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Strong Schools 2019

Follow the Money- Janus Case and Beyond

Demand to Bargain Notice

November 9, 2020


Our SJTA Executive Board has worked hard to establish a collaborative relationship with the district. That relationship typically allows both parties to find creative ways to address difficult problems. Unfortunately, at this time we are unable to reach an agreement with the district about how to proceed in providing in-person and remote learning in a hybrid model. Further, during this pandemic the CA legislature has issued several new laws that have increased the district’s ability to unilaterally choose a model. The combination of these two realities and the time constraints involved, have resulted in the district deciding to ‘impose’ the model for how schooling will look beginning in January. We do not yet have details about the model, but it appears as though it could be a combination of models. As soon as we have more information, we will let you know.

The moment the district communicated they were going to impose a model, we let them know that we would issue a 'Demand to Bargain.' A demand to bargain is the legal assertion of our right to negotiate the impacts of any decision that the district makes that affects our members.

To that end, the following are several key areas we plan to include in our demand to bargain (this is not an exhaustive list):

  • Transition and planning time to move to the new model
  • Working conditions, including, but not limited to:
    • Any aspect of the model that impacts our members
    • Ensuring adequate preparation time during the week
    • Protecting contractual hours and workload expectations
    • Securing full distance learning or remote work for members who are medically compromised or who are primary care providers for someone who is medically compromised
    • Identifying ways to address the childcare needs of members
  • Health and Safety
    • Requiring face coverings for all students 2 years and older (exemption for medical reasons only)
    • Establishing clear guidelines for students that do not comply with established safety guidelines
    • Establishing clear cleaning protocols and cycles at each site, including establishing a reporting process for staff concerns in the event protocols are not followed
    • Increasing the health screening process beyond Sacramento County’s passive screening recommendation
    • Identifying ways for itinerant/support staff to provide services to students while limiting their exposure
    • Increase the number of plexiglass dividers (or other method of ensuring increased protections) being provided to sites/programs to accommodate small group and one on one instruction/services

While we are disappointed the district has chosen this action, we recognize that the legislature gives them the right to do so. Given that time is of the essence, we will now assert our right to negotiate the impact of this decision through our demand to bargain.

Our highest priorities at this time are to ensure that our members have clear information about what schooling will look like in January; and to ensure it is done as safely as possible. Our goal is to have a Side Letter of Agreement in place and distributed to our membership prior to the Thanksgiving break.

In Unity,
Bill Simmons


San Juan Teachers Association School Board Endorsement

August 4, 2020

We are proud to announce that the SJTA Political Action Committee for Education (PACE) unanimously recommended, and our Executive Board unanimously endorsed the reelection of the three incumbent school board trustees:

Pam Costa
Saul Hernandez
Paula Villescaz

All three have been reasonable, effective, and collaborative school board trustees. They have each proven to be steadfast supporters of public education and of our students. Each has demonstrated the willingness to listen to and seek out divergent perspectives to fully inform decisions for SJUSD. During these uncertain times, we are confident that their capable and steady leadership will guide our district with competence, transparency, stability, and strength going forward.

If you have questions about our endorsement, please reach out to President, Bill Simmons or Vice President, Robert Waldo.


Our Statement Regarding Social Justice

June 26, 2020

We the members of the San Juan Teachers Association's Executive Board affirm that Black Lives Matter. That our students of color matter. That we view their education as an inviolable trust bestowed to us by loving families. We will not fail to meet the moment with humility, dedication, and understanding of how long the journey has been, and how far there is to go.

Equity, as expressed by the idea that all children and families are valued, and deserving of respect and opportunity, has always been one of the guiding pillars of the San Juan Teachers Association. Equity is not dependent on sameness; it is the essential element in the fabric of our community's rich diversity. As educational practitioners who advocate for equity and social justice, we uphold the ideals of our country's founding documents, and both the letter and spirit of our Constitution.

The tragic deaths of people of color, brought to the forefront by the recent killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Rayshard Brooks, and so many others, has galvanized a long overdue awareness in the United States. We see clearly institutional racism laid bare all across our society.

Although clearly defined over 150 years ago in our 14th and 15th Constitutional amendments, the rights of equality under the law for all citizens have not been, with fidelity, enforced or protected by governments from the local to federal levels. A great chasm has separated the ideals of this country from its realities.

