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Labor Relations Update

This page is designed to provide our staff and community with information, resources, and progress reports relevant to current contract negotiations that are taking place between the San Mateo-Foster City School District and the San Mateo Elementary Teachers Association (SMETA).  Please check back often for updates as this process moves forward.


SMFCSD PRESS RELEASE - NOVEMBER 30, 2017

SAN MATEO-FOSTER CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT AND SAN MATEO ELEMENTARY TEACHERS ASSOCIATION (SMETA) SETTLE ON THREE YEAR CONTRACT

The San Mateo-Foster City School District and the San Mateo Elementary Teachers Association (SMETA) are pleased to announce that a tentative agreement was reached on a successor contract on Thursday, November 30, 2017.  The agreement will become effective upon ratification by SMETA members and the Governing Board.  The agreement, which covers the 625 teachers and support staff, will be in effect through June 30, 2019.  Highlights of the tentative agreement include:

  • Salary increases that include 5% retroactive to July 1, 2016 and 3% increase retroactive to July 1, 2017
  • Increases to teacher stipends
  • Increase to hourly pay rate for supplemental work

Board President, Chelsea Bonini stated, “We are pleased to have reached an agreement with our teachers on a salary increase and contract renewal prior to entering the lengthy Fact Finding process.  The well-being and success of our students, with their classroom teachers and site staff as their most valuable resources, is always our primary focus.  We could not be happier to resolve these negotiations before the new Board takes office on December 1, 2017.”

SMETA President, Julie MacArthur said, “I am pleased that the negotiations have concluded and that we were able to work together to make budgeting choices that reflect the important work teachers do and that recognizes their value to the community.”  She also expressed sincere gratitude for the support SMETA received from the parent community during negotiations and recognized their important role in making this agreement possible.  

The final agreement is a product of the San Mateo-Foster City School District and SMETA working together to reach mutually acceptable compromises on difficult issues.  The District and SMETA look forward to continuing to work together to address the needs of the students.  


SMFCSD Press Release - November 16, 2017

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About San Mateo-Foster City School District and San Mateo Elementary Teachers Association Negotiations

Dear San Mateo-Foster City Community,

The San Mateo-Foster City School District (SMFCSD) is currently at impasse in contract negotiations with the San Mateo Elementary Teachers Association (SMETA).  This release of information is designed to answer a number of questions that the District has received from our parents and community.

Q: What is the state of the District’s budget?

A: Like the vast majority of school districts in San Mateo County, the San Mateo-Foster City School District is struggling with a structural budget deficit where expenditures are expected to outpace revenues in the coming years.  The budget deficit is largely due to escalating pension costs and increased costs of doing business.

In addition to escalating costs, our District also suffered the loss of $7 million in parcel tax revenue resulting from the failure of Measure Y last March.  In an effort to address the budget deficit, the District lowered its reserve from 10% to 6% for 2017-18.  The District has also made $4 million in budget reductions for the 2017-18 school year.  It is in the process of identifying an additional $4.5 million in reductions for 2018-19 and another $4.5 million for 2019-20. 

Q:  Are teachers currently working without a contract?

A:  No. The current contract expired on July 1, 2016 but continues to remain in effect until the District and SMETA negotiate a successor agreement.  Last year’s teacher salaries and benefits continue as is until a new agreement is reached.  The District has implemented the usual automatic step and column pay increases for longevity and continuing education credits for all employees still moving up the salary schedule.

Q:  Are the District and SMETA still in mediation?

A:  No. The District and SMETA held 4 meetings and were unable to reach an agreement on compensation.  The mediator recommended the parties to the next step known as “fact finding” and Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) officially certified the parties to fact finding on November 7, 2017.

Q: In mediation, did the District attempt to compromise from its earlier position?

A:  Yes.  The parties exchanged proposals and counter proposals that were different from the offers made prior to impasse.  Mediation is a confidential process and therefore the proposals cannot be shared with the public.  Unfortunately, the parties were unable to reach agreement.

Q: What is fact finding?

A:  Fact finding is a more formal proceeding in which each party presents data and documentation to support their case.  During fact finding, each party selects an individual to appoint to a 3 member panel with a third party, commonly called “the neutral,” being appointed by PERB or by mutual agreement of the parties.  A fact finding hearing is held and both parties are provided with an opportunity to present their case.  The hearing is not open to the public.  After the hearing, the fact finding panel will issue an advisory report with recommendations to both parties.  It may take up to one month to receive the advisory report.

