Vacaville’s Teachers will not face pink slips this year!!!!

Vacaville – In another sign that California is finally starting to recover from the great recession, after 5 consecutive years, Vacaville’s public school teachers will not receive layoff notices this year.


In what has become an annual rite of passage for some teachers: the announcement of potential layoffs on March 15th, the final notification of layoffs on May 15th, and the hope for a rescission over the summer will not happen this year.


“It’s been really unsettling,” said Aja Cook, an English teacher at Vacaville High School.  “This year, for the first year ever, I’ll be able to focus on my teaching, instead of having to look for other ways to pay my mortgage.”


Vacaville Unified School District John Niederkorn, when announcing this good news during the March 7th school board meeting, cited the passing of Prop 30, increased student enrollment, and past concessions from employee groups as reasons for VUSD  being able to avoid issuing layoff notices for the 13-14 school year.


“I couldn’t be happier,” said Moira McSweeney, president of the Vacaville Teachers Association.  “By working collaboratively, we’ve been able to preserve vital programs and avoid the upheaval and uncertainty that comes with pink slips.  Finally, as a community and a state, we’ve turned the corner and are heading in the right direction.”


The registration deadline for the Redwood Educators Conference has been extended to Friday, April 5th!  Attached is the revised flyer for distribution to your members.

Click here to download the revised flyer

Vacaville Unified School District board OKs even-year elections


After an hour of spirited debate, at times heated, Vacaville Unified School District leaders on Thursday voted to consolidate board member elections with statewide general elections.Their unanimous decision, made during a regular meeting at the Educational Services Center, came as several Solano County school district boards debated similar resolutions Thursday night, including Fairfield-Suisun and Dixon. On Wednesday, the Solano County Board of Education and the Vallejo City Unified board voted to consolidate elections, with the consensus being such a move would save their respective districts possibly several thousands of taxpayer dollars and also take advantage of greater turnout in general election years.

With the approval of Resolution No. 15, the VUSD governing board moves trustee elections from odd- to even-numbered years and extends board member terms by one year.

The board made its decision after a presentation from John Gardner, Solano County assistant registrar of voters, who, in a computer-aided slide presentation, laid out several scenarios of election costs.

He said if district trustees voted to stay in the odd-year election cycle, the percentage of VUSD costs would go up, perhaps considerably, given that several other districts had already decided to move to even-year elections. The deadline to decide is 5 p.m. today, he noted.

But nearly all the trustees voiced concern that their decision was rushed and forced upon them without adequate

notice or public input on the matter.”Could we revisit the issue next year?” Superintendent John Niederkorn asked at one point.

In public comments, Alex Henthron, a Sacramento State University student and community services commissioner for the city of Vacaville, said the pending vote appeared to be “a power grab” by some cities and other public entities.

Several trustees said they would not approve the resolution, saying, as board president David McCallum asserted, “It requires a lot more fleshing out.”

Kari Sousa, the district’s chief business official, said, “If we don’t go to even years,” then the district may be saddled with as much as 40 percent of odd-year election costs, potentially several hundred thousands of dollars.

After hearing the numbers, trustee Larry Mazucca said he felt pressured to vote to approve the resolution and that he was “ticked off.”

“This is BS,” he said. “This is just crap.”

“This goes against best judgment,” he added. “Now, we’re stuck” and must make “a poor decision.”

Fairfield-Suisun trustees on Thursday voted unanimously to approve consolidation, but Dixon Unified did not, with Superintendent Brian Dolan, in a text message, saying the motion died for lack of a second.

Jacki Cottingim-Dias, Fairfield-Suisun superintendent, said trustees debated the issue calmly and came to a decision for “logical reasons.”

“They felt voter participation would be higher in even years, and the board really felt they had no choice,” she said.

Leave update and contract language – update

You received an email from Human Resources in early February about leave. Below is a copy of the section of that communication pertaining to Personal Option Leave (POL) contract language and the comment regarding the use of the 4th and 5th day of POL from the District.


6.2.2      Personal Option Leave (POL)   The personal option leave permits the unit member to use a total of five (5) days.  Three (3) days of the twelve (12) personal leave days quoted in Article 6.1 for personal necessities not included in that definition may include family related matters that occur during the workday.  These three (3) days may not be used for:  other employment, withholding of services, or activities normally considered to be related to recreation or vacation.  Personal option leave days may not be accumulated and/or carried over from year to year.    Up to five (5) days of personal option leave may be used for professional growth to attend conferences, travel/study programs, or other professional activities


Comment: Your 3 days of POL come from your PL balance. The 4th or 5th day of POL must come from professional growth to attend conferences, travel/study programs, or other professional activities.


VTA has been discussing this section about Personal Option Leave with regards to the use of the 4th and 5th day with the District, as we have a difference in the interpretation of the language.


VTA has interpreted this language to mean that the 4th and 5th day “may” be used for professional development, not “must” be, as was stated in the District email. We have communicated this interpretation to our members in the past. We are concerned that the discrepancy in the interpretation may now result in members being docked in pay if they use a fourth and fifth day of POL for something other than professional development.


We have been unable to come to an agreement with the District as to the interpretation, and basically, have agreed to disagree for the remainder of the year. The language will most likely be rewritten and clarified during the negotiations process this spring.


Please be aware that if you use a fourth and fifth day of POL for something other than professional development between now and the end of the year, you could be subject to action by the District to dock your pay. VTA will intervene and support you through the grievance process in this event, but, we can not guarantee the outcome.


We want to make members aware of this situation and hope to have clear language in place in the contract for next year.

From the webmaster…

….I’ve just turned on the mobile website mode so, if you look at this site on your phone, it will look very different than if you look at it on your desktop.

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