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FUESD negotiations include preschool issues

Thursday, January 30th, 2014
Issue 05, Volume 18.
Andrea Verdin
Special to the Village News
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The Fallbrook Union Elementary School District (FUESD) has recently entered into negotiations with the California School Employees Association (CSEA), Chapter 307, on the topic of preschool issues. The association and the district have begun discussions on revising evaluation forms and modifying the evaluation process, in addition to ongoing efforts for professional development.

In part, there will now be four rating categories for evaluations: exceeds expectations; meets expectations; inconsistent performance; and needs improvement. Corresponding definitions were included for each rating category. In addition, there will be an opportunity to meet for an evaluation conference to review the evaluation.

According to Dennis Bixler, assistant superintendent of human resources, some of the key topics discussed with the classified association have also been the incorporation of playground supervisors into the bargaining group and improving the evaluation process. 

"Playground supervisors were not members of the CSEA bargaining unit previously," said Bixler. "Recent changes in the education code now allow for inclusion of the playground supervisors in the bargaining unit. The district and CSEA have agreed to specific contractual terms, which will apply to the playground supervisors."  

The negotiations include proposals in relation to extending contract protections to playground supervisors, with the district providing for sick leave, bereavement leave, specified salary, and more than 10 additional articles within the current contract with the CSEA.

The association has also asked for an opportunity to open negotiations relating to preparation time and professional development.

Some of the key topics of negotiations with the teachers have been related to time for preparation and professional development. The association and the district share an interest to having well-prepared teachers working with students, and according to a negotiations newsletter released by the district, the district has proposed duty-free recess time for the teachers.

According to the newsletter, the district has proposed to explore "the feasibility of built in prep time for elementary teachers through the development of an elementary PE program provided to all K-6 students."

An additional benefit to the students would be additional physical education time while the teachers have "approximately two hundred minutes of preparation time every two weeks."

The district and the association are also in talks regarding the development of a revised evaluation system based on current research and best practices in teacher evaluations. 

"The evaluation process and forms utilized for both certificated employees and classified staff needed to be updated," said Bixler.

According to Bixler, the process for certificated evaluations is under the review of a subcommittee that has been working to develop evaluation systems and processes that continually grow principals and teachers by designing evaluation systems that are more meaningful and are aligned to district goals and stay within the parameters of the education code. 

Discussions with both bargaining groups related to salary and benefits have been purposefully delayed in order to garner information related to the budget in light of the state’s new funding paradigm for education. 

The next sessions for negotiations will be held on Jan. 29 and Feb. 5, after the release of the governor’s budget for 2014-2015.



Comment Profile ImageKen
Comment #1 | Thursday, Jan 30, 2014 at 10:23 pm
I'd like to correct/clarify some aspects of this story regarding negotiations between the Fallbrook Elementary Teachers Association and FUESD. The story states that, according to a district newsletter, the district proposed duty free recess for teachers. That newsletter is incorrect. The district and the association have been in talks for guaranteed teacher prep time as a result of FETA's sunshine negotiations proposal submitted to the district on April 23, 2013. This specific proposal was in regard to article 9.1 of the current contract with respect to hours of employment and one aspect specifically discussed a duty free recess, so that teachers might prepare for the second part of the day or students coming in for their next period. This was FETA's proposal, not the district's. Currently, the district has agreed in concept to explore the possibility, but there is no final agreement yet.

Ken Ostroske
Bargaining Chair
Comment Profile ImageFallbrook Citizen
Comment #2 | Friday, Jan 31, 2014 at 5:18 pm
I found it interesting that the salary and benefits' discussions were "purposefully delayed" while waiting for budget information, but that didn't prevent Mrs. Singh, Mr. Bixler, Mr. Forseth, and Mr. Proctor getting raises and stipends during the summer of 2013, as I understand it.
Comment Profile ImageDisgusted
Comment #3 | Wednesday, Feb 5, 2014 at 7:28 pm
Yes, Fallbrook Citizen, you are correct. They did receive substantial raises for the teachers' hard work, including 15% for the Superintendent in the past 3 years. Fallbrook Teachers? 2% in 5 years, equaling nothing because of increased health insurance costs. Hopefully the Village News will take time to get the other side of the story, as the one above is extremely one-sided, biased, and skewed to sound like the district is making generous offers to their teachers when in fact it is the teachers who are fighting for what is right and what is fair...

Article Comments are contributed by our readers, and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Fallbrook Village News staff. The name listed as the author for comments cannot be verified; Comment authors are not guaranteed to be who they claim they are.


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