Governing Board OKs First Reading of Teachers’ Contract Agreement

The La Cañada Unified School District Governing Board has approved a first reading of contract agreements with the school system’s teachers as well as other employee groups.
The unanimous approvals were given, with minimal discussion, on Tuesday night at a special board meeting.
The board gave initial approval to the collective bargaining agreement with the La Cañada Teachers Association for the period from July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2022, according to a district statement. There will be a 2.5% boost for all salary schedules effective July 1. The increased cost of salary and benefits will be about $560,000. An increase of 2.75% retroactive to July 1, 2018, results in a cost of approximately $600,000 in salary and benefits.
“It was a good session,” said Mark Evans, the district’s chief business and operations officer, of the negotiations with teachers. “A lot of work.”
The district also approved a first reading of a pact with the Confidential, Managerial, Supervisory and Administrative Association, also known as the CMSA, and the Contract Cabinet Employees. The contract employees are the assistant/associate superintendents of educational services and business and administrative services and the chief technology officer.
The CMSA and the contract employees group, neither of which have collective bargaining rights with the district, will receive a 2.5% salary increase effective July 1 at a cost of about $87,000, according to the district. There will also be a 2.75% increase on the salary schedule retroactive to July 1, 2018. That expense will be approximately $95,000 in salary and benefits.
Evans said after the meeting a tentative agreement with the CSEA, or California Schools Employees Association, has not been ratified by the bargaining unit or the Governing Board.
Approval of a second reading of agreements, expected in the near future, would signal their ratification by the district.
Evans said CSEA members — workers in such areas as food service, operations, secretarial/clerical and fiscal work, among others — will vote on a tentative agreement today and the board will act at its next meeting, in June.
Additionally, there was approval of a job description for a director of program and services, formerly known as the executive director of pupil programs and services, a post previously held by LCHS Principal Jim Cartnal.
The director, according to a district statement, will coordinate programs, curriculum, technology, training outreach and systems related to educational services. The person will also plan, organize, supervise and evaluate district-wide student mental health/health services programs and other programs, the statement said.
After the meeting, Superintendent Wendy Sinnette said the salary range for the position would be $122,426-$142,049, depending on the person’s experience. Whoever gets the position is eligible for health benefits, and the maximum district contribution toward a health benefits plan for 2018-19 was $14,210.
Cartnal was confirmed in his role as principal in March after briefly serving on an interim basis. Former LCHS Principal and Executive Director of Student Services Ian McFeat had left the district since reaching a settlement of a dispute with the school system.
Interviews to fill the director of programs and services position are scheduled for today, May 30. The salary for director is approximately 8.5% less than that of executive director, and the new hire will be placed on the existing Certificated Management and Supervisorial Association salary schedule.
Board members moved to a nearby table toward the end of the meeting to review and discuss the district’s mission, vision, priorities and initiatives.
Sinnette, Evans and Jamie Lewsadder, the district’s chief technology officer, listed topics on large yellow sheets of paper with input from board members.
On the subject of district values, board members mentioned curiosity, learning, cycle of continuous growth and more. Another mentioned areas for improvement and growth and included cheating/pressures, risk-taking behaviors and identification of students in need, such as early identification of dyslexia.
Sinnette said feedback from the board members will likely come back before the board with sample language in late June or early July.

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