BFT stood by its original proposal for reduced caseloads and limits on the number of assessments that could be required. At the last session, BUSD proposed a bargaining subcommittee to recommend possible changes to the current Special Education structure. BFT responded with interest in the idea, noting that strong teacher input regarding any potential changes is crucial, but proposed an expedited timeline that reflects the urgency of this issue.
BUSD Rejects Proposals on Independent Studies
BFT previously proposed that BIS teachers be placed on the K-12 salary schedule and that they be granted a path to permanent status. BUSD rejected both proposals on the basis of cost. BFT pointed out that granting BIS teachers the right to become permanent would have minimal financial impact. BFT plans to reintroduce these proposals when negotiations resume in the fall after consultation with BIS members.
BUSD Rejects Increase to Hourly Teaching Rate
Again citing costs, BUSD rejected the BFT proposal to increase the hourly teaching rate to $55 per hour. BFT argued that the current rate of $36.56 does not reflect the expertise of the teachers providing crucial after school instruction to small groups, nor does it provide an incentive for more teachers to do this valuable work. BFT President Cathy Campbell expressed dismay. “Credentialed teachers are by far the best people to provide extra support for struggling students. We believe that our members want to do this work, but they want to be compensated fairly for it.”
Substitute Compensation and Structure
Citing costs, BUSD rejected the BFT proposal to increase compensation for substitute teachers. BFT argued that with the sub shortage, BUSD needs to increase compensation and create incentives for working in Berkeley. We believe that without a change, BUSD's sub shortage will continue and possibly worsen. We will continue to push the District to address the sub crisis.