Natomas Declares Impasse With Teachers Union

Natomas Unified School District officials today declared an impasse in its negotiations with the Natomas Teachers’ Association.

The district met yesterday with teachers’ union representatives, but failed to reach an agreement that will help solve a projected $8.9 million cash flow gap. In declaring an impasse, the district seeks intervention from a state-appointed mediator.

Union officials said they do not agree with the district and plans to file a letter of opposition.

“We made significant movement yesterday,” NTA president Cynthia Connell said. “We think there is still an opportunity to make progress.”

Connell said the union has two bargaining dates already scheduled with the district.

Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.3


  1. An impasse is considered an improvement?

  2. It is unfortunate that the District appears to have “surprised” NTA with this declaration of impasse. I would guess the declaration has less to to with what is going on at the bargaining table and more to do with the timeline to State takeover. If they waited a few more weeks to declare “impasse” then the mediator would be arriving to late to help before the we were too far down the State takeover path.

  3. This is in part what the Sac Bee had to say…

    In Natomas, it’s time to … work together and keep the Natomas Unified district solvent – and in local hands.

    The only way to come up with a plan to avoid an onerous state takeover is to come to terms with the fact that staff salaries and benefits make up 84 percent of the district’s budget.

    That means concessions. Other districts have done it; Natomas Unified can, too.

    Read more:

  4. To be fair to the district, negotiations have been ongoing for a long time. Certainly the immediate threat of a state takeover had to have been a consideration but nobody with NTA should have been surprised that it was coming. In fact, I”m surprised it took this long.

  5. Where did anyone see the word “surprise” in the post? I read it over twice now. Am I blind? Or is this like telephone, where someone starts with one story and by the end it turns into quite another story? I don’t think anyone said they were surprised.

  6. Teachers taking an 8% cut for 2 years (about $5000 per teacher per year)is not the only option. A donation of $215 per student for 2 years would yield the same amount. And since teachers have already agreed to 5%, only $85 per student is needed ($170 total for 2 years). I’ve heard that parents in other districts are doing this. It seems fair that teachers and parents would join together to share some of the budget burden. Just a thought.

  7. There is NO WAY I will give more money so that the teachers union does not have to agree to a cut. Boy some people…Many parents and families have already given a fair share, besides this is public education and not private. What would happen to the many families of children who refuse to pay the money? Then where would we be?

  8. L,I am sure many parents would consider this option but there is no way to actually enforce this. I am sure the school board would bring low income parents into the discussion and not want to “burden” them with the extra fee. That would mean they would want to “burden” the rest of us to make up the difference. all of a sudden you have only have the parents paying 2x as much.

    Unfortunately the teacher will need to take a cut now and we have to help offset this through future increases…maybe a future parcel tax.

  9. West_c, The teachers have already taken two years of cuts and have agreed to another 5% cut (just not the 8% the district wants). Like you, I pay property taxes. Like you, I contribute money to the classroom every year. The teacher’s union will not be taking a cut. The teachers of Natomas will – real people with real mortgages, real bills and their own budgets to balance. $10,000 over the next two years will be difficult for many people to absorb, especially when it comes after two years of previous cuts.

    Of course the district could not ask parents to pay a fee. The $214 per student was just to illustrate that when you spread $4.5 million out over more people it becomes a much easier sum. The increased revenue could come from parent contributions, donations from local businesses or other fundraising events. Teachers will still be taking a cut, just not such a scary one. I also strongly believe that public education should be free. But these are very unusual times. Otherwise, the district would never suggest an 8% cut from teachers, I would never suggest contributions from the community and the state would not be threatening a takeover.

  10. Natomas Educator: Ok, “surprise” was the wrong word to use. I guess I read that into the release. Perhaps it should have be stated as “It is unfortunate the the District and NTA can’t even agree that they are at an impasse.” I got the idea that it was a surprise because of the statement “We made significant movement yesterday” from the NTA President. Clearly, she does not think they are at impasse, and so would be “surprised” the District does. Also, the NTA was not ready to file an immediate letter of opposition, but rather plans to file one; therefore, was not ready for it and accordingly was “surprised” in that they were not ready to make their next move. Again, what I read into based on the other information presented in the article.

