My Fellow VTA Members,
It is with great pleasure that I share this information with you. On November 30, 2017, the VTA and VUSD Bargaining Teams reached a tentative agreement on a new contract. The new contract will need to be ratified by membership and then approved by the School Board. Once it is approved by both VTA members and the VUSD School Board, it will go into effect immediately and expire on July 1, 2020.
Both your Bargaining Team and your Executive Board have endorsed this contract and urge you to vote in favor of ratification. We have reached a fair and equitable agreement that grants VTA a number of benefits. While VTA has concerns about "daily" class size language, we are satisfied that the current contract allows us to adequately protect our members (see Article 20 below).
Any questions regarding the tentative agreement should be addressed to the VTA Bargaining Chair, Ron Ferreirae, at email@example.com. In addition, Bargaining Team members will be available at the VTA office from 3-5 PM on Wednesday, December 13. On that date, there will also be a copy of the entire proposed contract available for review.
Ratification voting will take place at school sites starting Tuesday, Dec 12 with all ballots due at the VTA office by Friday Dec 15th at 3:00pm. It is very important that all members vote for or against the proposed changes to the contract. VTA Site Representatives will be conducting the vote and they will have more information next week.
Ballot counting will be done at Indian Joe’s starting at 4:30pm on Friday Dec 15. In addition ballots may also be cast or turned in at Indian Joes from 3:00 until 4:30pm. I would encourage any and all to come and celebrate our new contract.
The major changes to the contract are:
Article 12: Salaries
a) 3% increase to the salary schedule beginning January 1, 2018.
b) Beginning July 1, 2018, the salary schedule will be restructured so that the current columns G, H, and I will replace columns A, B, and C. This will have no effect on salaries but will increase all stipends (Master's, Doctorate, and extra-curricular activities) by approximately 14.5%.
c) Beginning January 1, 2018 the Adult Ed salary schedule will be restructured to include more steps and an additional column for those with a Master's degree.
d) A formula will be used to determine salary increases for the 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 school years. This formula is based on the amount of revenues the district receives from the state and is very similar to the formula that was used in 2016-2017 which resulted in a 2.9% salary increase for that year.
e) VTA members who complete units for advancement on the salary schedule will be able to move to the next column on the salary schedule as soon as the transcripts are given to HR - this can be at any time during the year instead of only at the beginning of a new school year.
** The 1% retroactive pay that we are due from July 2016-Sept. 2017 will be included in the Jan. 31, 2018 paycheck
Article 13: Benefits
a) VUSD will contribute an additional $300 per year towards health benefits. This is retroactive to July 1, 2017, so members will receive a $150 reimbursement for the first half of the year.
Article 16: Leave Policies
a) Employees on Pregnancy Disability Leave will now be entitled to differential pay if they have used all of their sick leave days.
b) Employees will be entitled to use 2 days of sick leave per school year for Personal Business. These days do not require any reason to be given for the absence, but they do require 5-day notice to be given to the site administrator.
c) The California Family Rights Act leave has been added to the contract, allowing up to 12 weeks of leave to care for a newly born or adopted child. Sick leave can be used during this time, and differential pay will be made if the employee has used up all of their sick leave days.
Article 17: Work Year
a) Middle and High School Special Ed. Department Chairs can receive up to 5 days of per diem pay during the summer to schedule students into classes for the next school year.
Article 18: Teachers' Duty Hours
a) Returning to the contract in Article 18.3 - "Excluding assigned supervision duty responsibilities, elementary teachers shall have the time before and after student contact hours for preparation, planning, and conferences."
Article 20: Class Sizes
a) No changes have been made to the issue of student contacts pending legal rulings on a VTA grievance and an Unfair Labor Practice challenge filed with the Public Employee Relations Board.
Article 21: Transfers
a) Language is being added to clarify tie-breaking procedures in the event that involuntary transfers are necessary.
Article 23: Curriculum and Leadership Positions
a) Increasing the number of leadership team positions at elementary sites from 6 to 7.
Article 24: Peer Assistance and Review
a) Increasing the stipend for Consulting Teachers who assist during the PAR process from $500 to $800 per semester.
Article 26: Evaluations
a) Increasing the stipend for Consulting Teachers who assist during the CAP process from $500 to $800 per semester.
b) Added specific evaluation standards for Social Workers, Speech-Language Pathologists, and Psychologists.
c) Require that formal observations are only done when an employee is performing duties that are a regular part of their job.