In some cases, an agreement may be reached once the parties have heard all of the facts and have some indication of the fact finding panel’s position.  If the parties are unable to reach an agreement during the hearing, they may agree to resume mediation while the fact finding report is pending.

Q:  What happens after the fact finding report is issued to the parties?

A:  Before the report is made public, the law requires the parties to meet at least one time to determine if the provisions of the fact finding report can form a basis for a negotiated settlement.  If an agreement is not reached, the SMETA’s Executive Board and the SMFCSD School Board vote to accept or reject the recommendations in the fact finding report.  By law, this process cannot take longer than ten days from the time the report is made public.

Q:  Will there be a teacher strike?

A:  Not at this time.  Strikes are legal in California, but they cannot occur until the parties have exhausted all steps in the impasse process.

The San Mateo-Foster City School District will continue to work toward a successful conclusion to these negotiations.  During this time, as always, the District’s focus remains on the success and well-being of the students, staff, and community we serve.   We will continue to keep you updated as information becomes available.


Preguntas Más Frecuentes (FAQs) Acerca de las Negociaciones del Distrito Escolar de San Mateo-Foster y la Asociación de Maestros de Primaria de San Mateo

El Distrito Escolar de San Mateo-Foster City (SMFCSD) actualmente está en un impase en las negociaciones de contrato con la Asociación de Maestros de Primaria de San Mateo (SMETA).  Este lanzamiento de información esta diseñado para contestar un numero de preguntas que el Distrito ha recibido de nuestros padres y de la comunidad.

P: ¿Cuál es el estado del presupuesto del Distrito?

A:  Como la gran mayoría de distritos escolares en el Condado de San Mateo, el Distrito Escolar de San Mateo-Foster City está luchando con un déficit presupuestario estructural donde se espera que los gastos superen los ingresos en los próximos años.  El déficit en el presupuesto es debido mayormente al aumento de los costos de las pensiones y al aumento de los costos de tramitar negocios.

En adición a los crecientes costos, nuestro Distrito también sufrió una pérdida de ingresos por impuestos de parcela como resultado de la falla de la Medida Y en marzo del año pasado. En un esfuerzo para abordar el déficit en el presupuesto, el Distrito redujo su reserva del 10% al 6% para el año escolar 2017-18.  El Distrito también hizo reducciones al presupuesto de $4 millones para el año escolar 2017-18.  El Distrito está en el proceso de identificar reducciones adicionales de $4.5 millones para el año escolar 2018-19 y otros $4.5 millones para el año escolar 2019-20. 

P: ¿Están trabajando los maestros sin un contrato?

A:  No. El contrato actual expiró en julio 1, 2016 pero continúa en efecto hasta que el Distrito y SMETA negocien un acuerdo sucesor.  Los sueldos de maestros y beneficios del año pasado continúan tal como están hasta que se alcance un nuevo acuerdo.  El Distrito ha implementado los aumentos salariales de pasos y columnas automáticos habituales para longevidad y los créditos de educación continua para todos los empleados quienes todavía están avanzando en el cronograma de salarios.

P: ¿Esta el Distrito y SMETA todavía en mediación?

A:  No. El Distrito y SMETA realizaron 4 reuniones y no pudieron llegar a un acuerdo en compensación.   El mediador recomendó que las partes siguieran al próximo paso conocido como “exploración de hechos” y la Junta de Relaciones de Empleo Público (PERB) oficialmente certificó a las partes a exploración de hechos en noviembre 7, 2017.

P: En mediación, ¿atentó el Distrito de llegar a un compromiso de su posición original?

A:  Sí.  Las partes hicieron intercambio de propuestas y contra propuestas cuales fueron diferentes que las ofertas hechas antes del impase. La mediación es un proceso confidencial y por lo tanto las propuestas no pueden ser compartidas con el público.  Desafortunadamente, las partes no pudieron alcanzar un acuerdo.

P: ¿Qué es exploración de hechos?