As educators and parents, we know that "children learn what they live." We also know that we live in a divided society. It is our duty to provide an environment in which children learn about themselves, others, and the world untethered to systemic inequity. We will work to dismantle the institutionalized white supremacy that has kept the written promises of the United States of America so unfulfilled for so many of our families. We will work to build a culture where the USA's promises to its people are fulfilled.

We are immensely proud of our colleagues who have long embraced this work, and we shall be fearless as we meet the challenges ahead. We are dedicated to supporting each of our colleagues and students in ensuring equity, inclusion, and access for all. By clearly examining our history, by asking and answering the toughest questions, by thoughtfully reflecting on the paths taken and envisaging the paths forward, and by empathetically responding to our students' needs, we, as educators, will work to transform our country. America's future depends on it.


Rep Council Highlights:

February 14, 2020


2% Bonus:
The negotiated 2% bonus check should be paid by Friday, February 14. If you have any questions please feel free to call us here at SJTA: 916-487-SJTA (7582)

PARS/Early Retirement Incentive:
The District is exploring the viability of an early retirement incentive. Offers have been sent to all eligible employees and four informational meetings have been held. If you feel that you are eligible, but have not received a packet, please call HR at 916-971-7171 to inquire.

We are continuing to look at the comparability study completed last year to drive the conversations around bargaining. Please see the September 3, 2019 letter from SJTA President Bill Simmons (below) for complete details on the bargaining team's current focus around addressing the salary schedule.

Schools and Communities First (SCF):
There is still time to sign and turn in petitions. Your site rep should have the petitions or you can stop by SJTA offices after school. We have a hard deadline of February 26 to turn in all petitions. Please keep in mind that if SCF passes this fall, it would mean an overall increase to San Juan of $24 million per year beginning with 22-23 School Year

For a complete review of all the information shared at Rep Council, please do the following:

  • Attend the 5-minute Meeting during your monthly staff meeting
  • Read the minutes that are forwarded by your site rep
  • Reach out to your faculty representatives


Rep Council Recap:

January 24, 2020


We have heard from some of you regarding the underutilization of this space, particularly during less intensive bargaining periods. It is our intention to correct this missed opportunity.

Moving forward, please check our web site the Monday following Rep Council to see the Rep Council overview. We hope that this overview, will continue to promote the flow of information to all our members throughout the district.


  • The District has informed us that they will be moving forward with trying to offer an early retirement incentive. They will be presenting the details of this plan to the School Board on January 28th. Typically, in these types of plans, the employer must reach certain thresholds to make the offer viable. We have no additional information at this time, but we anticipate having a more complete understanding beginning in the of February.

State Budget:

On January 10, 2020 the Governor released his January Proposal for the State Budget. While there are a lot of details to be worked out between now and the June Adoption, most signs are positive regarding this starting point. While all parties continue to be concerned about increasing cost (specifically health care and retirement), SJTA feels strongly that there will be sufficient funds to address the salary schedule and comparability challenges we have previously referenced in negotiations.

Schools and Communities First:

Currently, just 8% of all the corporations in the state of California reap 80% of all of the benefits being provided by Prop 13. This has had several negative impacts on the state. First, it has stifled competition among business – as start-up companies have struggled to compete with the inherent advantages of older more established business in the state. Secondly, these older, large, wealthy and established corporations (Chevron to name one) have been able to avoid paying their fair share of property tax by taking advantage of a loophole included in Prop 13.

"Schools and Communities First" is a split-roll property tax initiative, which would generate billions of dollars in ongoing revenue for state and school operations. This proposal would eliminate the giant loophole for these large corporations, while maintaining protections for residential, agricultural, and small businesses.

We are currently asking all members to sign the petition that will qualify this initiative for the ballot.

For more information about information shared at Rep Council, please reach out to your faculty representatives.


TA Agreement Moves to School Board for Approval

January 17, 2020

The tentative agreement that was ratified in November will move for a final approval vote from the School Board on January 28th.

The 2% bonus checks should arrive no later than February 14. Please let us know if you experience any delay.


Tentative Agreement Reached

November 12, 2019

Dear Colleagues and Members,

As we shared last month, the bargaining process faced two new hurdles in addressing the challenges revealed in the comparability study; an unexpected decline in enrollment coupled with the revelation from the State that more than $4 million in on-going funds where now one-time money. After an exhaustive analysis of the budget, the Bargaining Team determined that these unexpected financial factors meant no agreement would likely be reached, that included an on-going salary increase, until the fall of next year.

