CSEA and the District have met for the 2019-2020 negotiations twice (May 28th and June 5th) since our last update. At this time the parties have reached agreements on all articles except for Article 18 Wages. On May 28th, the District proposed five (5) furlough days for the upcoming fiscal/school year, with contingency language for the potential of more. These possible furloughs are a result of the bleak 2020-2021 Governor’s May Revised Budget which forecasts a $15.1 billion budget shortfall for K-12 education and which the District estimated would translate to the loss of $24 million locally. CSEA did not sign any agreement in relation to furlough days as we felt the District’s proposal was premature. The pandemic has resulted in tax revenues deferred, and not coming in until mid-July, and the State Legislature still hadn’t approved the proposed dismal education budget. At the May 28th bargaining session, CSEA had asked the District to explore alternatives to salary or job cuts prior to proposing furloughs in order to try and yield savings while taking less drastic measures. As such, CSEA proposed a retirement incentive to the District which was accompanied with a commitment to not fill certain positions that would be vacated as a result of retirement, and to freeze the hiring of certain vacancies deemed nonessential. CSEA felt the proposal could result in cost savings for the District and could potentially avoid our members being impacted negatively as a result of budget cuts. The May 28th bargaining session ended with CSEA expressing its frustration with the District over the length of time negotiations has taken and the lack of a unit-wide salary increase or bonus being offered by the District.
On June 5th, the parties discussed CSEA’s proposal for a retirement incentive which the District dismissed as too costly. The District again failed to propose a unit-wide salary increase or bonus at this bargaining session. The District had explained that while it understood that CSEA didn’t want to agree to furlough days for 2020-2021 in the midst of negotiating our 2019-2020 contract, CSEA would need to accept some equity language agreeing to take the same percentage of cuts the other employee groups (Management and the Certificated bargaining unit) have already accepted in the way of furlough days for next year. CSEA explained to the District that since the State Legislature had recently rejected the Governor’s proposed cuts to K-12 education and proposed to balance the budget for next year, it was impossible for CSEA to agree to accept this equity language since the furlough agreements the other groups signed mandate five (5) furlough days regardless of if the budget is balanced or drastically improves from the Governor’s proposed May Revised Budget. CSEA also explained that should the Governor accept the State Legislature’s revisions to his budget and/or negotiate with the State Legislature to drastically improve the funding for 2020-2021 K-12 education, CSEA would like to have conversations about a unit-wide salary increase or one-time bonus for the current year. The District stated they understood and the parties agreed to meet again after June 15th, as the State Legislature is constitutionally mandated to adopt a budget by this date. We will have another update after our next bargaining session.
For now, it should be clear that CSEA has not signed any agreement as it pertains to furlough days.
CSEA Chapter 293 President
CSEA has been receiving plenty of questions related to the District’s increased request for members to report to work. As such, we have put together this Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) sheet to hopefully answer some of the questions related to reporting to work and leave available for use during this period of time.
1. Can my supervisor ask me to report to work even though I’ve been at home since the school closure began?
Yes, Governor Newsom issued Executive Order N-33-20 on March 19, 2020. In this executive order he identified Pre-K through 12 educational institutions as critical infrastructure that would need to maintain operational capacity in light of this pandemic and his directives for most Californians to remain at home. This has meant and still means that if the District directs us to physically report to work and we are in paid status, we must do so as long as we are capable of reporting.
2. My work schedule has been modified and I was only reporting to work on a limited amount of days for a limited amount of time since schools closed. Can my supervisor increase the amount of time and days I’m reporting to work?
Yes, so long as you are in paid status your supervisor can require that you are physically at work for part or for your full shift.
3. What safety measures has the District and CSEA ensured are in place so that I feel safe in relation to COVID-19 while at my work site?
The accompanied agreement mandates the District to take numerous steps if it requires members to report to their work site during the school closure period. Amongst these steps (see #2) is a requirement that the District provide sanitation supplies (soap, water, towels, hand sanitizer, etc.), implement social distancing measures, and provide the appropriate personal protective equipment (masks, gloves, etc.) to those members reporting to work. If these safety measures aren’t implemented at your work site, please let your immediate supervisor know so they can address the matter. If your immediate supervisor fails to address the matter, please contact one of your local CSEA leaders so that we may resolve the issue for you with Human Resources.
4. What if I cannot go to work because I have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it?
If this is the case, please contact Human Resources. Members who cannot report to work because they have COVID-19, are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, or have been exposed to COVID-19 should be able to use all available leaves. Please note that that federal legislation provides you two (2) weeks of full paid time off of work should you fall in one of the aforementioned categories. You should ask Human Resources to use the leaves provided in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) prior to your own leave accruals if you fall in this category so that you can avoid using your own leave time for as long as possible.
5. What if I cannot go to work because I have childcare issues because my child isn’t in school?
If this is the case, please contact Human Resources. Members who cannot report to work because they have childcare issues should be able to use all available leaves. Please note that recent federal legislation provides you two (2) weeks of paid time off of work at 2/3rds your regular rate of pay should you fall in this category. In addition to these two (2) weeks of 2/3rds paid time off, recent federal legislation created the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLEA) which provides an additional ten (weeks) of 2/3rds paid time off for parents that cannot report to work due to childcare issues that have arisen from a COVID-19 school closure.
You should ask Human Resources to use these leaves which are provided to you in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) prior to your own leave accruals if you have COVID-19 childcare issues so that you can avoid using your own leave time for as long as possible.
If this is the case, please contact Human Resources. Members who cannot report to work because they are the caretaker of someone with COVID-19 or someone that has been subject to a COVID-19 self-isolation order should be able to use all available leaves. Please note that recent federal legislation provides you two (2) weeks of paid time off of work at 2/3rds your regular rate of pay should you fall in this category. You should ask Human Resources to use these leaves which are provided to you in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) prior to your own leave accruals if you have COVID-19 so that you can avoid using your own leave time for as long as possible.
7. What if I belong to a population deemed high risk to the effects of COVID-19 or care for or live with someone who belongs to a population deemed high risk, do I have to report to work?
If this is the case, please contact Human Resources. The accompanied agreement states that “unit members belonging to populations deemed by the State as uniquely vulnerable to the effects of the virus COVID-19 or who are caring for or living with family members belonging to this vulnerable population shall be allowed to self-quarantine at no loss to individual leaves or pay while working remotely or engaged in professional development.” Vulnerable populations are those individuals who are 65 years of age or older, those that have serious chronic medical conditions, or those with compromised immune systems. If you fall in one of these categories and would like to self-isolate at home and not report to work, the District will require you to provide them notice of your belonging to one of the vulnerable populations by filling out a District affidavit form. Once the form has been filled out, you do not have to report to work physically. If you have already made the District aware of your status as someone that belongs to one of the identified vulnerable populations or who cares for or lives with someone who belongs to these populations, you should not be asked to report back into work. If you are, please let a local CSEA leader know so we can resolve the matter with Human Resources.
Should you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me (Job Suarez, 714-681-3095 or firstname.lastname@example.org), your First Vice President (Chris Lawyer, 714-615-0896 or email@example.com), or our Labor Rep (Anthony Solis at 714-532-7126 or firstname.lastname@example.org). Thank you so much for all you do. Please stay healthy and safe!
CSEA Placentia-Yorba Linda Chapter 293 President