SFUSD central office administrative salaries – a few things we know

Here are some things we know and some questions we are asking.

One.  Last summer UESF filed some Request for Information (public documents) with SFUSD.  One result was,

“The combined salaries of the top thirteen administrators equals 2.6 million dollars per year”,

which is more than half of the 4.2 million needed to pay for a one percent pay raise for all UESF members.  What has happened with this information during the bargaining?

Two.  Intrepid Balboa HS teachers filed an RFI several years ago on administrative salaries.  My analysis of those figures shows that during the economic crash years of 2009-10 to 2010-11,  a few central admin took pay raises, some took 2% pay cuts and most had no change to their salaries.   This is good,

but during that same time all educators took four furlough days, which is about a 4% pay cut.  And it was during that year that the SFUSD tricked the T-10’s into giving up an hour a day, a 14% pay cut on top of also taking the furlough days!!

Then in the following year, according to the figures, administrators got, on average, a 7% salary increase!  UESF members continued to live with a pay cut due to continued furlough days, and there were lay-offs (as far as I remember).  The T-10’s loss of an hour per day became permanent!!  This unfair!

Three.  I have made a new request for public records, which I’m told will be completed by mid December.  My apologies for not doing it sooner!!  I asked for the 555 Franklin admin salaries for the years 2011-12, 2012-2013, 2013-14, and 2014-15, and will analyze them to see who got pay raises and if the number of positions increased, and share what I find out.

Four.  During bargaining, the UESF team was advised by researchers from the CFT and CTA, our state affiliates.  At the UESF assembly meeting, someone requested that this financial info be shared with the UESF membership, and the leadership replied that they had to put getting the ballots out first, before posting the information.

Ballots before information!


What UESF members want: results of the Listening tour, the bargaining survey and LCAP community meetings

What UESF members want (info from three sources):

  1. Bargaining survey of Nov 2016 –  I worked on this as an area rep.  We tried hard to get as many UESF members personal emails as we could, so that they could respond electronically.  The election committee and the UESF office staff made it a priority to update the database ASAP.  (Unfortunately, based on my experience as an area rep,  this year UESF is not updating the database well at all).  In addition to mailing them out, efforts were made to get the paper surveys to those UESF members without emails on file.  Leadership of UESF decided to keep the results of the survey secret, with the rationale of not revealing their hand to the district at the table. Executive board members got to see it briefly during a meeting.  In the open response section UESF members made thousands of comments, but I’m not sure anyone besides Lita took the time to read them.  So who knows what our priorities were!
  2. UESF Listening Tour of 2015– UESF staff, officers and volunteers had open ended conversations with members at over 60 school sites, and the results from 30 of those sites was compiled into a report.  UESF members have four clear concerns:  A) affordability (need a pay raise),  B) Implementation of Safe and Supportive Schools resolution and student discipline (SFUSD needs to provide the resources to carry out this mandate properly instead of just putting it back on individual teachers), C)  Special Education staffing and support (SFUSD needs to put more resources into these programs), and D) workload issues and growing expectations and duties placed on educators.
  3. Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) Close the Gap Coalition Town Hall, May, 2015:   Participants chose three priorities to improve schools.  This meeting was part of the community stakeholders input into the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) which is how California distributes money to local school districts.   A)  A para and teacher in every classroom,   B)  A safe alternative learning space for students, C)  A family engagement plan including time for educators and parents to develop relationships.

What a better contract would include:

1.   A larger pay increase

2.   Real contract language on special education staffing and services that provide tools for classroom educators to use to defend services for students.

3.  Real contract language on restorative justice and support for students that provide tools for classroom educators to fight the school to prison pipeline.

4.  Real contract language that provides tools for classroom educators to address ever-increasing duties and expectations placed on them.

… add your own …

Why not tax the tech companies?

AirBnB, Google, Twitter, Uber, Facebook, and SalesForce, some of the largest and most powerful corporations in the world are based right here is SF.  Why can’t we put an initiative on the ballot to put a tax on them to pay for schools and other public goods.

Let’s work for a progressive tax on the extremely wealthy, rather than the proposed regressive parcel tax, which hurts working class homeowners in SF for whom an extra $200 per year is a lot to pay.

Make them pay on our terms, subject to public control, rather than on their terms, through pet philanthropic education projects like “the Primary School”, which will be opening soon in SF, and is jointly funded by the SFUSD (and likely the new parcel tax as well), and is a project in which the super wealthy call the shots.

SFUSD actively recruits big donors through its SPARK program.  Can these funds be used for educator salaries and the supports for the classroom chosen by the people in the classroom?   Why not?   Isn’t the most important element in successful schools the actual people who are in the room working with the students?

Check out the list of donors to SPARK: How much money do they donate? What is the money paying for?  Who decides how the money is spent?  What do they actually mean by “innovation”?

Former Superintendent Carranza on launching the SPARK program.

