FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Superintendent Sean McPhetridge (510) 337-7060
Board President Gray Harris (510) 337-7187
AEA Declares Impasse in Negotiations
Alameda, Calif. -
October 26, 2018 - The Alameda Education Association (AEA) has asked the state Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) to declare an impasse in the two teams' salary negotiations.
The district and the union have been negotiating various articles in their contract since April, 2017. Last spring, the two teams ratified a retroactive raise for 2017-18 (.5%), as well as a one-time payment for 2017-18 (1%).
The two bargaining teams are largely in agreement on a 5% salary increase for 2018-19. Where they disagree is on the salary increases for 2019-20 and 2020-21. AEA leadership has asked for guaranteed salary increases in those years. Based on current projections, AUSD believes it cannot now guarantee raises in the second and third year. In addition, bargaining year by year has allowed AUSD to slowly but steadily decrease the gap between AUSD salaries and the county average. (See Graph 1, below.)
The two teams' current offers are summarized in this chart:
AEA's offer would leave the district unable to balance its books by more than $10 million in 2020-21.
Over the last five years, teachers in AUSD have received 13.5% in ongoing raises, plus 2.25% in one time payments. That is more in ongoing raises than the county average for salary increases over the same time period. (See Graph 2, below.) Despite this, AUSD salaries continue to lag behind those of other Alameda County districts. This is due to a number of factors, including high special education costs and low class sizes.
This year, AUSD's 5% offer is also the highest proposed raise in the county. It is the result of a comprehensive and transparent budget review process by staff and the Board of Education last spring that was specifically designed to find money for employee salaries. After several months of public presentations and meetings, the Board approved $3.5 million in budget cuts so as to offer raises to employees.
AUSD's other employee unions, CSEA 27 and CSEA 860, accepted raises of 4.5% in August. AUSD and AEA have continued to negotiate.
"We have worked very hard over the last six months to find money in our budget for salary increases," says Superintendent Sean McPhetridge. "Staff, students, and families have made sacrifices, recognizing as we all do that employees deserve more. But ultimately we cannot make commitments that will jeopardize the district's financial stability."
If PERB certifies the AEA's request for an impasse determination, the agency will assign a neutral mediator to try to help the two teams come to agreement. Both teams are expected to continue to bargain in good faith during this period.
If they can't come to agreement with the help of a mediator, the two teams will enter into "fact finding" in which a panel reviews the arguments and proposals of both sides and then provides a recommended course of action.
Taken together, mediation and then fact finding can take several months.
"As we continue to follow the process for negotiations, we remain hopeful that we can come to agreement with our labor partners," says Board of Education President Gray Harris. "All of us agree that raising employee salaries is a priority."