Negotiations Overview and Updates

  • FCEA & FCUSD Joint Negotiations Update: Aug. 7, 2017

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    On Monday, Aug. 7, bargaining team members from the Folsom Cordova Education Association (FCEA), which represents teachers and other certificated staff, and the Folsom Cordova Unified School District (FCUSD) met to renew negotiations for a successor contract after a summer break.

    During the daylong session at the Education Services Center, both teams broke into small collaborative groups to discuss each sides’ common bargaining interests. Below is a short summary of what the teams produced, and initial outcomes:

    Compensation: FCUSD’s bargaining team presented a written offer:

    -a one-time, off-schedule 2% bonus, effective Jan. 1, 2017
    -an ongoing, 2% salary increase effective July 1, 2017

    FCUSD’s proposal was offered after both negotiating teams discussed common interests, including compensation that values the contributions of our teachers and that supports the recruitment and retention of the best in the profession.

    Special Education Release Time: FCEA and FCUSD have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that provides four release days a year for special education teachers to work on Individualized Education Plans and other routine tasks associated with increasingly heavy workloads. The MOU recognizes the extra time needed to meet special education compliance requirements and the additional layers of complexity associated with the work. The MOU will be presented to the FCEA Executive Board on Aug. 15 and to the FCUSD Board of Education on Aug. 17. FCEA and FCUSD will continue to look at ways to address the needs of other Support Services providers who are responsible for students with IEPs.

    Benefits: In their discussion of common interests, both teams acknowledged that the cost of health benefits continue to be a significant burden for employees. While no proposal was offered, both teams agreed to work together to develop an educational plan for employees that helps staff navigate the complexities of health plans and maximize value and affordability for their families.

    FCEA and FCUSD have agreed to resume negotiations on Aug. 18 and Aug. 23.

    Debbie Krikourian           Donald Ogden

    Bargaining Chair, FCEA   Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources, FCUSD

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  • June 16, 2017: Mediation begins; District budget update

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    IMPASSE UPDATE: After bargaining on May 19, FCEA filed for impasse with the state agency that oversees public agency negotiations, the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB), requesting that it assign a neutral mediator.

    When both sides cannot reach an agreement in negotiations, state law contains a mandatory impasse resolution process. Under the law, either one or both of the parties may ask the state to intervene. Learn more about the process in our Impasse FAQ.

    Both sides held their first mediation session on Tuesday, June 13. The next session is scheduled for Aug. 7.

    BUDGET UPDATE: In its budget adopted by the Board of Education on June 15, Folsom Cordova is no longer projecting a deficit in the next two years.

    The most recent state budget approved by the California Legislature - awaiting a signature from Gov. Jerry Brown - releases one-time funding that the governor had proposed withholding in the next fiscal year, 2017-18.

    Rising personnel costs, including higher contributions to employee pensions, continue to limit funds available to the District for discretionary purposes.

    Click here to view the full FCUSD budget update.

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  • May 23, 2017: FCEA to file for impasse

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    At the District’s most recent contract bargaining session with the Folsom Cordova Education Association - the employee group that represents teachers and other certificated staff - FCUSD staff presented estimated impacts of the governor’s revised budget plan:
    • Despite increased funding for education in the governor’s proposed budget, rising pension costs are eating much of the gains. FCUSD still projects a $1.8 million deficit in the 2017-18 school year.
    • The state is proposing a deferral of roughly $900,000 in expected available one-time funding. Instead of allocating next year, the state would hold it until 2019.
    • The District’s deficit can be addressed by using roughly $1.4 million in school and department carryover, and by shifting aside some of the funds set aside for textbooks. That money would be paid back from the deferred one-time funds promised in 2019.
    • Under the current budget proposal, any funds used for permanent salary increases would require cuts in services to schools and students. 
    Click here to see the District’s full budget update presented to the Board of Education and FCEA last week.

    The District offered to discuss a compensation package involving one-time money contingent upon the governor’s adopted budget. FCEA declined and stated it would file for impasse with the state agency that oversees public employee negotiations.

