VCUSD Payroll Deadlines


If you click on the “Teachers” menu option, you can view the “Payroll Deadlines” document sent by VCUSD.

Alternatively, this post will have the “tag” of “Payroll” and also placed in a “Payroll” category. As VEA receives these documents, we will make every effort to place them on the website for easier access.

Voices of Wisconsin Teachers

Wisconsin was the first state to grant collective bargaining rights to its teachers.

This happened in 1962.

In 2011, collective bargaining rights were stripped from them.

Watch the video below. Do not let what happen in Wisconsin happen to teachers in California. Vote NO on Prop 32!

URGENT UPDATE!! District Agrees not to Extend Duty Day


Per Cheri Summers, school site administrators at VCS, Cooper, Mare Island and Wardlaw were notified this morning that the duty day could not be extended. For the remainder of the school year, all schedules will remain the same and no extra minutes have been added to the duty day.

However, we may run into a problem for next year. Even though the State allows for up to five furlough days, which means that instructional minutes are adjusted, there are some school sites that have very tight schedules. Based on the multipliers used to determine if school sites met their instructional minutes with the furlough day, it was determined that these four school sites were short anywhere from 10 to almost 30 minutes. Waivers can be applied for & the District is looking at applying for the waivers. Part of the contingency in getting the waivers granted is that the District must work with the Bargaining Unit.

If the waiver is granted, according to Cheri Summers, school districts can have up to two years to make up these minutes, if needed.

Thank you to everyone who gave me the heads up about this issue. VEA will continue to monitor this process and will provide updates through e-mail, our Facebook Group, and our website.

No Action is Necessary for this Thursday’s meeting.

District Administration Outright Violates Bargaining Agreement

E-mail sent to Board President Adrienne Waterman, Vice President Hazel Wilson, Trustee Ace Stewart, Trustee Raymond Mommsen, Trustee Tony Ubalde on Monday, May 28, 2012:

Please see the e-mail sent to Cheri Summers with a cc to Dr. Ramona Bishop along with an e-mail from Mr. McKelvy, Principal at Cooper Elementary. It needs to be noted on the outset that when this became an issue (and VEA does not believe it is an issue – see information from CDE below), at no time did anyone from the District try to contact VEA to try to work on a resolution. Ed Code language allows districts to reduce the school year. VEA will pursue another Unfair Labor Practice charge as well as having every member impacted by this action from the District file grievances.

Further, in another outright violation of the VEA/VCUSD Bargaining Agreement, school sites are being told to modify their bell schedules for the 2012-13 school year so that all levels of schools have aligned bell schedules. The VEA/VCUSD Bargaining Agreement under 5.11 specifically states that any changes to the student or teacher day needs to use site based decision making. There are specific timelines in place that have already passed. When members have pointed this out to site administrators, they have been told the decision is coming from the District Office. The attitude seems to be that the contract doesn’t matter and the District can do whatever it pleases.

It seems astounding to me with less than two weeks remaining in the school year and after teachers already took another paycut with the paycut day on May 18th that the District would choose this insensitive course of action. Let’s just put more salt into the wound by increasing the duty day without any rational explanation being offered by anyone.

Interest based bargaining is built on trust. It would appear that the District has forgotten that piece of this process.

I will be at the District Office tomorrow morning at 8:30 and hope to be back in my office at noon if anyone would be willing to discuss this. I’ve offered to discuss this with both Cheri Summers and Dr. Bishop on Friday (see e-mail below) and have yet to have any response to the e-mails sent. I’ve been met with nothing but silence.

Language from the California Department of Education on “furlough” days:

How did furlough days impact the number of required instructional minutes required by the state? Weren’t temporary salary reductions a more viable solution?

Given the severity of the state fiscal crisis and its impact on school budgets, legislation allowed for a reduction in instructional minutes equal to the reduction in the number of school days.

Up until July 2009, school districts were required under the California Education Code to provide 180 days or more or instructional time per calendar year. In 2009, section 46201.2 was added stating that until the 2012-13 school year, districts “may reduce the equivalent of up to five days or instruction or the equivalent number of instructional minutes” without a penalty from the California Department of Education. This means that the state will pay school districts for 180 days worth of average daily attendance (ADA-approximately $35 per unit per student) even if the district only has175 school days. This gives the district some needed funds to make up for the budget cuts the state made to education.

E-mail sent to Principals at Cooper, Mare Island, Vallejo Charter School, and Wardlaw on Monday, May 28, 2012:


Please see the e-mail below that I sent to Cheri Summers this past Friday. Since you are increasing minutes to the duty day without it being bargained, VEA will demand extra service agreements for all members whose duty day has been increased. It is unfortunate that the District has chosen this route, instead of trying to come to the table to discuss this with VEA.

E-mail sent to Chief Academic Officer Cheri Summers and Superintendent Dr. Bishop on Friday, May 25, 2012:


VEA is issuing an immediate CEASE and DESIST on the proposed increase in the duty day for our unit members at the following school sites: Cooper, Wardlaw, Mare Island, Vallejo Charter and any other school sites not specifically named in the letter sent on May 24, 2012.

