Rep Council Meeting Minutes 3/12/13

Rep Council Meeting Minutes

Jepson library       

March 12, 2013 – 3:30 – 5:30


Members present: Marsha Rucker, Sofia Felix, Linda Covey, Kathy Steiert, Sylvia Shepard, Julie Timmerman, Lenore Hubal, Chris Fickes, Linda Phelan, Mark Richardson, Stephanie Munzinger, Sharon Riehl, Russ Tucker, Julie McGee, Alyson Brauning, Larry Baker, Diane Dahl, Tracy Begley, Samantha Mauder, Miranda Merino, Joy Holleran, Bob Blaine, Ginny Miller, Todd Blanset, Helen Blood, Tom Buck, Aja Cook, Katherine Epstein, Sylvia Aqunio, Christine Williams, Cathy Valdez, Carolyn Thomas, Corey Penrose, Moira McSweeney


Members absent: Debbie Cavanaugh, Gary Eisenberg, Dawn Waid, Tom Kutz, Susan Morgan, Jenny Brown, Lili Fisher, Brenda Hensley


Site concerns:


  • Elementary – PI issues at Fairmont and Padan.


  • Junior High – off campus during prep issue at Vaca Pena.


  • High School – none


1)    – Approvals of the minutes – the minutes were approved.


2) – Approval of the agenda – the agenda was approved.


3)- Business:



  • Elections’ plan/schedule – Bob Blaine will collet ballots on Thursday the 14th at 11 am to collect ballots for the NEA-RA state and local delegates.  Please keep the member lists Moira mailed earlier available for subsequent officer/state council elections in April.


  • Plan for officer elections – Moira will advertise for VTA officer candidates between now and April 9th.  Nominations for the officers will be taken at the April 9th rep council meeting.   After April 9th, we’ll have a week to do the election.  We will also hold an election for Jerry Eaton’s state council seat during this election cycle.


  • Health care update – tabled until the April 9th rep council meeting.


4) – President’s report – Moira reported on the following items:


  • No RIF notifications for the 13-14 school year – was announced at the last school board meeting.  A press release will be distributed via our social media and to the local paper.   There may be a displaced teacher pool, but there will be no layoffs for certificated personnel.


  • School board elections – have gone to an even year cycle as of the last school board meeting.   School board members who were up for election this year will have their terms extended by one year to accommodate the change.


  • Leave information – the process behind this was reviewed and members are advised to ask questions/give feedback about this process to the VUSD HR department.   For more information on the various kinds of leave, please go to –  This report finished with some questions about bereavement leave procedures and contractual issues associated with various kinds of leave.


Motion – begin discussion with VUSD regarding leave procedures and leave contract language interpretation – seconded and approved.


  • Early college – an MOU was signed to formalize this process.  There will be two coordinator positions advertised for this program and students will be drawn from both junior high schools.


  • Elementary prep/new report card MOU – will be drafted and potential changes were reviewed and discussed.  Members are urged to give input through the 2nd Trimester Report Card Survey.


  • Illegal Student Fees – policies coming out of the board meeting were reviewed and discussed.  Some questions for Moira to take to the superintendent were recorded and she will report back at the next rep council meeting.


  • VUSD Retirement Gala table – the Action team will investigate the cost of VTA purchasing a table for the Gala and /or the purchase of individual tickets for VTA leadership to attend and speak at the function.


  • VTA t-shirts – rep council members are urged to help themselves to the VTA shirt stock before Brenda Hensley’s mom makes them into quilts, which will be raffled off to fund the VTA scholarship fund.


  • Next rep council meeting – on April 9th will be at Chevys and the school board mixer will follow.


5) – Treasurer’s report – Brenda will prepare an updated budget report and proposed 13-14 VTA budget for the next rep council meeting.


6)- Committee/Chair reports


Action – Corey and Aja reported on the following items:


  • Chamber mixers – the next chamber mixer will be held on April 4th.  T-shirts, stickers and the banner will be used to advertise VTA.


  • updates – the pdf compatibility issues seem to have been resolved and the mobile site is up and running.  E-board members should also watch their email inboxes for some documents to review prior to the meeting on March 26th.


  • Region one organizing academy – is scheduled April 19th and going until the 21st.  The focus will probably be on internal organizing and external organizing.


  • School board candidates – has been postponed, but we’re still looking at some great candidates for 2014.


Bargaining – will sunshine the contract articles we’re going to open for the 12-13 session at the next school board meeting.


Grievance – Sylvia reported on the following:


  • Teacher safety – the process for developing procedures for “red flagging” relevant students was discussed.


  • Personnel issues – are ongoing as the year continues.


  • Administrative regulation regarding classroom assignments – if your principal is not following board procedures regarding classroom assignments please let Sylvia know.


Human Rights – Alyson reported that the bullying class went well and some of the statistics and themes which came out of the class were reviewed and discussed.


Women’s Issues – none


PAC – none


Special Ed – Padan unit members will be starting a program for their ED students.


Leave Bank – none


Membership – none



7) – Conference reports


403b workshop – will have a report at the next rep council meeting


8)– Others – none


9)– Raffle – a 10-dollar gift card was won by Sharon Riehl


10)- Adjournment – the meeting was adjourned at 5:35 pm


Respectfully submitted, Corey Penrose


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.

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