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SCV teachers have a ‘wish list,’ too

Disctrict teachers angle for smaller classes

Posted: December 18, 2008 8:29 p.m.
Updated: December 19, 2008 7:30 a.m.

William S. Hart Union High School District teachers want smaller class sizes and more leave for teachers who are adoptive parents, according to a proposal submitted to the school board.

Additional stipend funds were also on the "wish list" submitted by the Hart District Teachers Association at a board meeting this month.

The teachers' union routinely turns in a four-item request list annually, after which the district presents its own "wish list."

The two sides then negotiate their points, a process that can take up to six months. The negotiated requests become part of the next round of union-district contract negotiations.

The wish list process is in addition to talks about salary and benefits. Teachers' association lead negotiator Brian Breslin authored the teachers' wish list, for which he will also negotiate during contract talks.

In addition to revisiting salary and benefit conditions, the teachers' association is asking for more strict enforcement of class size. "They would like to see class size at 22 students," assistant superintendent Rochelle Neal said.

An extension of personal-necessity leave for adoptive parents is another item on the four-item list and is intended to offer adoptive parents more paid time off for use during the adoption process.

"We have a lot of teachers who are also adoptive parents," Neal said.

The adoption process is full of mandatory and time-consuming paperwork and visitation elements, she said.

The third and fourth elements relate to extra-duty stipend and the potential to re-open salary discussions after the expected state budget cuts in January.

Neal said the public can comment on the teachers' association proposal until Jan. 9. Then the district will present its own counter-proposal at the Jan. 21 meeting.

Shortly thereafter the two organizations will enter negotiations.

"The (negotiations) process takes a few months, especially if we are talking salary and benefits," Neal said.

"This is standard operating procedure," Neal said. "We can't sit down at the bargaining table until we present these things to the public for comment."


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