Updates from 9/5/2019

Posted by Erick Steelman on 9/5/2019

The District and California School Employees Association (CSEA) Chapter 11 last met on August 29, 2019, with a focus on Article 26 - Salaries and Article 27 - Fringe Benefits.  The District provided a counter-proposal on compensation that included an on-salary schedule increase of 2.5% for 2018-2019, retroactive to July 1, 2018.  The District also proposed an on-salary schedule increase of 1.5% for 2019-2020.   CSEA bargaining unit members have received salary increases of approximately 15% on schedule and 8% off schedule over the past four school years. 

The District counter-proposed to CSEA a reduction of the soft cap annual increase from 80% to 75% effective January 2020 and 70% effective January 2021.

Over 80% of the District’s revenue is utilized for salaries and benefits.  With an average of 2.7% in declining enrollment annually for the last 7 years and significant increases in health benefits premiums and Employer contribution of the employee retirement plan for Classified Employees (PERS)  as well as higher costs of workers compensation and liability insurance premiums, COLA alone does not cover the loss of revenue and increasing benefits costs, and the District must take steps to control costs and maintain fiscal solvency.  Accordingly, the District proposed the establishment of a hard cap on health insurance based on 2018-2019 rates.  The District will continue to provide 100% coverage for single party plans including medical, dental, vision and life.  The District currently contributes 80% of the cost of two-party and family plans, with employees contributing 20%.  Increases in health coverage have averaged 5% annually for the past five years, almost tripling the average increase in COLA.  EMUHSD is one of the few school districts in the area that does not have a hard cap on benefits.  The District’s proposal is to reduce the 80% Employer contribution level based on 2019-2020 rates to 75% effective January 2020 and 70% effective January 2021.