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Capo Trustees Restore More Furlough Days

Classified employees will get paid for 6.5 days originally planned as nonworking days.

Non-teaching employees of the will get paid for 6.5 days that were originally planned as unpaid, furlough days, the board of trustees decided Monday night.

The contract that trustees approved in September for the California School Employees Association includes language that allows for the restoration of furlough days should the district come into more money than it had anticipated in January.

The move—the third this year to restore concessions to school district employee groups—comes at the same time the school district is . The district also needs to and is .

“I want to assure you that CSEA understands the financial outlook for CUSD for next year," said Ronda Walen, president of the California School Employees Association’s local chapter 224.

While she recognized that holding off on the restorations “would have been the logical thing to do," Walen said, "CUSD and CSEA signed an agreement that clearly calls for restoration of furlough days.”

The cost to restore the additional 6.5 furlough days for the classified employees comes to $1.45 million. With the two instructional days already restored, that brings the total for CSEA employees to $1.9 million. The district has already spent $2.8 million and another $4.6 million to .

It wasn't until October that the state Legislature finally passed a budget. It included $1.7 billion more for schools across the state than had originally been planned. For Capistrano Unified, that translated into $225 more a student, or $11.2 million.

The previous two moves to restore concessions to employee groups  challenging whether the trigger had been met to restore concessions with the unions. San Juan Capistrano resident Jim Reardon said the teachers’ restoration language—on which the classified employees based their own restoration language—requires passage of both the 2010-11 and 2011-12 state budgets.

In addition, the restoration language for both unions says the additional money must be “actual funded." The district’s share of the $1.7 billion has been deferred until next school year. Therefore, Reardon contends, the trigger has not been met.

Trustee Ellen Addonizio said Monday night she, too, is unconvinced the district was in a position requiring the restorations. “I very much regret restoring furlough days one day, then the next day, laying some pour soul off,” she said.

But Trustee Anna Bryson said it would be “unacceptable and not tolerable” to not uphold the contracts’ provisions.

The restorations passed Monday in a 5-2 vote, with Addonizio and Trustee Sue Palazzo dissenting.  

Three of the restored days will occur in this school year. Another 3.5 days will be restored to next year’s work calendar. Classified employees are still scheduled to take between 1.5 to three furlough days in the 2011-12 school year.

In other business, the school board:

  • Agreed to reopen contract negotiations with the district’s three union groups—the teachers, the classified employees and the Teamsters—to discuss the 2011-12 budget. The district wants to discuss wages and class sizes with the teachers, and wages and hours with the other employees. In addition, the teachers have requested that the district look at health and welfare benefits.
  • Approved a new meeting schedule that calls for two meetings a month—on the second Monday and fourth Wednesday of the month.
  • Increased the cost of lunches and breakfasts. The new requirements for , as well as rising fuel costs, prompted the increase. The costs of breakfasts at elementary schools will go from $1.50 to $1.75, and lunches will rise from $2.25 to $2.50. Middle school breakfasts will increase from $1.75 to $2, while lunch prices and all high school meals will not change.
  • Signed an agreement with the Orange County Health Care Agency to continue providing mental health services to students, at a cost of $936,000 for the months of April, May and June. Then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger had , even though federal law requires the school districts to provide them. Since Jan. 1, the Orange County Department of Education had been reimbursing the Health Care Agency for its costs with federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act funds, which are now exhausted. Ron Lebs, deputy superintendent for business and support services, said he does not know whether the state will start picking up the tab for the services next year once again. He is building the $5.6-million cost into the district’s budget, just in case it does not.
  • Filled some key positions within the district: Coming from Long Beach Unified, Sara R. Jocham will serve as assistant superintendent of special education; Principal Deni Christensen will go to the district’s headquarters as executive director of secondary schools, adult and alternative education programs; and Las Palmas elementary school teacher Dana Aguilera will become principal of , a K-8 school in Mission Viejo.
  • Honored advanced digital photography students from the San Juan Hills High for their efforts to , the results of which now adorn Capo's headquarters' halls and board room.
Capo mom April 13, 2011 at 01:03 AM
Again you're so gracious to speak for everyone, jollygirl. Your opinions are well documented. I am sure you'd agree Kaard is capable of answering for himself. So come on, step back and give others a chance to say what they mean. And SK the only jingles on the radio are paid for by CTA. Please explain to me again how retroactive pay restoration in the face of an approximately 15% reduction in staff benefits our kids? I see larger class sizes. I see fewer programs, services and choices for our students. But where is the benefit?
Shripathi Kamath April 13, 2011 at 04:13 AM
Jg says "Capo mom...I think Kaard is perfectly capable of drawing his own conclusions from his observations of what he sees every day in the classroom." And cm says she is speaking for everyone I mention a jingle on radio for healthcare by Aetna, and she says it is placed there by unions. WHAT???
shelly April 13, 2011 at 06:11 AM
Capo mom, The economy tanked and it was not the teachers fault. The teachers took a pay cut. There is less money going to education everywhere. Teachers took a cut and reduced some of the costs. They should not be expected to save everything that we, parents, want for our children. Teachers are not rich. They will not become rich teaching so painting them as greedy and only in it for the money is ridiculous. They chose their profession because of what they wanted to do and not because it was going to lead them to riches. They are people doing a job that, we ,the public have asked them and need them to do and we pay them a modest (not extravagent) living. Yes, there are larger class sizes and yes fewer programs. Some believe that teachers and administrators should pay out of their own pockets to save everything. Capo Mom, what are you going to do to help? How are you going to help to save programs, services and choices and reduce class sizes? If you have children in the schools can you please contribute 10% of your income to schools so that we can have smaller class sizes and retain our programs, services and choices for our students. We, parents, are also a huge part of our district and responsible for its success or failure.
Capo mom April 14, 2011 at 03:57 AM
shelly, Teachers are well paid in California. By Obama's definition, many of them are rich. I already contribute more than 10% of my income to schools. Everyone in the state contributes significantly to public education, whether they have children. Asking people to pay more for less to maintain the lifestyle and benefits of teachers who refuse to share in the sacrifice is unrealistic. Do you have any other ideas or should we just continue to expect less from public education?
shelly April 14, 2011 at 05:45 AM
Capo mom, $75,000 ( ~ average teachers pay) is rich in South Orange County. Woohoo, I can stop cutting coupons because that means I am rich (my husband makes just a tad bit more)!!! When do I get my new car because my 9 year old van is getting old. When do I move into my gated community? Teachers pay taxes also. They pay the same taxes as everyone else and they cut their pay last year by 10% to preserve programs for our children. Since the budget numbers were estimations when the contract was signed they have two work days restored and will earn some of the cut pay back. If you want smaller class sizes and programs to remain intact when there is less money then contribute more then just your taxes because this is what the teachers did. Is it always someone else's fault and someone else's sacrifice? I appreciate my children's teachers! My children are not getting less from public education. If I felt this way my kids would not be in CUSD. If I feel they lack something then I try to help. I don't expect others to do everything for my children. If there is a program that I wish were at my school I don't simply complain I try to make it happen. The power is in all of us to do this. It is easy to blame and complain but these are not skills I want my children to aquire. Life is too short for this. My children my responsibility! Do you have children in CUSD schools? And I used I 15 times because it is my opinion and my experience.

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