This realization caused the Bargaining Team to adjust the short-term strategy, but not our goals.

As a result, we have reached a tentative agreement that provides some immediate salary benefit to our members, incorporates the progress that we have achieved based on the work of our joint committees, and reasserts our goals related to the comparability study.

Highlights of the Agreement:

This two-year agreement contains the following:

  • 2% Bonus based on 2019-2020 salary
  • District covers all increased costs for employee only benefits
  • District maintains 75% share of employee family benefits
  • Optional family coverage for vision
  • A new stipend for classroom/contact overages (including at the start of the school year)
  • Ratios for counselors
  • Staffing Minimums for Nurses
  • Suggested supports for combination classes
  • Establishes a Special Education prototype with supports for workload issues
  • Establishes a pilot processes for increased practitioner voice around assignments
  • Provides for three reopeners for the 2020-21 school year: Salary, Benefits, and Calendar.

Next Steps for Ratification:

We will be holding three informational meetings. The first meeting will start immediately after (an abbreviated) November 13th Rep Council, followed by meetings on Friday November 15th and Monday the 18th. The meeting on the 15th will start at 4PM and the meeting on the 18th will start at 6:30pm. All meetings will be held at the SJTA office.

Voting will be open on the 19th and run through 4pm on November 22nd. Ratification results of the vote will be announced by 6pm on November 22nd.

Next Steps for Bargaining:

This agreement does not change the goals we articulated to you in our August letter. Addressing the salary schedule concerns revealed in the comparability study remains a top priority. In fact, this agreement contractualizes addressing these issues in the reopener language.


Two Major Challenges Emerge - Delaying Salary Discussions

October 4, 2019

As bargaining has continued, two important issues have emerged to challenge the parties moving towards an agreement on salary.

The first concern to emerge was the issue of declining enrollment. While district projections had anticipated an increase of 100 students, actual enrollment this year reflected a decline of 350 students from last year. Despite efforts to understand where students have gone, the cause of the 450 student swing is unclear. Because state funding laws permits a district to collect funding based either on current year's enrollment or previous year's enrollment (whichever is higher), this difference resulted in a loss of funding this year of only $1 million, but a projected decline in funding next year of approximately $4.2 million.

The second issue surfaced just two weeks ago. The state Department of Finance (DOF) sent word to school districts throughout the state that while the state adopted budget appeared to indicate an "on-going" increase to special education funding, those funds are in actuality "one-time" funds. This clarification from DOF has sent districts throughout the state scrambling to reconfigure budgets. For San Juan, the loss in "on-going" revenue is nearly $5 million.

This combined loss in on-going revenue (compared to projections from just a few months ago) is approximately $6 million for this year and projected as high as $9 million in the out years.

While the District and Association work to more fully understand the financial implications of the current situation and projections moving forward, bargaining has continued on other items of lesser economic impact. These include reviewing and refining the recommendations from the four joint committees (Special Education, Beyond FTE Stipend, Grade Level/Master Schedule Input, Combination Class Support) as well as calendar for the 2020-21 school year.


Letter from SJTA President, Bill Simmons

September 3, 2019

Dear Colleagues and Members,

We hope that you have had a restful and regenerative summer. As we turn our eyes to the start of a new school year, we wanted to take a moment to: review how we have bargained in the past, detail where we are in the bargaining process now, explain how this year may look different than in years past, and share how we are advocating on your behalf.

Continue reading the letter


Comparability Study Yields Implications for Bargaining

June 12, 2019

This spring, School Services of California conducted a comparability study in which they examined San Juan Unified's total compensation package and compared it with the 12 regional Unified School districts.

The term "total compensation" is used to signify costs that district incurs beyond salary – mostly medical and retirement related costs.

The findings revealed that our members lead that way in several areas, and face challenges in others.

Among the strengths, the study clearly showed that maximum medical benefits in San Juan exceed those in all other districts with the exception of Sacramento City. When specifically looking at employee, plus family – SJTA members have the second best rates in the region. And when looking at the average out-of-pocket expenses for employee only coverage, our members have the lowest deductibles. This is due in large part to the Joint Health Benefits committee and the labor leadership present at those discussions.