It is unfortunate that VEA is having to take this position when the more appropriate response from the District could have been giving VEA a call to figure out how to meet the possible issue with not meeting instructional minutes. Not having these types of necessary conversations with VEA and other Bargaining Units is what contributes to the lack of trust that exists between our members and District Administration.

VEA expects a rationale behind this decision and is willing to meet with the District as soon as possible. However, any increase to our members duty day is a significant violation of the VEA/VCUSD Bargaining Agreement and will be met with the appropriate legal action. This legal action will include an immediate filing of an unfair labor practice charge being filed against the District if the District does not immediately stop with this course of action.

Feel free to give me a call so that we may arrange a time to discuss this issue.”

E-mail sent by Principal Mr. McKelvy:

Good Evening Cooper Families,

Due to the furlough day that was recently held, many schools will have to adjust their school day to meet the minimum number of minutes as required by California Education Code. As of May 29, Cooper well be extending the day for students by 7 minutes. This means that the dismissal time will be at 2:07 on Monday and Tuesday and on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at 3:37 . There will be no changes in the kindergarten departure time on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday – they will still be dismissed at 1:35. We apologize for this inconvenience, but our goal is to have no audit findings that could further negatively effect district finances. Thank you in advance for your understanding.

Lucius McKelvy

VEA Bargaining Update

Furlough/ Pay Cut Days

  • We will take ONE furlough/ pay cut day during the 2011-2012 school year.
    • It will be Friday, May 18, 2012
  • We are prepared to take FIVE furlough/ pay cut days during the 2012-2013 school year, but all of them may not be needed.
    • The first two, which look LIKELY, will be November 1st and 2nd, 2012, right before Election Day, in order for us to organize and encourage voters to fund education.
    • Depending on election outcomes, THREE MORE furlough days may be needed later in the year… a possibility of 5 total. Those conditional dates are:
      February 19, May 23, and June 12, 2013.

Pay Cut Process- anticipated pay cuts will be implemented in the following manner:

  • 5 days taken over 10 months, then if all days are not needed, the pay would be restored over the remaining months of the school year.
      • The August budget shows funds available for education
      • The November Tax initiative passes
      • The January budget shows funds available for education

PLEASE REMEMBER: The number of furlough days implemented is based on a FORMULA that considers ONLY STATE REVENUE LOST …NOT DISTRICT SPENDING.

Here is the signed copy of the tentative agreement.

Bargaining Update

On Thursday, March 1st, the VEA Bargaining Team met with the district. At that meeting, the district reviewed the additional cuts by the state. Unfortunately the additional cuts trigger 1 furlough day. It will be Friday, May 18th. Here is what happened.
January 2012
The state cut $13 per student in the Base Revenue Limit (BRL) and $28 per student for transportation for a total of $41. This was below our cut point of $50, so no furlough day was needed.

March 2012
Due to concerns of rural districts the state reversed its decision to cut transportation but increased the cuts per student in the BRL to $55. So the cut point now is $55, which is in the second tier requiring one pay-cut day for the 2011-12 school year.

VEA does not anticipate any other furlough days for this year and we are working with the district to determine when this money will be taken from our paychecks. VEA is asking that this money is spread over three paychecks (April, May and June) in order to minimize the impact as much as possible.

2012-13 School Year
Your Bargaining Team continues to discuss with the district any potential pay-cut days for the 2012-13 school year. Due to the uncertainty of the state budget and the possibility that the tax initiatives may fail, ALL unit members are strongly encouraged to start planning for potential pay-cut days in the 2012-13 school year.

Early Notification Retirement Incentive

Tomorrow, VCUSD is holding a special board meeting in regards to a early notification retirement incentive. VEA members who intend on retiring need to notify the District between February 18th through February 24th in order to receive a one-time payment of $1000. Additionally, in the VEA/VCUSD contract under, the limitation on benefits to age 67 is waived for unit members who notify the District by March 1, 2012 of their intent to retire by June 30, 2012. This allows unit members who are 65 or older to obtain health benefits for themselves for five years through the District. This portion of the contract EXPIRES at the end of this school year.

The District hopes to minimize the number of RIF notices that need to be sent by March 15th, so they need to know as soon as possible who is planning on retiring by the end of this school year.

Unit members should not expect a “better” incentive to come along. Sheila Gradwohl and I discussed the STRS plan with the Superintendent and there was no interest expressed at this time in offering this plan. VEA will continue to discuss other options for those nearing retirement, but need to remind unit members that the District needs to make fiscally sound decisions, especially in light of the potential reduction in the base revenue limit of $370 in the 2012-13 school year.

Finally, on March 14th, the CTA office in Cordelia is hosting a Retirement Seminar from 4 to 6. Please contact the CTA office at 864-0305 to RSVP. (Dinner will be served.)