  11. L: I will restate what I said before on another post, I WAS a Natomas teacher. I am one of the 60 or so teachers that heave been laid off from Natomas USD since August 14th, 2009. I did take 5 furlough days last year and would have taken 6 this year for a cut of my salary near $3000 over two years. What none of you who are teachers are mentioning here is that you expect the parents of this district to shoulder the cuts so that you do not have to. While you all would see you normal step and column increases and some of you (If a masters degree was added) would receive an increases of 3% of your salary, Thus offsetting the decrease of a cut. Many parents have mentioned that they do not want a state takeover, many teachers I have heard from mention it would be a logical solution to take power away from the board that “got us into this mess”, but I am also hearing that many Natomas teachers are Natomas residents like myself and do have children in our schools, Tell me do you really want to loose more of your colleagues due to lay offs? Do you really want to see one teacher dealing with 36 primary grade students? What is really in the best interest of the KIDS in Natomas is what we should all be talking about.

  12. west_c, Is that what you think teachers are saying? that we expect parents to shoulder all the cuts? Nothing could be further from the truth. What I have suggested is that parents could help share the burden and that when more people share the burden the amount that each person contributes goes way down. Again, teachers have already agreed to a 5% cut – and with the move to a traditional calendar, teachers at year round schools will take an additional 8% cut. You are right that for some teachers the step and column increases would offset some of the cut, but when you take a closer look even that is not quite true. The teachers with more than 10 years of experience, average less than a 1% increase per year by moving up a step. So for a teacher with 20 years experience, an 8% cut would move them back over 9 years on the salary scale. Unfortunately, most teachers with less than 5 years of experience have been laid off. The teachers with between 5 and 10 years of experience who are all the way over on the columns receive a 4% increase every year BUT to earn the units they needed, they had to invest over $10,000 in addition to what they just spent for a teaching credential. In the long term these things pay off in salary increases, but in the short term, it’s a financial investment. The teachers with less experience are also the teachers that have probably been spending the most on their classroom as they try to accumulate a classroom library, storage baskets, supplemental activities – all those things that the district didn’t pay for even when it had money. An 8% cut for these teachers would put them back 2 years on the salary schedule.

    Except for last year, I typically spent between $500 and $1000 per year on my classroom. I have always found Natomas parents to be very supportive but I don’t think people really understand what it costs to fund a classroom. To have the materials to challenge my high achievers and my low achievers, to have something for my students to read besides textbooks, to go beyond the standard curriculum and make my classroom an interesting place required some spending. I don’t think I should have had to subsidize this cost nor do I think parents should have had to pay for anything beyond field trips (the district wasn’t always in a budget crisis) but clearly no one was asking me.

    Finally, I’m not sure how my taking a larger is cut is better for kids than having everyone contribute. It would certainly be better for kids if California placed a higher priority on education. In the past my mind has always been consumed with my kids: How can I challenge this student more? Is there a better way to teach this unit? Should I switch her seat? How can I organize this more effectively? My mind is now consumed with trying to figure out how I will pay the bills and still have enough left over for property taxes at the end of the year. I’m not sure how that’s better for the kids.

  13. Apparently the Natomas Parent does not understand the impasse process.

    Neither party, including the district, has actually declared anything. Impasse is something that must be filed with the Public Employees Relations Board (PERB), the other party has the right to agree or contest the filing. The communication from the district states they are requesting impasse. This request can be denied by PERB, and the parties can be sent to back to the table to bargain. It is not a foregone conclusion that impasse has been met. This is why the NTA president states they plan to file an opposition to the impasse request; it is not a surprise, but a normal part of the process.

    This is how misunderstandings and misperceptions are started. People read an article or two and believe they have the complete picture. This is not the case. The employee groups can tell you stories of the corruption going on in this district, but are afraid for their families and their jobs.

    I have to ask:

    All you who have these “opinions” about what is going in our community, have you bothered to really talk to the employees. My neighbor is an employee and after reading the articles and listening to her, I hate to say I’m ashamed of this district.

  14. It is this precisely this kind of bickering, and blame game – and NOT wanting to do our parts…that will finally bring the state in here to take over. Perhaps it IS better this way. Everyone will be treated equally – meaning the sacrifices will be spread evenly.

  15. posted on behalf of Teresa Luttrell

    It is time that Natomas Teachers Association (NTA) faces reality. Teachers must step up and agree to the proposed pay cut of 7.9% needed to keep the district from a state takeover. Is it fair? No. Do teachers deserve a pay cut? No. But the reality is that these cuts, by all employee groups, are necessary.

    If the state takes over class sizes will be raised significantly, teachers will be layed off, and property values in Natomas will plummet.

    As a parent in the district I expected NTA to step forward and be part of the solution. I am disappointed and angry that NTA has failed to do so. Now that the district has gone to impasse, I hope a mediator is able to reach an agreement between all parties before the November 30 deadline.

    NTA, the choice is yours.

Speak Your Mind