The study further revealed that the current rates of compensation for mid-career earnings are the most competitive in the region. Specifically, practitioners on steps 5-14 are among the top salaries regionally in each of those years.

The challenges that the study revealed related primarily to the beginning and ending of the schedule. When examining the first years of a practitioners career, new practitioners ranked 8th in salary regionally. And despite getting to the top of our salary schedule earlier than most districts, when looking at only salary veteran members were among the lowest maximum salaries earners in the region, coming in 10th out of 12.

According to Robert Waldo, Vice-president of SJTA and member of the bargaining team, "We've been able to stay competitive with other districts in total compensation. And it's pretty clear that once you're in San Juan, people do comparatively well. Unfortunately, retirement is not based on total compensation. It's based on salary. We're not sure what the solution is, but we are going to have to do something to address the beginning and ending of our salary schedule."

Negotiations will continue through mid-June and then resume in early August. Look for another update in mid-August.


Bargaining Timelines: The District and the Association return to the bargaining table

April 30, 2019

As we enter into negotiations for the second year of our two-year agreement, the parties will negotiation over Salary, Benefits and one reopener (determined by each party).

At our January Rep Council meeting, the representatives unanimously approved Article 7 (Class Size/Ratios) as our reopener for this round of bargaining.

The District has presented Article 5 (Leaves) as their reopener for this round of bargaining.

In addition to the above, the contract ratified by membership earlier this 2018-19 school year called for the establishment of five joint committees tasked to provide recommendations to the negotiating teams. The five committees were as follows:

  • Special Education
  • Combination Classes
  • Master Schedule Input (Secondary)
  • Grade Level Input (Elementary)
  • Access to the Greater than 1.0 Stipend (detailed in Article 8.01.17)

The various joint committees met over several months and have wrapped up (or are wrapping up) their recommendations.

On Monday April 22, 2019, the SJUSD and SJTA Bargaining Teams met for their first bargaining session. The teams meet next on May 6th to jointly analyze a comparability study of SJTA total compensation levels with those of the surrounding districts.

Other important dates:

  • May 14th Governor's May Revise Published
  • May 20th School Services workshop on Governor's May Revise.
  • May 22nd Rep Council
  • May 24th All Day Bargaining
  • June Bargaining Sessions TBD
  • July – break
  • Early August – bargaining resumes

We anticipate the next update will be posted the week after May Rep Council and reflect the implications of the Governor's May Revise.


District and Association Reach Agreement – Membership Ratifies TA

October 1, 2018

On Friday night last week, John Hasdovic certified that an overwhelming percentage of voters approved the tentative agreement reached by the District and SJTA on September 14.

While you can click here to see the full agreement and changes to the contract, a list of highlights follows:

  • 1.8% salary increase (beginning November 1, 2018)
  • 2% one-time bonus to be paid by Dec 21, 2018 (includes the amount that traditionally would have been part of a retro)
  • Permanent 3rd workday for 185 day employees equals additional .56% increase resulting in 2.36 % ongoing salary increase for most members
  • After year 15 in San Juan, participation cycle moves to every 5 years
  • Notification Deadlines for Grade level and subject matter assignments for the following year
  • Required classroom moves - compensated for 12 hours at extra assignment rate
  • Additional Non-instructional Work day for all members
  • New Stipends for specialized groups

The membership voted to approve the Tentative Agreement with a 94% ratification vote. The School Board sunshined the agreement at their meeting on the September 25, 2018 and we anticipate they will vote to certify the contract at their meeting on October 9, 2018.


District and Association Continue Bargaining

September 10, 2018

The District and the Association spent Friday in a productive bargaining session. While a couple issues remain sticking points, the tenor of the conversation was optimistic. The teams are scheduled to return to the bargaining table on Wednesday, September 12. Members should expect an update no later than Friday, September 14.


District and Association Closing in on Agreement

August 29, 2018

The District and the Association continue to meet to work through the challenging issues presented in this round of negotiations. A top priority remains a fair and reasonable salary increase for all members.

Members will remember that the final state budget provided modest increases in funding to k12 education over the May Revise, but dramatic reductions in the amount of one-time funds being provided.

Based on the State budget, the Association bargaining team has put forward a proposal that includes a 2% increase to all salary schedules, a 2.5% one-time bonus, and making the third non-instructional workday a permanent fixture of the calendar.

