Friday, March 15, 2013

Garvey School Board Meeting, March 14, 2013

Thank you to all of our unit members who came to the School Board Meeting last night. You presence speaks volumes to the School Board and Superintendent.

Thank you also to our union brothers and sisters from Temple City, San Gabriel and Alhambra for supporting us by attending the meeting.

At the meeting, Bonifacio Garcia, general counsel to the Garvey School District, spoke to the Board about the Political Activities of Employees. He stated that members of the Association have the right to post political material on the designated bulletin board in the staff lounge. Association members also have the right leave the union endorsed political material on the staff lounge tables. Placement of these items must take place during non-duty time. (e.g., lunch, before and after the professional work day) District mailboxes are off limits.

These statements align with our position regarding our rights. They are also contrary to Dr. Johnson's "Cease and Desist" order. We hope a withdrawal of the “Cease and Desist” order will be forthcoming.

Dr. Johnson asked some specific questions.
She asked whether teachers can wear “Recall” buttons in the classroom during instruction.
  • The answer was no.
She asked whether teachers can wear “No Confidence in the Superintendent” buttons in the classroom during instruction.
  • There was no answer. Mr. Garcia stated he would have to research the issue. 
She commented that parents sometimes use the staff lounges for meetings.
  • Mr. Garcia stated that it doesn't matter. The Association members' rights remain unchanged.

We will keep you posted on any developments. Be sure to sign up for email notifications.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Rosemead City Council Election and Recall

    On March 5, 2013, the City of Rosemead held an election for 3 city council seats. Garvey Board of Education School Board Member Janet Chin was one of four candidates. Ms. Chin is presently the target of an attempted recall from the Garvey School Board.

   If Ms. Chin had won a seat on Rosemead City Council, she would have had to resign her seat on the Garvey Board. Ms. Chin placed fourth in the election and did not win a seat on the City Council. Steven Ly, Sandra Armenta and Maggie Clark will all be continuing their work on City Council as they were all re-elected.

    The recall efforts continue and signature gathering must conclude by May 2, 2013.

Political Activities

    On February 22, 2013, the Association received a "Cease and Desist" letter, stating that employees of the Garvey School District are not allowed to post any political information on bulletin boards or distribute any political information anywhere on school property, even during non-duty times away from instruction.

    The Association contended that the second part of the Board Policy, which is regarding "Employee Organizations" would be applicable to us and that we could post material on the designated bulletin board, and hand information to our members at lunch and at GEA meetings.

    The District is standing by their order and threatening disciplinary and legal action against violators.

    CTA has filed an unfair labor practice charge with the Public Employees Relations Board on our behalf.

    The School Board will be discussing the issue as an Action Item at the Board Meeting on March 14th.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Negotiations Update

    Since the beginning of 2013, the District and Association have had several bargaining sessions. During the first couple of sessions, the parties went back to using "Interest Based Bargaining." Mr. Bonifacio Garcia, the Legal Counsel for the District was no longer at the bargaining sessions.

    The District and Association did reach agreement regarding the 2013-2014 calendar. Orientation Day for teachers and staff will be on August 20th, with students beginning classes on August 21, 2013. Ground was covered regarding both salary and insurance, but information from the District was necessary to move forward.

    On February 8, 2013, the Garvey School District filed a Request for Determination of Impasse and Appointment of Mediator with respect to negotiations between the District and the Garvey Education Association.

    The Garvey Education Association contested the contention that the parties had reached impasse in their negotiations. Subsequent to consultation with the representative from the Public Employees Relations Board, the Garvey School District withdrew the Request for Determination of Impasse and Appointment on February 15, 2013.

    Notice of the withdrawal and closure of Case No. LA-IM-3757-E was sent to both parties on February 19, 2013. Negotiations between the Garvey School District and Garvey Education Association reconvened on February 26, 2013.

    The District Insurance Committee will be having several meetings with vendors during the month of February. the District Insurance Committee includes members from GEA, CSEA and Administration. These meetings will help to determine whether the District remains with VEBA or moves to another carrier.

    Some obsolete language has tentatively been deleted from the contract, and both parties await the second interim report, which is scheduled to be disseminated on March 14. Whether or not the interim report continues to call for a qualified budget, or now shows a positive certification will greatly affect the timeline of bargaining.
     The next session is scheduled for March 14th.