A: Exploración de hechos es un procedimiento más formal durante el cual cada parte presenta datos y documentación para respaldar su caso. Durante el proceso de exploración de hechos, cada parte selecciona un individuo para nombrar a un panel de 3 miembros con una parte tercera, comúnmente llamado “el neutral”, siendo nombrado por el PERB o por acuerdo mutuo de las partes. Se realiza una audiencia de exploración de hechos y se les proporciona a las dos partes la oportunidad de presentar su caso. La audiencia no es abierta al público. Después de la audiencia, el panel de la exploración de hechos emitirá un informe de asesoramiento con recomendaciones para ambas partes. Puede tomar hasta un mes para recibir el informe de asesoramiento.

En algunos casos, se alcanza un acuerdo después que las partes hayan oído todos los hechos y tengan alguna indicación de la posición del panel de exploración de hechos. Si las partes no pueden alcanzar un acuerdo durante la audiencia, pueden acordar a reanudar la mediación mientras se espera el informe de exploración de hechos.

P: ¿Qué pasa cuando se emite el informe de exploración de hechos a todas las partes?

A:  Antes de que el reporte se haga público, la ley requiere que las partes se reúnan por lo menos una vez más para determinar si las provisiones del informe de exploración de hechos pueden formar una base para un acuerdo negociado.  Si no se alcanza un acuerdo, la Junta Ejecutiva de SMETA y la Junta Escolar de SMFCSD votan a aceptar o rechazar las recomendaciones en el informe de exploración de hechos. Por ley, este proceso no puede tomar más de diez días después que el informe se haga público.

P: ¿Habrá una huelga de maestros?

A:  No en este momento.  Las huelgas son legales en California, pero no pueden ocurrir hasta que las partes hayan agotado todos los pasos en el proceso de impase.

El Distrito Escolar de San Mateo-Foster City continuará trabajando para lograr una conclusión exitosa de estas negociaciones. Durante este tiempo, como siempre, el enfoque del Distrito se mantiene en el éxito y bienestar de los estudiantes, el personal y la comunidad que servimos.


SMFCSD PRESS RELEASE - NOVEMBER 6, 2017
SAN MATEO-FOSTER CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT AND SAN MATEO TEACHERS ASSOCIATION HAVE BEEN RELEASED INTO FACT FINDING

Dear San Mateo-Foster City Community,

The San Mateo-Foster City School District (District) and the San Mateo Elementary Teachers Association (SMETA) reached an impasse in the negotiations process in the summer of 2017.  With the assistance of a state appointed mediator, parties participated in a mediation process.  Mediation is used to support a mutual agreement and is a confidential process to which both parties agreed to adhere.

Unfortunately, an agreement could not be reached during mediation and it appears that the parties will be released to the next step in the process known as “Fact Finding.”  In the Fact Finding proceedings, the District and SMETA will present information to a panel who will review the data and issue an advisory recommendation.  This process can take 60 or more days to reach conclusion and both parties may continue working towards settlement.

Complicating the negotiation process is the District’s fiscal condition.  Of the 23 districts in San Mateo County, 22 districts are struggling with a structural budget deficit.  While there have been recent increases in State funding, the additional funding only restores revenue levels to those received in the 2007-08 school year.  The San Mateo-Foster City School District is one of the districts struggling with a budget deficit largely due to escalating pension costs and increased costs of doing business.
 
Our District also suffered the loss of $7 million in parcel tax revenue resulting from the failure of Measure Y last March.  The District has made $4 million in budget reductions for the 2017-18 school year.  It is in the process of identifying an additional $4.5 million in reductions for 2018-19 and another $4.5 million for 2019-20.  These reductions are being made in order to meet salary proposals of 4% for 2016-17 and 2% for 2017-18 and remain fiscally solvent.

The San Mateo-Foster City School District will continue to work toward a successful conclusion to these negotiations.  The District’s focus remains on the success and well-being of the students, staff and community we serve.

We will continue to keep you updated as information becomes available.


SMETA Bargaining Updates

Report on Negotiations - April 18, 2017 - May 5, 2017

Report on Negotiations - August 29, 2016 - March 23, 2017

Collective Bargaining Agreements

San Mateo Elementary Teacher Association (SMETA):

SMETA Contract FINAL 2013-16 

California School Employee Association (CSEA)

CSEA Final Contract 2014-17