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MUTA News and Information

June 8, 2012
The link below will take you to a video detailing the aftermath of the elimination of collective bargaining rights in Wisconsin. The video is 3 minutes and 34 seconds long and details the importance of defeating the Stop the Special Exemptions Act Proposition on the November ballot.

WEAC Voices on YouTube

June 3 & 4, 2012: Important Emails from Inge:

June 4: Subject: Question RE: Counter Proposal
One of the common questions regarding the proposal is about #3; the 1% one time payment is the district’s response to our bargaining team’s insistence that our members get some relief on the increased cost in health care.

June 3: Subject: Counter Proposal
Dear Members,
I have sent you information on the health insurance situation and I have sent the last bargaining update. I have certainly received a lot of input on the health insurance issue(s). Now, our bargaining team needs some specific feedback what the district has proposed to us.

Please read the points below and provide me with your thoughts. Remember that this is how the district is proposing to change our contract. The MUTA bargaining team continues to seek relief for our members regarding the health insurance cost increases. We are working on our counter proposal and need your input. We would normally have our site reps gather such input and bring it to a rep council meeting, however, we have none scheduled until August.

Here, again, is the summary of their proposal:
Proposal components:

  • Close negotiations for 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 school years
  • A three year agreement
  • A one-time payment to unit members equal to 1% of the member’s salary (as an example, if a member’s salary is $43,000/year, that member would receive a one-time payment of $430)
  • In the event that the district experiences cuts to the Base Revenue Limit (BRL) from the State, the district would impose a cut of one unpaid furlough day per each $45 dollar cut in the BRL up to 10 days.
  • The 10 potential cut dates would be (Aug 15, 16, 17; June 11, 10, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3). 10 days cut would be a pay cut of 5.46% (for an average teacher, that would be about $220).
  • Any cut in State funding will be considered a decrease in the BRL.
  • The cuts would continue through June 30, 2015
  • Eliminate the Retirement Incentive for employees whose first date of probationary status was after July 1, 2010.
  • Elimination of prep period for 6th grade teachers. (6th grade students currently receive 45 more minutes of instruction time than do 4th and 5th grade students and their number of minutes cannot, by law, be as low as those other grades.)
  • Increase P.E. class size to an average of 38 with a not to exceed 42 in an individual class.

Thank You For Your Help,
The MUTA Bargaining Team
P.S. Please remember that we are only bargaining for THIS year ’11–’12.


February 29, 2012: Important Email from Stephen White:
Crisis declared by the MUTA Executive Board

MUTA Members,

During a special emergency session, your MUTA Executive Board voted unanimously to declare Crisis due to MJUSD’s reduction or elimination of 79.6 unit positions (Particular Kinds of Service or PKS) and the proposed reduction of 3 days and pay for this school year, a 10 day (5.6%) reduction in the 2012-13 school year, and another 10 day (5.6%) reduction in the 2013-14 school year.

Be advised that a member of the Executive Board or Bargaining Team will be visiting your site within the next week to discuss this situation.

Please keep the evening of March 13th at 6:30 open as we will need to show solidarity at the MJUSD School Board meeting. There will also be a Special Meeting of the Board on March 6th at 4:30 p.m. to further discuss cuts.


Dear Members:
Today your bargaining team was shocked at the concept the District passed across the table.

Their concept is to decrease this year’s work year by three days (deducting the reduction of salary from paychecks in three equal deductions…1.67% of full year’s pay) and then to reduce the following years by another 7 days (total of 10 days…5.46% pay cut) and to have a three year contract so that the following year would also include the 10 day cut. Such a lengthy deduction would affect members’ ability to receive a full year service credit.

Other concepts were: end the retirement incentive (health for 15 days work until 65) for anyone hired after July 1, 2010; eliminate 6th grade prep; increase school wide P.E. class size average to 38 and cap individual class size at 42.

The district expects that these are the measures they will need to take in the event that the tax initiative PASSES.

The School Board has been misguided and is expected to pass a PKS tomorrow evening based on misinformation. We will be providing some clarifying information and need as many people in attendance as possible so that we all have the same information and aren’t tricked into believing that the district needs to make cuts at the classroom level.