    Click here to read the full minutes from the District’s May 19 bargaining session with FCEA.

    What happens impasse? Impasse is a lengthy process with mandatory steps. Learn more in our impasse FAQ.

    The District is confident it can reach a fair and affordable resolution to negotiations with its teachers.
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  • May 16, 2017: Budget Update - Governor releases revised spending plan

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    Last week, Gov. Jerry Brown released a revised budget plan that is being cautiously welcomed by school districts as an improvement over previous proposals for education spending.

    In his revised budget proposal, public schools would receive about $1.1 billion more next year than the governor had forecast in his previous draft in January. A report from School Services of California cautions that any gains will be tempered by rising pension costs.

    “All in all, the May Revision (budget) is better for public education than the January budget,” according to the report. “But only enough to offer slightly better prospects for maintaining programs. There is little room for growth in program costs or new programs.”

    Folsom Cordova is still analyzing the impacts of the governor’s latest revisions on its own budget projections. Based on the governor’s previous budget draft in January, the District has anticipated a $3.8 million budget deficit in the next fiscal year, 2017-18.

    The impact of the governor’s budget revisions on Folsom Cordova’s projected revenues will be discussed when the District and the Folsom Cordova Education Association (FCEA), the employee group that represents teachers and other certificated staff, return to the negotiation table on Thursday, May 18.

    The District and FCEA are bargaining for a new contract. Catch up on the progress of bargaining at www.fcusd.org/negotiations.

    The FCUSD Board of Education also will discuss the impact of the governor’s revised budget at its regular Board meeting Thursday, May 18. The agenda item includes the report from School Services of California, which provides a detailed analysis of the governor’s proposals.

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  • May 9, 2017: District's May 4 offer; talks to continue

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    District’s May 4 offer; talks to continue 

    Bargaining teams from the District and the Folsom Cordova Education Association (FCEA), which represents the District’s teachers and other certificated employees, continued negotiations for a new contract on Thursday, May 4. During their session, the District made a compensation counter offer.

    Here’s a brief summary of the offer (and the full language can be found here):

    The District’s contract offer states that if the 2017/18 adopted state budget increases projected funding to schools beyond what was projected at Second Interim report in March 2017, the first $3.8 million increase shall be used towards balancing the District’ projected structural deficit. Any funding increase beyond $3.8 million shall be allocated for an additional increase to the salary schedule for the 2016/2017 school year in the following manner:

    1. Salary schedules shall be increased by 1% for each $1.45 million of available increased funding as described in the contract language.
    2. Salary increases shall only occur in full increments of 0.5% and will be retroactive to July 1, 2016.
    3. In lieu of a salary increase, the Association may elect to use its fair share of the increased funding towards improving the District’s contribution for medical benefits (cap).


    According to the District’s proposal, within 45 calendar days after adoption of the State Budget, the District will determine if the contingency requirements have been met and will notify FCEA of its conclusion in writing.

    FCEA and the District bargaining teams agreed to continue negotiations after Gov. Jerry Brown releases his revised state budget proposal later this month. The next negotiation session will be May 19.

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  • Does the District have money it can use in its reserves for pay raises?

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    The District has $637,947 in unassigned reserves after setting aside legally required funds for economic uncertainty; services for socioeconomically disadvantaged students, English learners, and foster youth; career preparation programs; and textbooks/technology. The majority of this revenue is one-time, and not an ongoing revenue source.

    See below for multiyear reserves projections:
    Multiyear Projections
     
    And see below for a detailed overview of how the District has set aside money (Assigned/Committed): 
    Committed Revenues
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  • Didn’t voters approve more money for schools? Why are districts facing deficits?

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    Earlier this year Gov. Jerry Brown - cautious about declining state revenues and long-term economic uncertainty - unveiled his proposed 2017-18 spending plan for education . The projections are not rosy: Brown proposed lowering funding for schools by $500 million next year and is not offering much more than a minimum cost-of-living increase required by law.