The District's proposal includes a 1.5% increase to all salary schedules, a 1.5% one-time bonus, and making the third non-instructional workday a permanent fixture of the calendar. The district is also proposing that the cost of the third non-instructional workday be offset by the elimination of continued contributions to the Post Employment Health Plan (also known as PEHP).

In addition to closing the gap for salary considerations, there are still several items that may serve as stumbling blocks that must be crossed prior to a deal being reached. These include:

Additional Items from SJTA proposals:

  • Protections regarding members personal and private information
  • Additional support for professionals working within special education programs
  • Prep time for Adult Education practitioners
  • Language for district-wide "Lead" positions
  • Attracting and retaining specialized personnel (such as Nurses, SLPs, etc.)
  • Calendar for the 2019-2020 school year
  • Process for input for department and grade level assignments
  • Support/compensation for Elementary combo classes

Additional Items from SJUSD Proposal:

  • Adjustments in voluntary transfer timeline
  • Adjustments for School Social Worker day/year
  • Calendar for the 2019-2020 school year

The District and Association next sit down at the negotiating table on September 7th and 12th.


Final State Budget Brings More Money to Education, but Less than Anticipated

August 5, 2018

SJTA and SJUSD have held seven bargaining sessions to date; in these first sessions the bargaining teams reviewed and discussed each item from their initial bargaining proposals to determine areas of potential common interest, identify possible cost(s) and note areas the teams may not be in conceptual agreement. While the teams were completing this part of the negotiations process, the Governor reached agreement with lawmakers on the State budget that provided increases for social service, infrastructure and state colleges. There were also several last minute changes in the state k12 education budget from the May Revise, including a reduction of approximately 50% in one-time funds to districts. While the reduction in one-time funds is disappointing and results in an overall reduction in funding from the May Revise, education funding in CA will reach its highest level with this year's approved state educational budget topping last years by $4.5 billion.

After the completion of the beginning phase of negotiations, and using the up-dated information about the State budget, the SJTA bargaining team presented the first formal bargaining proposal to the District in late June.

While the specifics remain confidential, SJTA's proposal reflects the interests put forward in our Initial Bargaining Proposal approved at the January Rep Council meeting. These interests were generate by members from our bargaining survey and vetted by faculty representatives from each site and program.

While not an exhaustive list, among the topics addressed in the SJTA formal proposal are the following:

  • Fair and reasonable salary increases for all unit members
  • Increases to stipends
  • Strengthening of leave language
  • Reduced class size for high density middle years instruction
  • Increased supports for high density elementary schools
  • Additional support for professionals working within special education programs
  • Prep time for Adult Education practitioners
  • Protections regarding members personal and private information
  • Language for district-wide lead positions
  • Attracting and retaining specialized personnel (i.e. Speech Pathologists, Nurses, etc.)

"While the Governor didn't provide us everything we might have hoped for, this is still a healthy budget," says SJTA President Bill Simmons. "And even with the increased costs to health benefits, step and column, as well as STRS and PERS there should still be room to make some meaningful gains."

Formal negotiations resume on August 7, at which time SJTA anticipates that the district will provide its counter proposal.

Members should anticipate the next negotiations update the first week of instruction.


Supreme Court Ruling - Janus Case

June 28, 2018


I heard on the news something about a case that may weaken teachers' unions. What's going on?

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that unions can't collect fair share fees from non-union members. Until today, non-members in San Juan have paid their ‘fair share' for the union representation they receive which includes all the contract benefits and protections.

I heard on the news something about a case that may weaken teachers' unions. What's going on?

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that unions can't collect fair share fees from non-union members. Until today, non-members in San Juan have paid their ‘fair share' for the union representation they receive which includes all the contract benefits and protections.

How does this affect my union membership?

It doesn't. Your membership, dues, etc. remain unchanged. It only affects non-union members.

Would I get the same benefits if I did drop my membership?

No. You would get the benefits of the negotiated contract, but have no say in the priorities like salary and benefits, school safety conditions, class sizes and all the other things in the contract. You'd also be ineligible for all the benefits that come with membership, including a $1,000,000 personal liability policy, legal services, access to student-centered professional development, membership discounts on insurance, entertainment, and travel. Unfortunately, you'd also lose your voice in the union. You couldn't vote in union elections and you wouldn't even be able to vote on the contract.

What is the Janus v. AFSCME Case?