Thank you,
Your MUTA Bargaining Team

February 25, 2012: Email from Inge:
Elimination of Particular Kinds of Service

Dear Members,

At the Board meeting tonight (Tuesday the 28th), one of the items that will be considered is the elimination or reduction of "Particular Kinds of Service" (PKS). You can look at the agenda and the board packet online here .   (If this link doesn’t work for you, just go to the district’s home page; click on the Board link, then Agendas, then 2011-12, then February 28th and you can choose to look at the agenda and/or special reports). I’ve copied the information on the PKS for you in the below table. The district does not need to make these reductions. Please attend the meeting Tuesday the 28th at 6:30 p.m., in the Board Room at 1919 B Street in Marysville. After the Pledge, Student representative, recognitions, Linda School report, Presentations and comments from the Board Members, I will give a presentation regarding the district’s finances. It would be very helpful for me to have you in the audience just to listen. After "Opportunity for Employee Organizations to Address The Board" is the time for "Public Comments". Directions for how to participate in the public comment section are on the agenda.

I have heard a rumor (not confirmed or denied) that the district will be sending out 135 notices. This is misguided and callous.

Please join the Executive Officers and site reps for this meeting.

Service Grade Level Full Time Equivalent
Administrators K-12/D.O. 1
Elementary Education K-6 70
Social Science 9-12 1.2
English 9-12 0.6
Physical Education 9-12 1.4
Spanish / ELD 9-12 0.6
German 9-12 0.4
Music K-12 0.6
Math 9-12 0.8
Work Experience 9-12 0.2
Earth Science 9-12 0.4
Other Sciences 9-12 0.4
School Nurses K-12 2.0
Certified Library Services 9-12 1.0
District Total 80.6

February 14, 2012: E-mail from Inge: "RIF Heads-Up"

Dear Members,

  Many of us have gone through the RIF process several times… for some it’s been every year for 4 or 5 years. It seems like we should be able to streamline the process and avoid unnecessary attorney fees (both for the District and for MUTA).

  When the District delivers the notices (Reduction In Force – RIF), CTA advises that noticed teachers submit a "Request for Hearing" and a "Notice of Defense". The legalese of the documents are a bit overwhelming and some worry that the district will be "angry" or feel it’s confrontational. It’s simply a way for you to protect your rights and the district understands it. There will be teachers moved into different positions than they were in last year on the seniority list because they have since gained additional credentials or authorizations. If you submit the request and notice and sign on for representation by our CTA attorney (and you are a MUTA member), then you will be able to check the most updated list, and get assurance from the attorney that you are correctly placed. In the event that you haven’t submitted the documents and find out later that you are misplaced, there would be no recourse.

  Attached are the forms from previous years. If you expect that you will be receiving a RIF notice, you can have this information completed ahead of time and be ready. I expect that, as in years past, we will have a meeting at the MUTA office with the attorney. At that meeting you will be able to sign up to be represented, ask questions and share any concerns about your placement (it may be the first time that the newer seniority list will be available).

DO NOT turn anything in to anybody, yet.

If you have any questions, feel free to , text or call.

 Also, the School Board meeting of February 28th should be enlightening. Please plan to attend.

Inge Erika Schlussler


Dear Members:
Today at bargaining the district requested clarification on some of the concepts that we had provided at the last session with particular detail to the unit member’s work day.

The teams discussed the potential issues of the Yuba County Speech and Language Therapists being moved to our unit for next year and the need to have more information from both the therapists and Ms. Marquez.

Having analyzed the data from the district, our team presented our findings. Those findings include that, with retirements and 15 fewer teachers on staff, our unit has saved the district $1.05 million for this year.

Our teams had an extensive conversation on the complexities of meeting instructional minute requirements, costs, and logistics that could come with the changing of the 6th grade instructional day at elementary schools.

The next bargaining session will be on January 24th.

Thank you,
Your MUTA Bargaining Team


Dear Members;
    Today, the District provided your team the majority of financial information for which we had requested. We have work to do, yet,
in analyzing the data.

