PERS based on the amount the district contributes to employees’ personal retirement accounts (TSAs).

 

By the Numbers: Bargaining Proposals Summary

District’s May 31 Proposal
Union’s May 31 Proposal
Salary (COLA) —
Article 4.1.1
Reduce salaries by 0.9% Ongoing cost reduction Increase salaries by 0.25% Ongoing cost increase
Salary (Step Increases) —
Article 4.4.4
Employees would remain on current step, funded at 50%, in 2011–12.Current step funded at 100% on June 30, 2012.Step increase in 2012–13, funded at 50%.

Step 0 created below current Step 1, to prevent inequity between veteran and newly hired staff.

Step-eligible employees would receive total step increases of 3.7% by July 1, 2012:• 1.85% salary increase on June 30, 2012 • 1.85% salary increase the following day on July 1, 2012

Ongoing cost reduction

The current step (funded at 50% in 2010–11) would be considered as a full step for purposes of status quo.The 2011–12 step increase would be funded at 100% on June 30, 2012. Step-eligible employees would receive total step increases of 9.25% by July 1, 2012:
• 1.85% salary increase on July 1, 2011

• 3.7% salary increase on
June 30, 2012


• 3.7% salary increase the following day on July 1, 2012One-time cost reduction
Insurance —
Article 6.1
Remain at $1,100 per member per month.Licensed insurance reserve could be used to defray costs for members if rates increase.  No change in costs Increase to $1,150 per member per month.One-time transfer of $200,000 to general fund from licensed reserves. Ongoing cost increase
Ongoing Work Year Reductions —
Article 10.2 & 10.5.5
Reduce standard teacher work year to 191 days by removing 1 planning/ professional development day Ongoing cost reduction Reduce standard teacher work year to 191 days by removing 1 planning/ professional development day Ongoing cost reduction
One-Time Work Year Reductions —
Article 10.2
Cut 3 additional days for one year only: 1 school improvement and planning day, and 2 school days or unpaid hazardous weather days. One-time cost reduction Cut 7 additional days for one year only: 1 professional development day, 1 school improvement and planning day, and 5 school days or unpaid hazardous weather days. One-time cost reduction
PERS — practice not articulated in contract Stop paying additional contributions to PERS based on the amount the district contributes to employees’ personal retirement accounts (TSAs). Ongoing cost reduction Not addressed. District would continue to pay additional contributions to PERS based on the amount the district contributes to employees’ personal retirement accounts (TSAs). No change in costs
Total General Fund Cost Impact: 2011–12:
$5.1 million reduction
($3.6 million ongoing, $1.5 million one-time)2012–13:
$1 million reduction
2011–12:
$4.5 million reduction
($700,000 ongoing, $3.8 million one-time)2012–13:
$1.8 million cost increase

 

Note: These dollar figures show costs and savings to the general fund if each item is applied proportionately across all employee groups. The district is in negotiations with the teachers’ union and classified employees’ union now, and will seek proportionate sacrifices from all employee groups.

 

What’s Next?

The EEA bargaining team is reviewing the district’s proposal and will respond when the negotiating teams meet again on June 8.

 

Print the Bargaining Proposals Summary

Read the District’s May 31 Proposal and Salary Examples

 


 

May 11, 2011 — EEA Bargaining Update:

District Refines Offer, Signals Need for Ongoing Reductions

Read the District’s May 11 Proposal & Rationale

Compensation Comparisons Within the Immediate Labor Market

The 4J and EEA bargaining teams met on Wednesday, May 11. The district presented a new proposal with minor variations from its previous proposal.

The May 11 offer continues to ask employees to sacrifice compensation once again this year, this time through a combination of ongoing (sustainable) and one-time compensation reductions, like other nearby school districts have done. As Oregon’s economic woes have continued, it has become clear that one-time reductions will not lead to a sustainable budget for our schools.

