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Negotiations Update 4.26.17

Negotiations Update: April 26th, 2017
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Negotiations session: April 24th, 2017
The BFT and BUSD negotiations teams met for the third time for a full day of discussion on Monday, April 24th. At this day’s session, the two parties reached agreement on some proposals and continued discussion on others.
 
See below for more information!
 
Action Alert!
 
Calling all members, especially K-5 members! We need YOU to come out to the BUSD School Board meeting on Wednesday May 3rd—we need to demonstrate that the importance of prep time and the importance of compensation in these tight times!
 
Mark your calendars now!
K-5 Prep Time
Much of the time on April 24th was spent discussing K-5 prep time. The discussion touched on both programmatic and financial questions associated with adjusting elementary prep time. As of now, BFT and BUSD do not agree about the amount of prep time appropriate for 1st-3rd grade teachers. 
 
In this discussion, the BFT team sought to make clear that increasing prep time for 1st-3rd grade teachers is in the best interest of students: increased prep time will result in higher quality teaching, more creative lesson planning, more parent communication, more and better differentiation of instruction, and less teacher burn out.  
 
Great News! Tentative Agreements Reached!
K-8 Staff Meetings
At our April 13th session, BFT proposed contract language that would clarify the amount of staff meeting and collaboration time for elementary and middle school sites around the week of parent-teacher conferences. The BFT proposal made clear that teachers and staff would be released from meeting and collaboration time during both the week of conferences and the week before, in order to facilitate preparing for conferences. At our April 24th session, BUSD agreed to this proposal.
 
Also Discussed: Child Rearing Leave

BUSD presented a proposal that would incorporate new California State Law language around Child Rearing Leave into our contract. The legal language requires that all employees have access to “differential pay” for Child Rearing Leave purposes—“differential pay” means that the employee on leave receives the difference in pay between their salary schedule placement and that of their substitute. Both BFT and BUSD agree that this would be another option for our members, as opposed to replacing our current Child Rearing Leave structure.

Benefits Contributions for Preschool and BEARS Teachers
Our members who work in Child Development Centers and BEARS generally earn far less money than their K-12 colleagues. However, they work with some of our neediest students at a critical life juncture, helping to prepare them for a lifetime of successful school. Because they earn so much less money than their colleagues, they have been especially hard hit by the recent increases in the cost of health benefits.
 
As a result, BFT proposed to increase BUSD’s contribution to these members’ health benefits. This would have a significant positive impact on their take-home pay, and would also serve as a sign of respect for their importance to our district. At our April 24th session, BUSD agreed to the increase! This is an incredible gesture of respect and good will for these critical members.
 
Next Session
The BFT and BUSD teams will meet again for an all-day session on Thursday, May 11th
 
Berkeley Federation of Teachers, CFT/AFT, AFL-CIO

Our mailing address is:
1432 University Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94702
(510) 549-2307 
fax (510 549-2308
www.berkeleyfederationofteachers.org

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