Your team presented a Concept for an agreement to the district
in which we covered the following areas:

  • Article VIII: Hours of Employment (clarification of
    ‘professional work day’)
  • Article XIII: Class Size (RSP, SDC and nurse caseload)
  • Article XIV: Health and Welfare Fringe Benefits
    (district contribution)
  • Article XV: Salary (TBD—we have yet to thoroughly analyze
    the data we received today)
  • Article XXXIV: Shared Assignments
  • Article IV: Leaves and Absences (discretionary leave)

Our next bargaining session will be December 12th.

Thank You,
The MUTA Bargaining Team

August 30, 2011: Other news:

Dear Members,
  We often hear that we all need to "share in the pain" or that we are all "on the same team" in Marysville Joint Unified School District.
  Usually that is the reason given for why teachers need to make further concessions and allow further cuts to our salaries while increasing our work load.
  Below is a table that shows the change in cost of health insurance over time for us, the School Board Members and the district on our behalf.
  It may not seem, from these numbers, that the pain is truly being shared, jointly:

Comparison: Teachers' out of pocket to trustees' out of pocket health expenses Printable version

August 25, 2011: From Steve White, President


Dear Members,

Today at bargaining the District provided our team with "concepts" for a 3 year agreement that sought concessions from our unit. Our team discovered discrepancies in the financial data the District had provided and is seening clarification of those issues for our next bargaining date. We will be back at the table on September 15.

May 26, 2011: From Michael Schlusser, MUTA President:


At our May 26 bargaining session we discussed

  • The 6th grade minutes of instruction and the district will be
    writing language for us to consider, for getting the minutes
    down to the 5th grade level at elementary school sites.
  • On P.E. class sizes, both sides considered having both a
    cap and an average. We will have to talk more about
    what the cap and average would be.
  • The district was not yet ready to discuss financial issues
    due to the May Revise only being out for one week.
  • Regarding a clearer definition of "the professional day",
    the district needs to "digest" that issue further and
    get back to us.

Our next two bargaining sessions are set for August 25th and
September 15th.

May 26, 2011: Other news:
We will be having the representative from CVT visit in early to mid-September to discuss health insurance plans available prior to the deadline for changing plans. We expect that for those who live in Kaiser zip codes (see list), that they will be able to choose a Kaiser plan. We will also have the representative speak to the difference between composite and tiered rates. When I have that date, I will send it out and then a reminder when school starts back up.

May 19, 2011: From Michael Schlusser, MUTA President:


The MUTA and MJUSD bargaining teams met today (May, 19 2011). The May Revise from the state has not yet been analyzed for the potential impact to our district, so we were not able to make progress on economic issues. We did discuss:

  • School Nurse duties since the reduction of nurse staff
  • P.E. class size
  • The modification of daily schedule needed to
    replace 6th grade prep. at elementary schools
  • Special Education class sizes
  • Head Counselor job description
  • Leave for family illnesses
  • Shared Assignment Language
  • Pay and Benefits of Administrators and Board Members

Stay tuned; we will be back at the table next Thursday, the 26th.

Prior Bargaining Updates »



April 21, 2011: From Michael Schlusser, MUTA President:

Dear Members;

Attached are the Initial Proposal from MJUSD to MUTA and the Initial Proposal from MUTA to MJUSD. Below please see our bargaining update.

Your bargaining team will be posting information on the web site and I will be sending out information to those who have given me an email address. When school is back in session, we will send hard copies of the updates to be posted at the sites.

Thank you all for participating in our various methods of gathering information from members to develop our proposal.

Also . . . Executive Board Election results are in. Next year’s Board will be:
President Steve White, Vice President David Eldridge, Treasurer Jim Carpenter, High School Representative Angela Stegall, Middle School Representative Conner Oliver, Elementary Representatives Molly McKay and Don Fry, and Secretary Inge Schlussler.

4/21/2011 and Prior Bargaining Updates »

2011 Initial Proposal from MJUSD to MUTA (pdf) »

2011 Initial Proposal from MUTA to MJUSD (pdf) »


CTA Layoff Survival Guide (download the PDF) »
CTA Legal Services (Requires member login to access resources) »
CTA Member Services – RIFs and Layoffs (Requires member login) »
CTA Legal Resources »

MUTA News Archive

May 24, 2010 – MOU Full Text (pdf) »

January 24, 2010
Letter from Michael Schlusser, MUTA President

To all bargaining unit members:

First of all, you should know that I and the rest of MUTA’s leadership are fully aware of the crisis in the state involving the budget process and our economy. That being said I would like to remind our members that collective bargaining is a process, one that your leadership is trained in and which has served the teachers and other employees in this district very well over the last few years. I am asking you to trust the process.

