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Compton Education Association response to CUSD Supt. Darin Brawley

'Teachers were trustful our employer would settle with a fair and equitable contract, but regrettably, this has not been the case' By PATRICK SULLIVAN On Feb. 3, 2016, Superintendent Darin Brawley of the Compton Unified School District

‘Teachers were trustful our employer would settle with a fair and equitable contract, but regrettably, this has not been the case’

By PATRICK SULLIVAN

On Feb. 3, 2016, Superintendent Darin Brawley of the Compton Unified School District (CUSD) sent a letter to the Compton Herald which was posted in ComptonHerald.com. The letter was intended to manipulate public opinion regarding a year-long negotiation process with teachers. Unfortunately, Brawley did not present the facts correctly.

It is true that the CUSD is making progress with student achievement; we are graduating more seniors, schools are winning state and national awards, and five schools received the Apple Grant, which provides each student with an iPad. Our teachers and administrators deserve all of the credit for these accomplishments. It is the teachers who work hard in their classrooms, providing a high-quality education to our students. It was also the teachers and administrators who, during their summer break, applied for the Apple Grant. We agree, now is not the time to slow down the process, but to work together to achieve excellence in our schools and programs.

The Compton Education Association has been negotiating with the school district for more than a year to settle a new collective bargaining agreement. Currently, teachers are currently working with an expired contract.

The following represents the shortcomings of the CUSD proposal:

1) The CUSD did offer an ongoing increase of 2 percent as well as to increase the monthly medical benefits cap by $100. Unfortunately, the school district also included language in their proposals which gives the CUSD the authority to revoke the small raise and health benefits contribution at any time.

2) The CUSD also included language in their proposals which would increase the instructional day by 5 percent. Because teachers would work 5 percent more and only receive 3 percent in compensation, they would be receiving a decrease in salary for the amount of time worked.

3) In the proposal, the CUSD is also aggressively pushing for larger class sizes, although the State of California provides money to lower them. Many of our students are unfairly crammed into classrooms with larger class sizes which negatively impacts student learning and places our students at a safety risk in the event of a catastrophe.

Our students would face challenges attempting to exit our classrooms because of the high number of students, desks, and chairs which would obstruct their path. In order to put these offers into historical perspective, it is important to remember that CUSD has been trying to decrease the pay of teachers for many years. During the recent State Budget recession, the District forced the teachers into contract negotiations in order to bully teachers into taking less money and decreasing the amount of instruction for students (furlough days).

4) Teachers fought back and were able to prove that the District had a large surplus of funds so they didn’t need to reduce salaries or take furlough days.

5) Teachers were able to guarantee that our students received 180 days of instruction and the education that they deserved.

CUSD was not fair to teachers during the difficult times and continues to mistreat teachers today. The District has not proposed a fair offer to teachers. A small raise which could be taken back at any time, and an extended work day, whereby teachers are working without pay, is not fair.

Although the superintendent, the deputy superintendent, and the associate superintendent of Human Resources negotiated a new contract for themselves in November 2015, which included thousands of dollars in perks, Compton teachers have continued to provide our students with a high-quality education, in spite of the fact that the CUSD has not offered teachers a fair and equitable contract. It is imperative for the community to realize that the teachers have been negotiating in good faith.

Teachers were trustful our employer would settle with a fair and equitable contract, but regrettably, this has not been the case. The leaders of the District decided to take their raises before everyone else and deprive teachers of a fair living. Many of our teachers can no longer afford to work in the District. With a teacher shortage looming over the state and surrounding school districts paying higher wages and providing better healthcare, many teachers are being forced to leave.

The Compton Unified School District cannot afford to have any more teachers leave. The District currently has vacancies that still have not been filled since August 2015 and many of our students are being taught by substitute teachers.

The Compton Unified School District needs to settle with teachers, provide fair working conditions, and guarantee the best education possible for our students.

Patrick Sullivan is president of the Compton Education Association.

Compton Herald is a digital news publication providing clear, fair and current news, information and commentary about Compton and the Los Angeles metropolitan area of California, and the world.

8 COMMENTS
  • Erlinda Cortez February 19, 2016

    I am a Special Needs teacher and currently have a caseload of more than 30+ and service more than 40+ students. RSP teachers do the push in, push out services at Compton USD. California states the caseload should not exceed 28, and the teacher needs to sign an agreement if it is to exceed the amount. I have not signed an agreement to exceed 28. Several RSP teachers have exceeded 28 for years, so Compton USD have been out of compliance for years. The state needs to audit and supervise the administrative offices. Also when I talk with other school districts, their caseloads are much lower and other people do the administrative/paperwork. I love working with the students, teachers, and school staff, however the District upper echelons have used the Special Needs teachers for years as well as the general education teachers (salaries, class size, instructional minutes, benefits,etc.) Also the Superintendent’s salary as well as the other District Administrators contract and salary needs to be transparent to the teachers as well as to the public. My intent is to provide quality of service to our students. The contract negotiations should try to keep and recruit the best teachers. I wonder what is the underlying intent of the superintendent and his “team”?

  • Shonn February 18, 2016

    I was with the district for 14 years as a classified employee before i left in Oct 2014. I couldnt stand the mistreatment and underpayments any longer for my hard work while sitting back and watching Brawley and the higher ups get richer n richer. I feel bad for CUSD its only gonna get worse from here. That district has lost a lot of committed employees because of foolishness. I pray they get it together OR get rid of Brawley cuz he’s only in it for himself!!!!

  • Nancy February 18, 2016

    Thank you, Mr. Sullivan for speaking the truth. I’ve been at Compton Unified for over 10 years. I love teaching here, but recently I’ve been looking at other districts. At Long Beach we could be making $400 more a month. Plus the savings of not having to pay for medical would be an additional $800. That’s $1200 more a month.

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