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The District and SMETA met for its second bargaining session and began with an introduction of team members. The group reviewed the ground rules and norms that were presented at the last meeting and agreed to the ground rules.

The District presented a budget update with the same information that was presented to the Governing Board at their May 7, 2018 board meeting. The highlights of the budget information include:

  • District spending priorities support the LCAP goals
  • Guiding principles for developing a budget are the same guiding principles for negotiations
  • Revenue sources include LCFF, federal, state and local income
  • Salaries make up approximately three-quarters of the total budget. The cost of a 1% salary increase for all District employees is $900,000 and the cost of 1% salary for SMETA is approximately $650,000.
  • Cost of "Step and Column" increases for all employees is approximately $1,200,000
  • Multi-year projection forecasts a deficit of approximately $5,000,000 in 2018-2019
  • STRS/PERS costs are expected to rise approximately $2,000,000 per year
  • Loss of parcel tax revenue is approximately $7,000,000

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The District and SMETA exchanged counter proposals to SMETA's initial proposal related to a new law requiring union access to employee orientations.

Article 8 - Class Size

The District provided a counter proposal to SMETA's proposal for Article 8 which includes:

a) District did not accept proposed language for middle school class sizes not to exceed 31 students each period and PE classes not to exceed 40 students per period. No middle school maximums exceed 185 students in regular classes and 240 students in PE classes at this time. The contract provides a provision to address student contact numbers over the maximum for regular classes and PE.

b) Maintain current language for student-to-counselor ratio at 600:1 on a districtwide basis instead of the proposed 500:1. The District currently employs 8 middle school counselors which places the student-to-counselor ratio below 500:1. Due to the projected budget deficit, the District would like to maintain staffing flexibility.

c) Maintain current language for TK-3 and 3 rd/4th grade combination classes at 28 students instead of the proposed 25 students. Currently, TK-3 classes are maintained at an average of 24: 1.

d) Maintain current language for Grades 4 and 5 classes at 30 instead of the proposed 27 students. A lower class size of 27 students would require an additional 9 teachers at an approximate cost of $997,000. The District would need an additional 9 classrooms that are not currently available.

e) The District did not accept proposed language for Elementary PE class size maximum to 30 students.

f) The District provided a counter proposal for integrating special day class students into general education classes.

  • Provide for collaboration and professional development to implement IEP goals in the general education setting
  • Include a special day class student in the general education teacher's enrollment numbers if the student is integrated into the general education classroom for at least two core curriculum subjects

g) Maintain current language for student-to-school psychologist ratio at 1500:1 on a districtwide basis instead of the proposed 1000-1200:1. The District currently employs 14 school psychologists which places the student-to-school psychologist ratio below 1000:1. Due to the projected budget deficit, the District would like to maintain staffing flexibility.

Article 6 - Hours

  • SMETA did not provide a counter proposal to the District's proposal for Article 6. The District proposed using 8 hours per month of non-instructional time, including Early Release Wednesdays, to be used for professional development, grade level or department collaboration and faculty meetings for all site staff. The parties discussed their rationale for how the early release Wednesday time is currently being used and how it could be structured moving forward. SMETA would like to retain the teacher's autonomy of the use of early release Wednesday time. The District would like to use a portion of the early release Wednesday time to support and develop best instructional practices across the district.

Article 5 - Compensation and Benefits

  • The District did not provide a counter proposal at this time. The District proposed having a discussion about a reasonable salary increase in light of the current state of the budget and the potential passage of the parcel tax.
  • The District did not accept SMETA's proposal to collapse the last two steps of the salary schedule from 22 to 20 and longevity stipends for teachers and school psychologists. The District would like to consider additional compensation that benefits a larger number of teachers and help the District remain competitive in recruiting teachers.
  • The District did not accept the proposal to increase District contribution for health benefits from lowest cost HMO to highest cost HMO for employee only coverage. The cost of the highest cost HMO is approximately $3,700,000 which is equivalent to a 6.1% raise.

The District and SMETA teams will meet again on Thursday, May 31, 2018 to exchange counter proposals. Another meeting was scheduled for Thursday, June 14, 2018.

For more information, see our Labor Relations page which provides 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.