The Janus case is an attempt to further rig the system against working people by challenging the constitutionality of fair share fees. These fees have been collected by public employee unions from non-members whom the union is obligated to represent under the collective bargaining agreements they have negotiated. The plaintiffs argued that those fees violate their First Amendment free speech rights by compelling them to pay for political speech they disagree with. But the fact is, the former system did not violate anyone's free speech rights because fair share payers only pay for costs related to bargaining their contract and representing them in any contract-related issue. The United States Supreme Court had upheld fair share contributions for over 40 years as a sensible compromise that protects the rights of both individuals and unions.

Check out the "Janus" tab for more information,

Who can I speak to if I have additional questions?

Call Bill, Shannan, or Ed at the Association office at 916.487.7582 or email them:

You can also visit or under the Janus tab.


Salary Increase Tops List as Negotiations Begin

April 20, 2018

SJTA and the District bargaining teams began negotiations for a successor contract Monday, April 16. At the top of SJTA's proposal is a fair and reasonable salary increase for all members beginning in the 2018-19 school year. Also topping the list, based on members priorities from the bargaining survey last fall, and confirmed by rep council: exploring strategies for additional class size reduction at mid and high density schools and establishing reasonable caseloads/workloads for all of our student-support members including nurses, counselors and speech pathologists.

The District and SJTA bargaining teams have set an aggressive calendar of meetings, through the end of May, with the outside hope of reaching an agreement prior to summer break.

Brandon Wells, SJTA bargaining chair commented, "If negotiations conclude prior to summer break, we can likely credit it to efficient dialogue, productive preparation for the bargaining table, and the right alignment of positioning and circumstance. Time is a factor toward reaching a strong tentative agreement, not a qualification for success. Our first priority is to reach a wise agreement."

An important factor that will impact negotiations, on May 15, the Governor is required to provide a revised budget proposal to legislature for consideration. While we currently do not anticipate that there will be a dramatic change in the total amount of funding to education from what the Governor’s January Proposal contained there are ongoing discussions in the legislature related to how the funds will be delivered.

The Governor’s January Proposal included fully funding the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) and providing districts with a substantial payment of “one-time” funds. For San Juan Unified the share of these one-time funds is approximately $11 million.

The discussions in the Legislature are focused on how much, if any of that $11 million, could be converted to on-going funding, as opposed to one-time funding. The advantage to the “on-going” funding is that it can be used to fund ongoing expenses, such as a raise.

The SJTA Bargaining Team and Executive Board will provide updates to this website as bargaining progress and Faculty Reps can anticipate a full report at the May Rep Council. Should there be a significant development over the summer, bargaining updates would be sent to members' home emails during the summer break.


2017-18 Bargaining Timeline/Process

January 22, 2018

Oct. 20 – Nov. 19: Bargaining Survey
Nov. 20-Dec. 19: Executive Board and Bargaining Team review
Bargaining Survey results
December 20: Draft Initial Bargaining Proposal presented to Rep Council
Dec. 21 – Jan. 16: Faculty Reps lead discussions for feedback and revisions
January 17: Amendments and final approval of Initial Bargaining by Rep Council
February 13: Initial Proposal "sunshined" to School Board
March 27: District's Initial Proposal ‘sunshined' to SJTA
April SJTA and District Teams begin formal bargaining sessions

The Governor's State Budget Proposal in January and the May Revise will inform the bargaining process


SJTA 2017-18 Bargaining Survey

October 20, 2017

Take the 2017-18 SJTA Bargaining Survey


Informational Update

September 1, 2017


We hope that you had a relaxing summer and that the school year has gotten off to a successful start.

The purpose of this update is to provide current information to our members about the contingency language for the 2017-18 school year that was part of last year's negotiated settlement. As a reminder, the agreement that was reached in the spring last year was for both the 2016-17 and the 2017-18 school years.

Note: While the District's fiscal picture did improve, the Governor continued to be fiscally conservative in his approach to budgeting for education. As a result the improvements were not as substantial as we had hoped.