A Cautionary Tale: QEIA Waiver Denial

On Wednesday, January 11, 2012, the California State Board of Education (CSBE) denied the waiver that the Vallejo City Unified School District had requested in regards to QEIA funding. Most of us who went to Sacramento to testify knew going in that it was a long shot. None of us believed that it would be decided as quickly as it was by the CSBE with only one Board member stating her reasons as to why she had to vote no on the waiver.

It needs to be at the outset that Superintendent Dr. Ramona Bishop provided the CSBE with a well-defined plan in order to right the ship. I strongly commend her for her tough message to the CSBE and for her willingness to take responsibility for this situation – a situation that was not created by her.

In meetings that I had with her regarding our presentation to CSBE, she expressed a willingness to work with VEA if the waiver was denied for Vallejo High School and Cooper Elementary. It was also stated to me that it is anticipated that lay-offs for this year may be minimal due to attrition. VEA will continue to push for being part of the lay-off process as well as ensuring that the contract is followed for teachers impacted by any involuntary transfers.

That being said, this denial serves as a reminder to the District the crucial piece that had been missing during previous administrations.

First, last year the California Teachers Association (CTA) issued a report, “Lessons From the Classroom: Initial Success for At-Risk Students” . One of the essential components for those schools that were most successful was the willingness of district administration to work with teachers and their unions in order to engage in essential and meaningful collaboration. This meant that most of the decisions made were site based driven and not driven from the top.

As many of you know, there has long permeated in this district an unwillingness to engage in meaningful collaboration and an outright refusal to work with the union in order to make working and learning conditions better for our students and teachers.

Second, one of the arguments that the District made in order to try to secure the waiver for QEIA funding was the lack of stability at school sites. It was argued that this instability had a severe impact on their ability to meet the API goals for QEIA. While VEA recognizes that none of us could have imagined the severe economic impact of this recession, let it be said that were a couple of options that the HR Department could have chosen in order to mitigate the instability.

For instance, VCUSD could have used the language in Ed. Code that allows for “skipping” any unit member that had received specialized training and/or is providing specialized services. This is the language that districts across the state of California use in order to “skip” special education teachers and more significantly, it is the language they used to “skip” our colleagues who teach at Vallejo Charter School. While VEA recognizes that this option is controversial, it is still an option available to the District through Ed. Code.

When the District chose to ignore this route, they also made the unfortunate decision to not work with VEA when it came time to bring people back from the rehire list. Instead, the HR Department made the decision that when people were brought back, they would be placed wherever they had an opening for them. Some of our teachers who had only taught primary, now suddenly found themselves teaching at the middle school and conversely some of those who had only taught middle school, now found themselves teaching elementary. No one, except for VEA, thought it was prudent to ask teachers what they wanted.

At Cooper, this meant a significant change in their staff at the start of the 2009 school year, where they saw 9 brand new teachers out of a staff of 28.

When I spoke to the CSBE on Wednesday, I expressed that I was cautiously optimistic. VEA has often fought for maintaining stability at our school sites when possible. This is because we believe that through stability, long-standing, trusting relationships are developed and built upon. This stability transmits to our students, which ultimately leads to our students performing at the very best of their abilities.

If we are all truly here for the kids, then it is of absolute importance that we work together.

School Site Safety: A concern for students, teachers, and staff

On Thursday, November 3rd, the teachers at Steffan Manor took a courageous step. After a student brought a hammer to school and threatened the teacher with it, the student was suspended for three days. The student was supposed to return to the same classroom where the assault occurred. The teachers decided together that parents at this school site needed to be aware that the safety of their students could be endangered unless the district took action. They urged parents at this school to contact Superintendent Ramona Bishop.

Instead of engaging in conversation with the teachers at Steffan Manor, the district has decided to scapegoat them. First, it appears that someone contacted a well-known community activist who stated that the teachers violated this student’s civil rights. Second, Superintendent Bishop was only willing to meet with the teacher directly involved in this incident. No conversation with the other teachers at the school site regarding school site safety has occurred. Third, at the November 16th VCUSD School Board, Dr. LaTonya Derbigny presented information on the suspension and expulsion rates for the district. At this meeting, teachers were scapegoated once again. School board members made outrageous claims that teachers were writing referrals “for their convenience” or “because they were in a bad mood.” Adding insult to injury, Dr. Derbigny turned to the reporter for the Vallejo Times Herald and demanded that he put in the paper that “teachers are lying when they say the district is not suspending or expelling students.”

VEA is hosting a forum “School Site Safety: Silent No More.” We can no longer stand on the sidelines while the district and school board members vilify our colleagues in a public forum. We are urging ALL VEA members to attend this event in order to develop a plan of action on school site safety.

In order for this district to “attract and retain quality educators” (a district goal), they need to start by listening to us about our concerns regarding the safety of our campuses. Our students deserve campuses that are safe and free from threats of violence in order to ensure their civil rights to a quality education.

School Site Safety Forum “Silent No More”
Hogan Middle School Theater
4:00 to 6:00 p.m.
December 8th, 2011

An injury to one is an injury to all!