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OCSEA February 2, 2009 Minutes

The meeting was called to order at 3:35pm.

Loren Myhill called the role of Rep. Council members present.

Scott Turner moved and Debbie Crew seconded the motion that the minutes be approved as presented. Motion carried.

President Richard Berman reported that since John Wells has officially resigned as Treasurer, Mary Burton will help until we find a replacement.

In the absence of John Wells, Richard Berman reported that omissions from last treasurer's report were now added into our balance and the treasurer's report was approved as presented.

Membership report: Mary Jane Roberts reported that we now have about 467 unit members.

PAR: Carolyn Johnson reported that we do have money for more teachers training, and that the last one was a great success.

Contract ratification: Richard Berman reported that 168 ballots were returned. Lewis Lester, Richard Berman, and Mary Jane Roberts counted the ballots. The tally was162 yes, 2 no, and 4 abstained. At the request of some members, 14 ballots were mailed out due to members remote work locations, but none were mailed back yet. Richard said that people liked having someone at the balloting sites to explain contract changes. Ten new membership applications were collected during voting.

Calendars for 2009-2010 are not official yet. We will have a chance to give to our calendar committee representatives input when the proposed calendars are published.

Arbitration on the outstanding grievance scheduled for March tenth has been moved up to February 18th.

Richard is working to get OCDE to get a statement out as to their vision and direction for ACCESS and the Department.

Lewis Lester, Richard Berman, and Mary Jane Roberts reported on the Rural Issues Conference that they attended. One major area of concern was the noncompliance of the Department in the area of School Site Councils.

Richard Berman expressed his desire for us to do more in the area of organizing and communications.

Richard Berman and Mary Jane Roberts attended the Health benefits conference which seemed partially a push for trusts. A lot of questions will be brought to our planning committee as a result of their training, and a lot was learned about how the industry operates. Since our costs and claims experience is still quite low, it would appear that joining a trust would not really benefit us at this time.

Amy Hunter from CTA explained about how the State financial situation is affecting education and OCDE. The legislature wants to make cuts to Prop. 98 funding permanent, but CTA strongly opposes this because it would further harm funding for public education. She stressed the importance of calling our legislators and letting them know how cuts to education funding are going to affect you and your students. The longer the problems at State level remain unresolved, the worse the deficit becomes. She pointed out that we would still have a deficit even if the economy was not bad. It is a structural problem resulting from the actions of our past and present legislators. We need to contact legislators and encourage them to act responsibly. Only two percent of school funding comes from the lottery, however, there is a proposal to eliminate this funding source in exchange for a one-time payment to schools. There is lots of information on the CTA web site.

Richard reported that Nina Boyd confirmed that the Department will issue RIF notices for 85 to 90 teachers and that of these, she believes 50 will be permanently dismissed. Notices are to go out March first. YFRC will close all sites by July first. In addition, local districts plan to take back approximately 1000 students from ACCESS and Special Schools by the end of August. Richard reminded everyone that if you are ever in a meeting where you feel that you are not comfortable with what is happening you have the right to stop the meeting and ask for a Union representative to be present to ensure your rights are not violated.

Richard and Loren will draft a letter to all fee payers regarding the importance of membership before they get a RIF notice. Also be sure all your certifications are on file with the Department.

Rep. Council nominations are planned for the April meeting and ballots by the May meeting.

Marcia Garten moved that we all voluntarily wear black on Feb. 13 to protest teacher cuts. Lewis seconded, and the motion carried. Lewis pointed out that we are the only COE in CA that is in program improvement. However, our administrators still continue to make cuts that negatively impact our student's progress. We are not only protesting this policy of harming students, but also that we see no cuts to administrators who perpetuate the problem rather than do what is needed.

Negations for 2009-2010 are planned to restart this year in April.

Loren moved that he be reimbursed for food costs of $38.74 for this meeting. Motion carried.

Meeting adjourned at 5:45pm