For the 2016-17 school year, the contract included the following elements related to salary:

  • 2% Raise (retroactive to July 1, 2016)
  • 2% Bonus (on salary and stipends for 2016-17 school year)
  • 2 Days
    • One optional PD Day - paid on time card at the member's daily rate (17-18 & 18-19)
    • One scheduled Non-instructional work-day in 17-18 & 18-19 (+.56% to salary)

Due to the uncertainty of the state budget, the 2017- 18 salary language was written to be contingent on the state's adopted budget for the 17-18 fiscal year, as well as the audited actuals of the district's budget. While the adopted state budget did indeed improve the financial situation, it did not trigger any of the automatic language for ongoing or one-time salary increases. However, some scenarios from the contingency language still remain a possibility. Both of these two remaining scenarios include a combination of factors and would cause the parties to return to the table.

One potential scenario is that the 2017-18 state budget would result in combined one-time and on-going funds to the district that equal more than $6,000,000. To determine if the criteria was met, the SJTA Executive Board and Negotiations team members will be reviewing First Interim numbers when they come out in mid-September. Currently we estimate this number to be between $4 and $7 million. If these estimates come in above $6 million, the joint Budget Review Committee (BRC) will convene to determine appropriate next steps.

Another potential scenario is the district may have over-estimated their expenses for the year resulting in an increase in the ending fund balance. If the District's 2016-17 Audited Actuals do reveal an increase in the unrestricted ending fund balance (not including Supplemental Grant) of more than $1,400,000 the BRC will convene to determine next steps. We have no clear estimates on these figures at this time, but this information will be included in Audited Actuals that are published in December.

Key take-aways:

  • No contingency has been triggered at this point, but two scenarios remain possibilities
  • The District's First Interim due in September and the Audit Actuals due in December will contain the key financial information to determine if the two scenarios will be triggered
  • The Executive Board and Bargaining Team will be reviewing all necessary documents and timelines to ensure the best results for our members


Important Upcoming Dates

  • June 15, 2017 - CA budget deadline
  • (no later than) July 9 - Retro check is due to SJTA members (2% on all STRS-able earnings for July- April 2016-17)
  • (no later than) August 7 - 2% off schedule payment or "one-time bonus" based on total earnings in the 2016-17 school year (including the 2% increase to salary)
  • August 8 - Calendared PD day
  • August 9 – Non-Instructional Workday
  • August 10 - First day of Instruction
  • August 30 - ‘Informational meeting' beginning at 4:30pm at the SJTA office to review the negotiated contingency language and the state budget and with members
  • Mid-October - Audited Actuals of district budget completed
  • October 26th - First Budget Review Committee (BRC) meeting for 2017-18 year to review negotiated contingency language, funding increases to SJUSD, and Audited Actuals to determine if language has been triggered for salary increases in 2017-18


System of Professional Growth Up-Dates

2017-18 Practitioner Participants
All practitioners required to go through an SPG in 2017-18 cycle were notified by HR this spring of their participation. If you believe you were identified in error or believe you should be participating, but were not notified, please contact HR or the SJTA office.

Required SPG trainings
Trainings are being held throughout the summer. Please check ERO for dates and times. If you are unable to attend training during the summer break, other dates will be added and will occur during the 2017-18 school year.

Wondering who your facilitator will be?
Facilitator- Practitioner pairings will be made over the summer. SJTA and SJUSD teams are planning on having the pairings completed before the first day of instruction.

Specialized Groups- Rubrics
Teams representing nurses, counselors, social workers, teacher-librarians, and instructional support staff worked during the 2016-17 school year to create rubrics based on their professional standards. SJUSD and SJTA anticipate finalizing the rubrics by July 1, 2017.

If you have any questions, please email Shannan Brown at; Cheryl Dultz at; Rick Messer at


Article in Bee Decries Excessive Spending on Administration, but Figures for San Juan Teachers Incomplete

By Edward Burgess, Associate Executive Director

March 30, 2017

An article appeared in the Sacramento Bee on Monday, March 27 titled, "The Public Eye: School administrator pay grows faster than teacher pay." In the article, Bee reporter Phillip Reese called out the excessive amount of money being spend on administrators in and around the Sacramento region.

I spoke with Mr. Reese earlier this week regarding his article and the sources he used to calculate the percentages.

While Mr. Reese's article correctly calls out some of the absurdities in our neighboring districts, it is important to clarify and provide context for some of the information contained in the chart that appeared within the article.

This chart, titled "Comparing administrator and teacher pay increases" is unintentionally misleading in a couple of areas.