Agendas and minutes for SPARK board meetings

SPARK Board of directors

First concern about the UESF parcel tax survey – PD vs salary

Its great we are getting a survey on our priorities!  Hopefully the results will be shared with us. I have two concerns about the survey, one shared here, the other in a following post.

Choosing between PD and salary seems like a way to get support for re-purposing some of the PD funds from the existing parcel tax towards 1% of the 4% raise in year two of the tentative agreement, which would be making UESF members to pay for part of their own raise.  The survey results could be used to say,” See you wanted salary more than PD”.

Several more detailed handouts on the TA were passed out at the November UESF assembly meeting last week.  I don’t see them in either an email blast nor on the website.  I’ll scan and post them here, maybe today.


Second concern about UESF parcel tax survey – what’s this about community schools?

Here are a few things I know about community schools.

At a UESF meeting earlier this year, it was talked about how the new SF school partly funded by Zuckerberg and Chan, “the Primary School”, will be a community school, and UESF should support (consider supporting? we didn’t vote on it) this effort.  Is the survey asking for UESF members’ support for using parcel tax funds for this school?  Remember only part of the parcel tax money goes to salaries, and part of it goes to the SFUSD.  See my earlier post about who controls how parcel tax funds (tens of millions of dollars) are spent.

Will UESF members be canvassing and phone banking to raise money for a project of two of the richest folks in the world?

WTF?  Hope I’m wrong.

There is a growing movement for community schools across the US and California right now, which is an attempt to support public schools and to push back against the wave of privatization that going on.  The following are two examples.

California Alliance for Community Schools:   UESF is part of this group, although we have mostly opted to NOT participate in state-wide actions.  Here is the link to their founding event, and their platform.  Note that this is not calling for partnerships with billionaires.

We Choose campaign:  This is a rapidly growing campaign initiated by Journey for Justice, a group from Detroit. Here is the platform.  I think they are in 23 states now.  Again no billionaires involved.

It’s a 10% raise – in terms of its cost to SFUSD

One percent of the raise in the second year comes from re-purposed funds from the QTEA parcel tax, taking from one part of your contract at give to another part.  No net cost to SFUSD, but a financial loss to some UESF members.

Somewhere there is a table explaining the changes to QTEA stipends over the next three years.   An officer tells me that each individual teacher would see a small loss from PD stipends, but bigger increase from the raise.  But the title of this post remains true.


Rejecting the TA – two examples

Here are two recent examples of union members rejecting a tentative agreement and getting a significantly better contract as a result.

Cleveland Teachers union 2016-2017:  Cleveland teachers rejected the first tentative agreement brought to them and approved the second one, thereby fighting off most of Republican backed merit pay plan.   They won a better contract.

Fiat Chrysler 2015:   Auto workers succeeded in rejecting a multiple tier system where new hires get less than older employees.  They did this by rejecting the first TA, and then approving a second better contract.


Does rejecting the TA mean a strike?


There are two parallel processes that have to be completed before UESF could legally strike.  One, according to our By-Laws, there have to be two strike authorization votes by the members before the UESF leadership has the authority to call a strike.   Following CA law, a second series of steps has to be completed as well, which are as follows.  If bargaining breaks down (one side or the other gives up on it), then it goes to impasse and a mediator is brought in, who attempts to get the two sides (no longer speaking directly to one another) to reach an agreement. If mediation doesn’t work then a fact finding panel looks at both sides stories and makes a recommendation for settlement.   After that the district may impose its offer, at which point the union my strike.

Rejecting the TA just means that membership tells the bargaining team to go back to the table and try again.  The BT returns to negotiations with a stronger mandate from its members.

Open bargaining – four examples

  1.  Oakland Educator’s Association – bargaining team sends out a one-question survey, the “Question of the Week” to the membership, to inform the decisions that the BT are making.  If UESF did that, they would have asked the membership for guidance on salary demands before dropping them.   I was told that OEA members simply went to the BT and asked for it, so its easy to do and quite possible.   Here is the link to OEA website; scroll down to 10/18/2017 to see a post about a “Question of the Week”.
  2. Fresno Teacher’s Association has groups of union members in the room during bargaining as observers who then return to their sites and talk about it. 

    For example, groups of SpED teachers are in the room when something about SpED is being negotiated.  Many nurses unions do this.

  3. Chicago Teacher Union does it a different way.  The executive officers do the negotiating, but bring any decisions out to the Executive Committee (equivalent to our EBoard) for discussion and approval before making a decision.  This would have been nice!
  4. Concord Teachers Association (Massachusetts) open bargaining strategy is described in this article.  Their first step was to find out what matters to the members.  UESF did exactly this with the Listening Tour two years ago, but it doesn’t seem to have informed our negotiating very much.  According to the Listening Tour UESF members’ top concerns were: affordability, special education staffing and support, real implementation of Safe and Supportive Schools Resolution and student discipline, and the growing expectations and duties.