When you are very involved in anything it is easy to lose sight of the fact that others who are not so involved might not understand how it works. I was reminded of this the other day when a teacher asked me a question about the contract and it was very clear that he had no idea what collective bargaining was. Therefore, not wanting to make assumptions about what you may or may not know about MUTA, MJUSD, the contract, or contract negotiations, I would like to go over some of the basics. Please bear with me.

The Executive Board of MUTA makes decisions based on the input of its bargaining unit’s members as expressed by the Representative Council. Each school site should elect a representative or representatives (based on a ratio of 15-1) who should seek the input of the members at that site and communicate with them about the decisions made at Rep. Council. The council meets normally on the fourth Tuesday of the month. Occasionally, when directed by the council or when there is a contract ratification pending, MUTA holds a general meeting to ensure that all those represented by MUTA have an opportunity to make their views known to our membership and to their elected officers.

The Executive Board, the Rep. Council, and interested members receive training and information about issues affecting the bargaining process and other issues from the California Teachers Association (CTA). In addition, a CTA employee is available to MUTA for assistance, ensuring that we have all the legal and organizing resources we need to represent our members and negotiate contracts.

Before negotiations on a new contract can begin, a bargaining team is appointed by the President, recommended by the Executive Board and approved by the Rep. Council. The members of the bargaining unit (MUTA members and non-members alike) are surveyed about what contractual issues are seen as most pressing. Then, the bargaining team presents an initial proposal to the Rep. Council which, if approved, is sent to the district, agendized for the MJUSD School Board, and “sunshined” for the public.

Normally, the district’s proposal is then agendized and presented to the board. Once that has been approved, an initial meeting is set, the two sides meet and bargaining dates are calendared. The past practice of our district (and most districts) has been to stall the bargaining process as long as possible to gain whatever advantage they could by forcing us to negotiate while being pushed against the deadline of the end of the school year. The last time we negotiated a contract the district sunshined their proposal well after the previous contract had expired. We are now in the final year of a three year contract that expires June 30, 2010. To some, the district’s announcement that they plan to sunshine a contract proposal for next year in January of this year is an ominous sign.

Last week the MJUSD management team, in the person of Mr. Mark Allgire, presented to the board a budget scenario filled with draconian cuts and proclamations of forthcoming disaster, not unlike proclamations that he has issued the last few years. Let me remind you that two years ago, this same management team told us that they couldn’t pass on the COLA because it would bankrupt the district. During the bargaining process that year, the state COLA was bargained and agreed upon, and later the board was able to boast about MJUSD’s “good financial health.”

Last year there were board members and teachers who were trying to stampede us into offering to accept a pay cut so that we could save teachers’ jobs. Then there was a Reduction-in-Force (RIF). Your association urged you to let the process work although it would be stressful. In the end, Marysville Joint hired 10 new teachers and MJUSD gained ADA as a result of students transferring in from districts that had cut class size reduction. Again, the school board was able to boast about how lucky we were to be in such comparatively good financial health.

Please know that the cuts now proposed would have a massive negative effect on our students. Keep in mind that the scenario Mr. Allgire presented to the board last week contained very few cuts anywhere but right in or next to the classroom. In fact, a school board member informed the audience at that board meeting that there were no other areas that could be cut at the District Office because “ … they have already been cut to the bone. We only have three administrators here.” If you believe that one, Mr. Allgire would also like you to believe that, when he once again announces the eminent collapse of the atmosphere and cries his warnings of the ravenous wolf at the door, it is REALLY real, this time.

If we had agreed to take less than COLA in past years or had rushed to offer up a salary sacrifice year, does anyone actually believe that MJUSD wouldn’t be presenting us with a worst case scenario exactly like this one and demanding that teachers and students should once again be the ones to shoulder the burden? Let us stand together and work with the district to craft a reasonable contract for 2010-2011 that provides the most benefit for the greatest number. Trust the process, please.

Thank You,
Michael Schlussler
President, Marysville UTA