Monday, January 23, 2012

Assembly Notes for 1/17/12

Notes on Assembly (1/17/12)

Attendance: 75 – 80


Report on Survey

SFUSD Proposal on Bargaining

UESF Proposal on Bargaining


March 1st and 5th + Millionaires Tax

No Cuts, No Furloughs Resolution

Presidents Report

Vice-President Report

Despite the fact that this Assembly was billed as a ‘truncated’ meeting due
to UESF emphasizing that we needed to be done in time to get to the Diane
Ravitch event, the Assembly was fairly well attended.

UESF Reported the result of the survey as written below:

The information on the bargaining survey was very general. Reported as


*Automatic cost of living increases were the clear top issues for both
certificated and classified members. For paras, being included in paid
professional development days rank high. For certificated members
establishing firm class size limits stood out.*

* *

*Working conditions*

*Classified members ranked clear guidelines for handling student discipline
high. For certificated, the big issue for working conditions revolved
around evaluations. First, ensuring that standardize test results remain
off limits and also using clear standards as a basis for evaluations.*

* *

*While both units want an end to furlough days, a solid majority agreed
that avoiding layoffs should be give the highest priority. *

* *

*The written comments generally reflected these answers. A number of
comments however were directed at the survey itself, calling it confusing
and not ‘user friendly’. In response to the concerns, UESF is considering
updating and upgrading “Scantron equipment” to allow for the use of a
different kind of form, among other possible solutions.*


Lita B. asked about why the bargaining results were not being made
available. ( as had several EB members at the EB meeting). Dennis
reiterated that they didn't want to have the info floating out there in the
public but said that if " if you have a real need to see the results' they
could probably arrange something at the UESF office. So, I think a few
EDUer's should ask to see them . Anyone interested in going down with me
some afternoon?

The Resolutions calling for endorsing the March 1st Day of Action in
defense of Public Education and Social Services, the March 5th Occupation
of Sacramento and the Millionaires Tax went through easily. I had
submitted an early resolution to be considered and Susan S. and Ken T. had
submitted a very similar resolution that mirrored a SF Labor Council
resolution. It was our job at the meeting to spot the differences and add
them to Susan and Ken’s Resolution from the floor we were able to amend the
resolution to include and endorsement of the Millionaires’ Tax (and to urge
CTA to support it at the upcoming State Council) and make a donation of
$250 to Occupy Education NorCal. This all was done without opposition or
any reason to debate which was good.

EDU’s resolution calling for a rally at the Board of Education on Jan.
24thwas more contentious.
I was surprised to see it on the agenda given that the EB had voted it down.
Lita B. re-motivated the idea of UESF building a big presence at the Jan. 24
th Board of Ed.. PLC countered that the resolution was undermining the
bargaining team’s authority to call actions in response to the contract. EDU
members countered that having members at the Board of ED meeting would be a
good kick off to our contract campaign and would support our UESF’s call to
wear UESF blue shirts on Wed. Jan. 25tth. The discussion had just got
started when the chair said we were out of time and would need to vote on
continuing the debate. Assembly voted to close debate and Assembly voted
to not support rally on Jan. 24th (Reso lost 14 - 18).

President report talked about Jan. 25th shirt day for UESF in support of
first day of bargaining. Also, Dennis K. mentioned the sunshining UESF and
SFUSD bargaining proposals on Jan. 24th at Board of Education.

* *


Overall, this meeting was done so quickly (it ended at 5pm) and hour before
necessary for getting to the Diane Ravitch event, that I think it is clear
that UESF leadership wanted to rush this meeting to minimize the chance for
members to discuss what we were fighting for around our contract and HOW we
were fighting for it. It was positive that UESF was willing to so readily
support March 1st , 5th and the Millionaires’ Tax. The question it raises
is will UESF really get behind the actions or is this window dressing. Ken
T. indicated that the UESF leadership saw March 1st as important start of
organizing around our contract, and approaching Jobs With Justice on
working on a coordinated action. If this is true, that is positive and EDU
should jump on board of any good proposal for an action on March 1st.

The discussion around the Jan 24th Board or Education showed there was
interest beyond EDU to have a good membership turnout. I was surprised to
see it on the Agenda given it was voted down. My sense of why it was there
to show that EDU was acting to undermine the authority of the bargaining
team. I think this did not work and EDU members spoke to how this
resolution worked with the bargaining team not against it.

Susan S. while speaking against the 24th proposal said something about how
" it was wrong to run the union by resolution instead of by committee." So,
in some way, the leadership was saying that they preferred having
decisions made
by appointed committees rather than by the assembly, which remains the most
democratic structure of our union.

I think this points to another significant difference between EDU and the
current leadership. We actually want to have the members involved and
making decisions while they want to relegate the members to showing up once
in a while when asked to.