Bargaining Unit 3 Meet and Confer
Bargaining Unit 3 members met with State Representatives on Feb 21st, to confer on the academic calendar for the teachers in the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Office of Correctional Education.
The State team included the Superintendent and Deputy Superintendent of Correctional Education.
During the discussion, the team expressed concerns about the movement of the “Labor Day” week and the loss of the day before the Thanksgiving break. Terry Hibbard, Corcoran State Prison, pointed out that one of the reasons for the increase in the number of flex days, was the number of teachers wanting time off for various holiday observances. Mike Halloran, Ironwood State Prison, related that he was constantly answering questions from teachers in his District Labor Council, who were upset with the various “block” dates. And, Sue Knapp, California Men’s Colony, noted that our teachers are a diverse group in terms of age and health, some responsible for growing families, others responsible for aging and infirm parents. The Unit 3 members then passed a proposal for eleven (11) flex days in the calendar.
The State team caucused on the proposal and returned to the table with a counter-proposal. While they were not currently receptive to an increase in the number of flex days, they did recognize our members’ concern about the change to RDO’s that the members had previously relied upon.
The State’s counter restored the entire Labor Day week and added the 22nd of November, the day before Thanksgiving, as non-work days.
The State also added clarifying language at the bottom of the calendar, warning teachers about the possibility of an “Accounts Receivable” for using all of the flex days and then leaving State Service before the end of the Academic year.
By exercising our right to meet and confer with the department over the structure of the academic calendar, our team was able to bring our members voices directly to the attention of the department and ensure that our efforts to keep our members involved continues. We also were able to start presenting our position that additional flex time will benefit our members in a way that makes them a premier workforce.