To the editor:
Your recent article published on the Ramona Patch website put forth several questions or concerns regarding the issue of RTA bargaining with the district. I would like to clarify some of those issues. We are and have been willing to sit down and discuss the 2012-13 contract with the district when everything is properly in order.
- The district sunshined their proposal for the 2012-13 school year in October, six months earlier than usual, and four months before the governor’s budget was ready or presented.
- Ramona Teachers Association was caught off guard by the decision to sunshine early as we have always worked together with the Human Resource Department in the past to prepare for negotiations, and that didn’t occur this year.
- We had major changes on the negotiations team that needed to be addressed before we could bargain. Those changes took effect at our December Executive Board Meeting for RTA.
- After the December 15 deadline for the 2011-12 budget changes from the state, the district decided to reopen our already closed 2011-12 negotiated agreement in order to take cuts from the teachers for the current teaching year of 3 furlough days. No other district in San Diego County asked their teachers to come back to the table based on the minimal amount of financial change that occurred. We were shocked!
- After meeting with the district two times regarding the 2011-12 cuts, the district declared impasse and so our bargaining was stopped.
- In the meantime, we believe that it is unacceptable to be asked to bargain two separate contracts concurrently, and therefore, we could not begin to discuss the 2012-13 proposal until the conclusion of the 2011-12 bargaining sessions.
- RTA filed an unfair labor practice on the district for bargaining in public.
- The district filed an unfair labor practice on RTA for not being willing to bargain for the 2012-13 contract proposal.
- The district withdrew their 2012-13 sunshined proposal and is representing a new proposal that is much more severe than the first proposal, which had already asked for way more than was needed or than any teacher could afford to give.
Editor’s note: Braye-Romero is president of the Ramona Teachers Association.