Bargaining Update #10 (1/28/16)

The CCFF and District negotiating teams met on Thursday, January 28th.  The District offered a revised counter-proposal, which they have identified as their last, best, and final offer (LBFO).  Below, you’ll see the CCFF’s Proposal and the District’s Responses.  If the District’s LBFO offer presented last Thursday differs from their counter proposal of December 10, 2015, the first offer is indicated with a strikethrough and the revised offer is presented.

CCFF’s Proposal District’s LBF
1 Salary – Full-Time:
For 2015-16:  8% + 1.02% (COLA) 3.50%    5.00%
For 2016-17:  6% + COLA 2.50%
For 2017-18:  4% + COLA 2.50%
Add three steps to the FT salary schedule NO
Reduce longevity increases to every two years NO
2 Salary – Part-Time:
For 2015-16:  9% + 1.02% (COLA) 5.50%
For 2016-17:  7% + COLA 2.50%
For 2017-18:  5% + COLA 2.50%
Add three steps to the PT salary schedules NO    Add one step
Eliminate first two steps of the PT salary schedules NO    Eliminate one step
3 Offer Early Retiree Benefits to FT faculty NO
4 Increase retiree benefits to FT faculty from $150 to $400 $200
5 Health Benefits
For 2016: Full Coverage of all Plans Full Coverage of all plans
For 2017: Full coverage of all plans Full Coverage of all plans
For 2018: Full coverage of all plans Full Coverage of all plans
Default figure for 2019: $25,000 $22,065

As you can see, the District’s movement toward agreement is very small.  And the fact that the District has identified this proposal as their last, best, and final offer leaves the CCFF with only two options:  accept the proposal or move to declare impasse.

You no doubt know what acceptance means.

For those of you interested in a full description of what impasse would mean, see below.

Importantly, though, note that impasse would mean that the pay for part-time faculty, the lack of COLA, and the District’s reserves would attract the very welcome lights of public scrutiny.

Impasse:  The District cannot declare impasse.  Instead, the District must contact PERB and seek PERB to declare impasse. Often this amounts to the same thing, but PERB at least will first contact the Union prior to making an impasse decision.
The Educational Employment Relations Act (EERA) defines impasse as “the parties to a dispute over matters within the scope of representation have reached a point in meeting and negotiating at which their differences in positions are so substantial or prolonged that future meetings would be futile” (Gov. Code 3540.1(f)).  If one party disputes impasse, PERB will investigate (considering several factors, such as number of sessions, length of sessions, number of issues outstanding, extent to which parties have discussed counter-proposals, etc.) and determine whether or not impasse exists.

Mediation:  If PERB determines that impasse exists, it will appoint a mediator. The mediator’s costs are paid by PERB.  The mediator will meet jointly or separately with the parties to try to have them resolve their differences.  If the parties do not reach agreement within 15 days, the mediator may determine that fact-finding is appropriate.  Then, either party may request fact-finding. Often the parties will meet for at least two days.

Fact-Finding:  Within five days of receiving a request for fact-finding, each party selects one member for a three-person fact-finding panel. The Board selects the neutral member, to serve as the Chair of the panel. The parties may agree to a neutral different than the one selected by PERB. If PERB selects the neutral, it pays his/her expenses. If the parties select someone else, they split the costs. Since two members are party-appointees, as a practical matter they are there to provide information to the neutral, who makes the final decision.

The EERA sets out specific criteria for the fact-finding panel to consider in making its recommendation:

  1. State and federal laws that are applicable to the employer;
  2. Stipulations of the parties;
  3. The interests and welfare of the public and the financial ability of the public school employer;
  4. Comparison of the wages, hours, and conditions of employment of the employees involved in the fact-finding proceeding with the wages, hours, and conditions of employment of other employees performing similar services and with other employees generally in public school employment in comparable communities;
  5. The consumer price index for goods and services, commonly known as the cost of living;
  6. The overall compensation presently received by the employees, including direct wage compensation, vacations, holidays, and other excused time, insurance and pensions, medical and hospitalization benefits; the continuity and stability of employment; and all other benefits received;
  7. Any other facts, normally or traditionally taken into consideration. (Gov Code 3548.)

After the Fact Finder provides his or her recommendation, the District may impose its LBFO, and the Union may strike. Typically, this LBFO may not be worse than the District’s last offer going into fact-finding, but it does not have to include any aspect of the Fact-Finder’s recommendation. Once provided, and after a window for negotiation has passed, either party also may publicize the Fact-Finder’s recommendation. This can be a potent political tool, if the fact-finder sides with the Union, and if the District nevertheless imposes a different LBFO.