A balance of one-time strategies and ongoing compensation reductions will:

  • Allow the district make sustainable spending plans
  • Help stabilize staffing
  • Save jobs for more than one year
  • Maintain the basic mission we all share

 

By the Numbers

The school district’s May 11 proposal seeks $6.7 million in compensation reductions, shared proportionately by 4J’s teachers, classified staff and administrators. This amount, down $0.5 million from the district’s starting point, still would save jobs and keep class sizes from increasing as much.

The district’s offer would save:

  • $4.4 million in ongoing reductions
  • $2.3 million in one-time reductions

If compensation costs are reduced by only $4.5 million, nearly 130 teaching, classified and administrator positions are slated to be cut next year. If compensation costs remain at the status quo, the cuts could amount to nearly 200 positions.

Note: These dollar figures show savings to the general fund across all employee groups. The district is in negotiations with the teachers’ union and classified employees’ union now, and will seek proportionate sacrifices from all employee groups.

 

Proposal Details

Responding to concerns from the EEA bargaining team about the effects of step freezes, the district’s offer includes two alternatives that address these concerns.

The district’s proposal is:

Step Increases and Salaries :

  • -either- Option 1 (the district favors this option):
    • Freeze step increases for 2011–12
      Employees would remain on their current step, funded at 50%, in 2011–12.
      Employees would remain on their current step, funded at 100%, in 2012–13.
      The effect would be automatic step increases of 1.85% for 2012–13.
      Create a new step 3.7% below the current Step 1, which would apply to new entry-level employees not affected by the step freeze.
    • Reduce salary schedule by 1.75%
    • Provide a one-time payment to employees giving up step increases
      $200,000, divided equally among unit members based on FTE. The one-time payments would be funded half from the licensed insurance reserve and half from the general fund.
  • -or- Option 2:
    • Fully fund current step for first six months: For the first six months of 2011–12, members remain on the same step they were on in 2010–11, which will be funded at 100%.
    • Full step increase mid-year: Employees will then advance a full step in February 2012. The effect would be a 5.55% increase over 2010–11 salaries for members eligible for step increases.
    • Reduce salaries by 4.75%

Reduce Work Days:

  • Reduce standard teacher work year to 191 days by removing one planning/professional development day
  • Cut 5 paid days for only the 2011–12 work year
    • 2 paid holidays would be unpaid for one year only
    • 1 additional school improvement and planning day would be cut
    • 2 hazardous weather days would be unpaid (if schools do not close for hazardous weather or close only for one day, substitute one or two instructional furlough days to end the school year early)

Health Insurance:

  • Maintain current contributions to health insurance of $1,100 per teacher per month. (The licensed insurance reserve has about $1.5 million that can be used to defray costs for members if rates increase.)

Retirement Contributions:

  • Discontinue the practice of paying additional contributions to PERS based on the amount the district contributes to employees’ personal retirement accounts (TSAs)

 

What’s Next

The teachers’ union did not present a new proposal on Wednesday. The union’s previous proposal, presented on May 5, if shared across all employee groups, would:

  • Reduce one-time costs: Reduce costs by $4 million for 2011–12 only, by reducing days.
  • Increase ongoing costs: The union’s proposal includes increases in salaries (step and COLA) and health insurance contributions, only partially offset by the ongoing reduction of one work day. These increases would require the district to assume more than $3 million in new ongoing expenses in 2012–13, when further significant shortfalls already are predicted.

The EEA bargaining team is reviewing the district’s May 11 proposal and will respond when the negotiating teams meet again on June 2.

 

Read the District’s May 11 Proposal & Rationale

Compensation Comparisons Within the Immediate Labor Market

 


May 5, 2011 — EEA Bargaining Update:

District Offers Alternative to Step Freeze

Read the District’s May 5 Proposal

The district bargaining team presented a new offer to the teachers’ union on Thursday, May 5.

These are difficult times, and difficult conversations. The district thanks teachers, administrators and classified staff for the sacrifices they have made in the past, for the sacrifices they are being asked to make again, and for their continued dedication to doing what’s best for kids.

May 5 Proposal

The school district is seeking $6.8 million in compensation reductions, shared proportionately by 4J’s teachers, classified staff and administrators.

Responding to concerns from the EEA bargaining team about the effects of step freezes, the district’s May 5 offer includes two alternatives that address these concerns.

