Join us at the SPS Board Meeting June 25

In this newsletter, you will find:

  • An update on today’s bargaining session regarding the proposed pay freeze
  • Instructions on how to attend and comment at tomorrow’s board meeting

Today, Unite Summit presented the following counter proposal to Summit’s proposed 2020-2021 pay freeze:

  1. No pay freeze or any changes to the offer letters that were based on our compensation consensus process.
  2. Unite Summit and Summit Public Schools shall meet in October 2020 to revisit the need for any possible cuts to our bargaining unit based on the budget and financial information available at that time. 

Summit presented the following proposal: All bargaining unit member compensation increases are frozen at 2019-2020 rates. If the following are true when the budget is revised for October board approval, compensation will be unfrozen. Teachers will be retroactively compensated for the increases they expected based upon their March 2020 compensation letters for FY21.

Summit’s proposal is that all of the following would have to be true in order to restore teacher salaries to the agreed upon levels:

  1. California must have an approved budget in place that does not cut Summit school revenue from the 2019-2020 school year. 
  2. The Federal Government has passed aid bill(s) that distribute the amount of aid to California that is assumed in the approved California budget, and regulations for distribution of that aid ensure that Summit receives an amount assumed for the first bullet point to be true.
  3. The PPP [Paycheck Protection Program] loans have converted to grants.
  4. No state or federal funding to Summit is reduced because they received PPP loans or grants.
  5. Summit is receiving full funding for 2020-2021 enrollment and ADA.

Diane insisted that the SPS Board has directed her to submit a budget that incorporates a 10% cut in revenue. Although the Governor did originally propose such a cut back in May, the current agreement between the Governor and the Legislature restores school funding and the SPS Board could easily and realistically pass a budget based on no cuts to funding (or much less substantial cuts to funding). 

It is illegal for Summit to unilaterally impose a pay freeze without a negotiated agreement with our union. Diane agreed that this is true; however, she insisted that the Board’s desire to pass a budget that incorporates a 10% cut in revenue might necessitate layoffs if we do not agree to an immediate pay freeze.

We’d like to note that the best path toward maintaining fiscal fitness for Summit and maintaining a high-quality education for our students does not include laying off teachers. A few facts to consider:

  1. There are about 16 people at Home Office who earn $150,000 or more a year.
  2. We have yet to fill (or announce the intention to fill) the superintendent position, which last year earned a salary of $262,080.
  3. Summit has still not determined what to do with an estimated $500,000 in reserves from Rainier.
  4. Summit is currently spending over $6 million on the Marshall Street initiative, whose many parts go beyond support of our campuses and include Summit’s expansion into parent education following the publication of Diane’s book.
  5. The $450,115 salary of Summit’s CEO is among the highest in the state, as noted in this Forbes article. 

The following bargaining team members attended today’s meeting: Amber Steele, Denali Middle; Evan Anderson, Everest; Joey Hughes, Expeditions; Liz DeOrnellas, Expeditions; Hillary Odom, Shasta; Sarah Rivas, Denali High; Fuchsia Spring, K2; Doug Wills, Tahoma; Dan McClure, Prep; Ona Keller, CTA; Daryl Hemenway, CTA; Diane Tavenner, CEO and Kelly Garcia, Chief of Staff.

At Summit’s request, the bargaining team agreed to meet again on Friday. 

ACTION YOU CAN TAKE: Attend the Summit Board meeting tomorrow (June 25) at noon

We encourage you all to attend this meeting where the Board will be voting to approve the budget for next year. The more teacher voices and faces seen and heard, the better. It is imperative for the Board to learn about your perspective on compensation, given that the anticipated budget cuts being pushed by Summit leadership do not reflect the reality coming out of Sacramento.

If you would like to speak at the Board Meeting you must fill out this form in advance (item 7 is public comment). 

This is the Zoom link to the board meeting, which starts at noon tomorrow (Thursday, June 25):

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