    The governor's budget doesn’t include any new funding to cover rising employer retirement costs.

    So, even though California voters approved temporary tax increases to support education, schools are being asked to carry the burden of sharply rising employee retirement costs - outpacing new revenues for schools.
     
    See below for FCUSD’s retirement cost projections:
    Rising retirement costs
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  • How does the District's revenue compare to other school districts?  

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    Folsom Cordova receives the least amount of state money per student (average daily attendance) under the state's Local Control Funding Formula when comapred to other Sacramento County school districts: 
    Chart showing county comparisons of LCFF funding
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  • When is the last time teachers received a pay increase?

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    • 2015-16: 4.5% permanent pay raise and increase to District’s contributions to health premiums
    • 2014-15: 5% permanent pay raise and increase to District’s contributions to health premiums
    • 2013-14: 5% one-time bonus to pay back funds lost to furloughs

    See below for a chart showing how FCUSD’s salary increases compared to other school districts. 
     
    Salary increases across the county
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  • How does the District’s teacher pay compare to other school districts?

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    Teacher pay in FCUSD is competitive with other school districts that have similar English learner and low-income student demographics. See comparison chart, below: 
     
    Pay comparisons
     
    When comparing maximum teacher compensation to other districts, Folsom Cordova ranks No. 5. See comparison chart, below:
     
    Maximum compensation comparison
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  • Has the District made an offer to FCEA regarding compensation?

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    The District has offered a draft agreement on May 4, which FCEA has declined.

    The District also offered to discuss a compensation package involving one-time money contingent upon the governor’s adopted budget. FCEA declined and stated it would file for impasse with the state agency that oversees public employee negotiations.   

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  • How much would it cost to provide a raise to employees?

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    See below for an estimate of what it would cost to provide a 1% increase to salary and benefits to all employees, including teachers. (FCEA has asked for a 3.5% increase.)
     
    Cost of 1 percent
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  • What is “EL/LI” (Supplemental Grant) funding, and can it be used for teacher salary increases?

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    EL/LI stands for “English learner” and “low-income” students. California now directs a greater share of school funding to schools with the largest numbers of these high-need students, and requires districts to prioritize funding for services that help improve achievement for these students.

    Redirecting these funds away from direct services for our highest-need students would be both irresponsible and legally questionable. Two Southern California school districts, for instance, are facing legal challenges because of their spending practices:

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  • What happens if the District and FCEA go to impasse?

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    After bargaining on May 19, FCEA filed for impasse with the the state agency that oversees public agency negotiations, the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB), requesting that it assign a neutral mediator.

     
    When both sides cannot reach an agreement in negotiations, state law contains a mandatory impasse resolution process. Under the law, either one or both of the parties may ask the state to intervene.
     
    Both sides held their first mediation session on Tuesday, June 13. The next session is scheduled for Aug. 7. 
     
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  • Can teachers strike?

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    Under state law, a strike cannot occur until all steps in the impasse process have been exhausted. We are still in the beginning stages of that process in FCUSD, so any possible strike would likely be months away. The District is confident we can resolve our differences and reach agreement with FCEA.

    To learn more about the mandatory impasse resolution process, click here

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  • What is the difference between “one-time” and “ongoing” funding?

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    Ongoing funding are sources of revenue that the District relies on each year. Examples would be tax dollars from the state and federal government, and local property taxes.

    “One-time” funding is a single payment from a source, typically to be used for a specific purpose. These can include grants, or state funding that must be allocated for things like textbook adoption, teacher training, technology, and more.

    It is the District’s position that using “one-time” funds, which are not guaranteed year-to-year, for permanent salary increases commits the District to rising costs for years to come without an ongoing source of revenue.

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  • Could the District send back “Engineering is Elementary” curriculum and use that money for teachers

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    The District used federal categorical funds (for restricted purposes) to purchase this STEM curriculum to ensure our elementary students experience relevant, science and technology based, hands-on projects.

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