  1. The tremendous percentage growth reflected in the teacher pay increases does not account for salary cuts and furlough days that teachers in those districts agreed to during the Great Recession. For example, the chart shows Natomas Unified had 31% increase in teacher pay between 2010-11 and 2015-16, but fails to take into consideration that in 2010-11 Natomas teachers took both salary reductions and furlough days. A significant amount of the listed 31% increase was actually returning the employees to their full salaries.
  2. During the recession, SJTA successfully negotiated the spending down of district reserves. While surrounding districts delivered upwards of 20+ furlough days and double-digit salary slashes; SJTA members took a total of two furlough days and a one-year freeze on the Step and Column (which was made whole the following year). This resulted in the overall stated increase from 2010-2016 appearing as less in San Juan than in other district, since we did not experience the same significant salary losses during the recession.
  3. The chart is titled "Comparing administrator and teacher pay increases," but the title is not accurate. According to Mr. Reese, he used single budget line items to derive his numbers. It is more accurate to say that the chart addresses the concept of total spending difference since the recession ended. In all cases, this represents restoration of cuts, pay increases, and staffing increases.
  4. Since the end of the recession, in SJUSD we have negotiated increases in our salaries (9.75% + 2% bonus) as well as an increase in the number of certificated members who work directly with students (including: Social Workers, Counselors, and Elementary Teachers with the grade span adjustment). Many of these positions were not reflected in the 3% figure presented in the chart. Had these positions and our current agreement been included, the chart would have shown an increase approaching 15%.

Although the focus of the article was not comparative salary schedules, examining the surrounding districts' current salary schedules, it is clear that SJTA members are squarely in the mix. While some of the surrounding districts have a higher top salary, many of those salary schedules only reach peak levels after 25-30 years of service. Lifetime earnings still put SJTA members near the top of all districts in the region.

The SJTA Budget Review Team and the Bargaining Team continues to regularly monitor the district's spending on management and central office personnel and question every budgetary decision that does not go to direct services for our students - including attracting and retaining quality practitioners with competitive salaries and reasonable working conditions.


District and Association Reach Agreement in Principle on Two-Year Deal

March 12, 2017

After 10 months of negotiations, we are proud to announce that we have reached an agreement in principle with the District and anticipate signing a tentative agreement on Monday, March 13, 2017. The agreement includes a 2% salary increase (retro active to July 1, 2016) and a 2% one-time bonus for each member (calculation based on the member's salary in the 2016-17 school year). The agreement also includes contingency language anticipating a variety of potential scenarios that may arise following the adoption of the California State Budget for 2017-18.

"The national election and the Governor's overly conservative budget made this agreement extremely complex," stated bargaining chair, Desa Bushnell. "The contingency language was the only way we could get a deal done and ensure our members get their fair share if there are any changes."

In addition to the salary increase, the agreement provides 2 years of calendars. Included in these calendars is a two-year pilot of an additional non-instructional workday placed at the end of the school year for employees working 185 days or less, increasing their contractual work year by one day. This will increase each 185-day members' salary by .56% in both the 2017-18 & 2018-19 school years.

The District and SJTA also agreed to continue to offer an optional PD day in each year in the new calendars. These days will be paid at the member's daily rate of pay for those that attend. In this agreement, we made many gains to improve the working conditions for our members and the learning conditions for our students. Some of the gains in this contract include the following areas:

  • Established caseload maximums for Speech and Language Pathologists and Inclusion Specialists,
  • Contractualized 195 day work year for High School counselors,
  • Reduced class size maximums in Special Ed ILS classes,
  • Increased parental leave opportunities,
  • Strengthened FMLA language,
  • Carry-over opportunity for Continuing Ed hours,
  • Established access to Continuing Ed hours for ECE,
  • Improved voluntary transfer language,
  • Increased involuntary transfer options,
  • Moved Home/Hospital to K-12 salary schedule,

As mentioned, we anticipate signing the Tentative Agreement by the end of the day Monday and are making efforts to get the entire agreement out to all members by end of day on Tuesday. The agreement itself will contain all the details.

We encourage members to attend one of the informational meetings to get a comprehensive overview of the agreement. The informational meetings will be held at SJTA on the following dates and times:

Wednesday March 15, 2017 @ 5:15pm (immediately after Rep Council)

Thursday March 16, 2017 @ 4:30pm & 6:30pm

Friday March 17, 2017 @ 3:30 pm

Contract Ratification (voting) will take place at sites between March 16 and March 22.