After almost two years of negotiations, the Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD) Board of Education approved a tentative agreement with the United Teachers of Pasadena (UTP), the union that represents district teachers.Â If approved by the UTP members, the agreement will extend until June, 2012.Â The Board also approved revisions to its agreement with the California School Employees Association (CSEA), which represents administrative, clerical, para-educator and security employees.
â€œI appreciate the dedication of the Districtâ€™s negotiating team and the representatives of CSEA and UTP who worked so diligently to develop this agreement,â€ said Superintendent Edwin Diaz. â€œI thank our employees for their cooperation and understanding in these difficult times.â€
The UTP agreed to furlough days, reducing their paid work year by five days in 2010-11 and 2011-12.Â The furlough days will result in the loss of three professional development days and two instructional days, reducing teacher work days to 181 and student days to 178.Â The agreement provides no salary increases from 2008-09 through 2011-12, and requires UTP members to cover any increased benefit costs beginning in January, 2011.Â The agreement establishes the calendar for one year; calendars for 2011-12 and 2012-13 will be negotiated after input sessions with all stakeholders.
Teacher unions in surrounding districts have agreed to furlough days, salary reductions and benefit caps in light of the severity of budget cuts by the State.Â In January, the other three associations that represent PUSD employees, the California School Employees Association, Teamsters and the Association of Pasadena School Administrators, agreed to furlough days in order to save jobs and avoid layoffs.
PUSD Board members also received a budget update based on the May revision to the Governorâ€™s state budget proposal.Â The Governor continues to recommend significant reductions to K-12 public education which will result in an additional $1.6 million loss of revenue in 2010-11.Â
PUSD has eliminated 250 jobs, and reduced arts, music, physical education, centralized services, counselors and school librarians. The total reduction identified for the 2010-11 budget was revised to approximately $25.1 million, up from the $23 million previously identified.Â The changes were due to two items:Â an increase of $500,000 in centralized services savings, and an increase in Workersâ€™ Compensation insurance savings due to changes made in the program this past year.Â
The budget reductions will require PUSD to forgo teacher training and raise class sizes in lower grade level classrooms.Â Â Categorical program funds previously earmarked for professional development will be used to restore 17 teaching positions for kindergarten through third grade.Â These funds are expected to bring kindergarten class sizes to 27, and grades one through three to 29 â€“ still significantly above the current size of 22 students per class.