The district’s proposal would sustainably reduce costs in one of two ways:

EITHER:

  • Reduce salaries by 1.75% (This is a smaller reduction than previously proposed.)-and-
  • Freeze step increases for 2011–12
    Employees would remain on their current step, funded at 50%, in 2011–12.
    Employees would remain on their current step, funded at 100%, in 2012–13.
    The effect would be automatic step increases of 1.85% for 2012–13.
    Create a new step 3.7% below the current Step 1, which would apply to entry-level employees not affected by the step freeze.

OR:

  • Reduce salaries by 4.75%-and-
  • Step increases:
    • Fully fund current step for first six months: For the first six months of 2011–12, members remain on the same step they were on in 2010–11, which will be funded at 100%.
    • Full step increase mid-year: Employees will then advance a full step in February 2012.
    • The effect would be a 5.55% increase over 2010–11 salaries for members eligible for step increases.

The district’s proposal also would:

  • Reduce standard teacher work year to 191 days by removing one planning/professional development day
  • Cut 5 paid days for only the 2011–12 work year
    • 2 paid holidays would be unpaid for one year only
    • 1 additional school improvement and planning day would be cut
    • 2 hazardous weather days would be unpaid (if schools do not close for hazardous weather or close only for one day, substitute one or two instructional furlough days to end the school year early)
  • Maintain current contributions to health insurance of $1,100 per teacher per month 
(The licensed insurance reserve has about $1.5 million that can be used to defray costs for members if rates increase.)
  • Discontinue the practice of paying additional contributions to PERS based on the amount the district contributes to employees’ personal retirement accounts (TSAs)

By the Numbers:

The district’s offer would save:

  • $4.4 million in ongoing reductions
  • $2.4 million in one-time reductions

(Note: The dollar figures above show savings to the general fund across all employee groups. The district is in negotiations with the teachers’ union and classified employees’ union now, and will seek proportionate sacrifices from all employee groups.)

What’s Next

The teachers’ union presented a counterproposal that, if shared across all employee groups, would:

  • Reduce one-time costs: Reduce costs by $4 million for 2011–12 only, by reducing days.
  • Increase ongoing costs: The union’s proposal includes increases in salaries (step and COLA) and health insurance contributions, only partially offset by the ongoing reduction of one work day. These increases would require the district to assume more than $3 million in new ongoing expenses in 2012–13, when further significant shortfalls already are predicted.

The district is reviewing this proposal and will respond when the negotiating teams meet again on May 11.

Read the District’s May 5 Proposal



April 21, 2011 — EEA Bargaining Update:

District, Union Discuss Second Round of Proposals

Read the District’s April 21 Proposal & Rationale

The district bargaining team presented a new offer to the teachers’ union on Thursday, April 21.

Over the past few years, 4J teachers, administrators and classified staff all have given up promised compensation, mostly through temporary measures such as cutting school and work days. Employees’ sacrifices have helped make it possible to retain jobs, programs and class sizes in the face of shrinking revenues. The district is grateful for this shared sacrifice.

As Oregon’s economic woes have continued, it has become clear that one-time reductions will not lead to a sustainable budget for our schools. Oregon school districts are facing a decade of deficits as the economy slowly recovers. We must prepare for more tough times ahead.

April 21 Proposal

The school district is seeking $6.8 million in compensation reductions, shared proportionately by 4J’s teachers, classified staff and administrators.

This proposal balances ongoing (sustainable) and one-time compensation reductions, in order to:

  • Reduce layoffs — Save the equivalent of more than 75 full-time jobs across all employee groups.
  • Maintain manageable class sizes — Teachers need reasonable working conditions.
  • Provide a full school year for students — Instructional furlough days are disruptive to teachers, classrooms and families.
  • Minimize harm to remaining staff — Avoid abrupt compensation declines and minimize workload impacts that would affect employees and their families.

