“Five Reasons to Reject this TA and Fight for Better” authored by Mark Airgood,
Tania Kappner, Adarene Hoag
1. The guaranteed salary increase is only 5.5%. All other raises are tied to
extra work time (2.5% in January of 2016 tied to an extra half hour weekly starting
in 2016/17) or contingent on an elaborate formula tied to state funding. Starting
in 2016/17, increases in the average cost of Health Care Plans for members will be
rolled into the total compensation formula. If the cost of Health Care plans go up
(which they do) we will have the cost deducted before we see anything in our
paycheck. In addition, with the statewide rise in STRS Pension contributions by
3.15% over the next 3 years, take-home pay will rise even less. Lastly, everyone
knows that while California now has a surplus, in future years it is likely to have
2. There are no Hard Caps for Special Education class-size and caseload. The
Soft-Caps that were instituted a couple years ago have not been honored. The size
of Special Education class-sizes and caseloads have continued to rise. There is no
reason to think that soft-caps will work now, because of the addition of another
committee to monitor them. We need enforceable language that protects the civil
rights of students with disabilities.
3. The rewrite of Article 12 in this TA is unacceptable. It is not appropriate for
some of our members to collaborate with Administration over the hiring and
replacement of other staff members. We must reject having teachers “trained by
Human Resources” for this process (Section 188.8.131.52 of the TA). In addition, at the
time of this writing the TA language for Article 27 on the Waiver process is not yet
available to members. This bears close watching, as it is another area of potential
attack in establishing some schools in which members and students have second-
tier contractual protections.
4. Health care is still left out on its own on a separate bargaining table with
the other District unions. They already gave up Health Net years ago, so there is
no reason to think that this is anything but an attempt by Administration to use
the other unions against the OEA. We need to keep control of our own heath care
plan and bargain it as part of our package. The loss of Health Net and/or increase
in premiums has a tremendous impact on families and those who fall seriously ill.
After wages, healthcare is the biggest monetary piece of our contract.
5. Important parts of the contract are opened up for reopeners – Early
Childhood Education in 2015/16 and Evaluation and PAR in 2016/17. We cannot
let these important parts of our contract be determined in isolation from the rest
of our contract and at a time when we have no effective means to strike. Our
strength is in our unity and ability to take mass action – with our members and
Oakland as a whole. Reopeners are advantageous to the District Administration
not the OEA.
We can do much better! VOTE NO on this Tentative Agreement and fight to win
what we know we need. There is no better time to fight than now.