SRVUSD board to consider raises for executive cabinet, management

We know the State is going to CUT government education by billions in the new budget.  So what is a school district to do?  Instead of saving their money, they are spending it like drunken sailors trying to buy off unions for the future.  Simi Valley Unified gave a 2% “bonus” to teachers—not knowing how many students they will have if they re-open and there costs.  The Conejo Valley schools (Thousand Oaks) gave a 6% raise—retroactive to January.  Why?  So that they can say they are broke and will close the schools if the State or Feds does not bail them out.  Corruption?  You bet.

“The San Ramon Valley school board is set to give retiring Superintendent Rick Schmitt, his executive cabinet and management staff 2.56% retroactive pay raises for this school year on Tuesday — in line with the salary increases that the district’s unionized employees received.

Later in the meeting, the board will discuss a plan for decreasing expenditures by $8 million next school year, including employment reductions, as required by the Contra Costa County Office of Education, which raised concerns about the ability for the district to pay for negotiated salary increases after this year.

So, they give significant raise to the Superintendent—months before he is to retire, so his pension is larger and to the unions—increasing pension payments to CalSTRS.  Then they announce they have to have staff reductions.  Maybe if they did not raise the pay they would have the money to save the jobs?  Incompetence or corruption?  You decide.  Is this going on in your school district?  Please let me know.

Teachers in the nation’s second-largest school district will go on strike as soon as Jan. 10 if there’s no settlement of its long-running contract dispute, union leaders said Wednesday, Dec. 19. The announcement by United Teachers Los Angeles threatens the first strike against the Los Angeles Unified School District in nearly 30 years and follows about 20 months of negotiations. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes) ORG XMIT: CADD303

SRVUSD board to consider raises for executive cabinet, management

Also: District looks at plan for $8M in cost reductions needed for 2020-21

by Jeremy Walsh, DanvilleRamon,   5/25/20 

The San Ramon Valley school board is set to give retiring Superintendent Rick Schmitt, his executive cabinet and management staff 2.56% retroactive pay raises for this school year on Tuesday — in line with the salary increases that the district’s unionized employees received.

Later in the meeting, the board will discuss a plan for decreasing expenditures by $8 million next school year, including employment reductions, as required by the Contra Costa County Office of Education, which raised concerns about the ability for the district to pay for negotiated salary increases after this year.

The district has a longstanding policy of extending the same salary and benefits increases across the board for all district employees. Labor negotiations typically occur during the school year for potential raises that year, resulting in the changes being applied retroactively.

In light of the raises negotiated by the teacher and classified employee unions, the district’s executive cabinet, as well as the management and confidential employees, are recommended to receive a 2.56% salary increase for 2019-20 retroactive to July 1, 2019. The total cost of the increases (salary and benefits) for those two categories of employees are $41,100 and $461,476, respectively.

For Schmitt, who is retiring June 30, that means his base salary for his final year would be retroactively raised to $357,832.

For the rest of Schmitt’s executive cabinet, their new 2019-20 salaries would be $261,593 for deputy superintendent of educational services Toni Taylor (who retired midyear), $262,186 for assistant superintendent of facilities and operations Gary Black (who is retiring June 30), $237,810 for assistant superintendent of human resources Keith Rogenski, $226,486 for chief business officer Greg Medici and $226,486 for assistant superintendent of educational services Christine Huajardo (who succeed Taylor, in a restructured position, midyear).

The board will also consider confirming the contract for Daniel Hillman to become assistant superintendent of business operations and facilities effective July 1, with an annual base salary of $226,486.

Staff said Hillman’s promotion to succeed Black in a restructured position will actually save the district about $290,000 per year because Black had more seniority and Hillman’s prior position of executive director of business services is being eliminated.

Budget reductions will be a key part of the conversation as well Tuesday night, as the board will review staff’s recommendation for decreasing expenditures by $8 million next school year after the county raised concerns about future structural deficits in the SRVUSD budget in light of costs from the salary bumps for unionized employees.

“CCCOE has serious concerns regarding the financial condition of the district, due to the additional ongoing costs proposed by the settlement agreements and the district’s projection of negative multi-year ending balance, being further compounded by developing economic events,” Medici wrote in a staff report to the board.

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By issuing a conditional approval of the salary settlement disclosures, the county required SRVUSD to develop a budget reduction plan on or before adoption of the 2020-21 district budget.

The plan recommended to the board includes reducing certified employees by 34 full-time equivalent (FTE) positions, eliminating 10 FTE classified employee positions, decreasing district business office expenditures, and reducing spending by the cabinet and individual school sites — to the tune of $8 million combined.

Later, Medici will lead a board discussion on Gov. Gavin Newsom’s revised budget proposal, which includes reductions in K-12 spending because of the COVID-19 economic downturn.

Board members will also consider approving a resolution in support of the “Schools and Communities First” initiative on the statewide ballot in November.

They will receive an update on another potential statewide ballot measure — a proposed constitutional amendment to repeal California’s ban on affirmative action — that still needs to pass out of the State Legislature before heading to voters.

The board will also discuss revising its internal bylaws to align with the current SRVUSD election practice that all board members are elected by trustee-area rather than at-large.

As part of the 10-item consent agenda, the board will consider accepting the resignation of Pine Valley Middle School principal Jason Law — listed among a variety of resignations, retirements and other personnel changes.

The board’s open-session meeting, which is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. Tuesday (May 26), will be held online only via Zoom in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated shelter-in-place guidelines.

Board members will begin their meeting day with a special reception, virtually, to recognize new district retirees from 4:30-5 p.m. on the SRVUSD YouTube channel.

They will then adjourn into closed session from 5-7 p.m. to talk about appointing a new principal for Bella Vista Elementary School in San Ramon, two pending legal cases, labor negotiations with the three employee unions, and consultation, review and recommendations for the district’s coronavirus response.

For instructions on how to view the open meeting or submit a public comment to be considered for open or closed session, visit the agenda webpage.

About Stephen Frank

Stephen Frank is the publisher and editor of California Political News and Views. He speaks all over California and appears as a guest on several radio shows each week. He has also served as a guest host on radio talk shows. He is a fulltime political consultant.

Comments

  1. Really??? says

    It isn’t just this school district. The City of Santa Barbara just gave a 2% raise to the police, and a 2/5% raise to the SEIU rank and file. When asked if the Council, Mayor and City administrator would take a 10% pay cut in the face of $38 million deficit, the answer was no answer.

    It is all over the State. The corruption of honest government is almost total in the State.

    You elected Radical Socialists, and this is what you get. Pay increases in the face of massive deficits.

    And you voted Democrat why?

  2. Wow

  3. I listened to the SRVUSD BoD Zoom meeting on Tuesday night and turned it off when they started justifying the need for the pay raises. I understand their reasoning, but now is not the time, especially since they are looking to cut 8 million from their budget. School enrollment in the elementary grades is already low because families with young children can’t afford to live in this school district.
    I have a daughter graduating from CHS on Friday (virtually) and my son is going to be a Jr there in the fall. You know the first thing they are going to cut money out of is sports and arts.
    Steve Frank, I miss hearing you on the morning show on KSFO with Brian Sussman & Katy Green!

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