What Is Proposed

The district’s April 21 offer to the teachers’ union would:

  • Reduce salaries by 1.9% (ongoing savings ~ $1.9 million)
    (This is a smaller reduction than originally proposed.)
  • Freeze step increases for 2011–12 (ongoing savings ~ $1.8 million)
    Automatic step increases of 1.85% for 2012–13
  • Reduce standard teacher work year to 191 days by removing one planning/professional development day (ongoing savings ~ $475,000 per year)
  • Cut 5 paid days for only the 2011–12 work year (one-time savings ~ $2.4 million)
    • 2 paid holidays would be unpaid for one year only
    • 1 additional professional development/planning day would be cut
    • 2 hazardous weather days would be unpaid (if only one or zero hazardous weather closures occur, substitute instructional furlough days)
  • Discontinue the practice of paying additional contributions to PERS based on the amount the district contributes to employees’ personal retirement accounts (TSAs) (ongoing savings ~ $240,000)
  • Maintain current contributions to health insurance of $1,100 per teacher per month
    (The licensed insurance reserve has about $1.5 million that can be used to defray costs for members if rates increase.)

(Note: The dollar figures above show savings for all employee groups. The district is in negotiations with the teachers’ union now, and will seek proportionate sacrifices from other employee groups.)

Effect on Staff & Schools

This offer, the district believes, would allow us to save at least 75 jobs and bring the student-teacher ratio change below 3.

The net result of these changes is that each teacher’s salary would be decreased from current levels by 1.4% in 2011–12, and would be scheduled to increase in 2012–13 by a minimum of 2.7%, or, for those eligible for a step increase, 4.5%.

These are difficult times, and difficult conversations. The district thanks teachers, administrators and classified staff for the sacrifices they have made in the past, for the sacrifices they are being asked to make again, and for their continued dedication to doing what’s best for kids.

What’s Next

The Association also presented a counterproposal that would cut days to reduce costs, mostly one-time cuts, but would result in a significant increase in ongoing costs. The district is reviewing this proposal and will respond when the negotiating teams meet again on May 5.

The district will begin discussions with 4J administrators and classified employee groups soon.

Bargaining sessions are open to the public, and all are welcome to attend. The district appreciates the interest shown by employees and members of the public in finding the best way forward.

Read the District’s April 21 Proposal & Rationale

 


 

April 13, 2011 — EEA Bargaining Update:

District Presents Opening Offer to Teachers’ Union

April 13 – District’s Opening Proposal & Rationale

The district presented its opening proposal to the teachers’ union on Wednesday, April 13.

District’s Proposal

The school district is seeking $7 million in compensation reductions, shared proportionately by 4J’s teachers, classified staff and administrators.

This proposal is designed to:

  • Reduce layoffs — Save the equivalent of about 92 full-time jobs across all employee groups.
  • Maintain manageable class sizes — Increase the student-to-teacher ratio by 1.75 instead of 4.
  • Provide a full school year for students — Instructional furlough days are disruptive to teachers, classrooms and families.

The district’s proposal to the teachers’ union is to:

  • Reduce salaries by 2.6%
  • Freeze step increases
  • Eliminate five paid holidays for 2011–12 only = teacher workyear of 187 paid days rather than the norm of 192 (same number of work days)
  • Discontinue the practice of paying additional contributions to PERS based on the amount the district contributes to employees’ personal retirement accounts (TSAs)
  • Continue paying $1,100 per month for health insurance

This offer asks for a combination of one-time cuts and ongoing cuts. A slow economic recovery is underway, and it is now clear that year-to-year reductions will not bridge the widening gap between the spending plans of the past and the anticipated lower revenues of the future.

The net result of these changes is that each teacher’s salary would be decreased by 1.5% in 2011–12, and would be scheduled to increase in 2012–13 by a minimum of 2.6%, or, for those eligible for a step increase, 4.5%.

What’s Next

The Association also presented its opening offer, which the district is reviewing. The negotiating teams will meet again on April 21.

Bargaining sessions are open to the public, and all are welcome to attend. The district appreciates the interest shown by employees and members of the public in finding the best way forward.

The district will begin discussions with 4J administrators and classified employee groups soon.

Read the District’s Opening Proposal and Rationale