NUSD Contract Concerns Aired Online

A Natomas school board member has taken to social networking sites to air complaints about negotiations with school district unions.

Natomas Unified School District trustee Lisa Kaplan yesterday made three separate posts on Twitter (two of which also appeared on Facebook) and sent a message to followers of the Facebook Natomas Unified Schools Forum page, which she moderates. Kaplan’s message: Without employee concessions, the Natomas Unified School District will be taken over by the state.

“Things do not look positive in Natomas USD, state take (ove)r very likely…both unions stalling negotiations,” read one tweet.

The school district has reached an one-year agreement with its teachers’ union, but recently declared impasse in its talks with classified employees. District officials seek pay cuts amounting to 7.9 percent each year, for two years, from both unions to close a looming budget gap – more if tax extensions are not put on the ballot and approved by voters.

The Natomas Unified School District has had to make budget cuts for three consecutive years, including pay cuts and layoffs to all employee groups – those represented by unions and those who are not.

Representatives from both unions released statements in response to the Facebook and Twitter posts, calling into question accuracy of statements such as “classified employees have twice rejected tentative agreements” and “I believe our Teachers are delaying negotiating.”

“We did not hold two votes, nor did we reach two agreements,” said Omega Brewer, chief negotiator for California School Employees Association chapter 745. “We made it clear in negotiations that we were not agreeing to anything, and we weren’t going to a vote.”

The state Public Employee Relations Board has assigned a mediator to arbitrate talks between the classified union and school district. Classified union representatives said they look forward to “reaching a successful conclusion” to negotiations next month with help from the mediator.

“As far as I know, there is no bargaining date asked for yet,” said Natomas Teachers’ Association president Cynthia Connell. She rejects the complaint teachers are holding up the negotiation process, citing a list of meetings and correspondence between union leadership and school district officials.

Superintendent Bobbie Plough is optimistic the school district can reach multiyear agreements with both unions.

“I remain hopeful that we will be able to negotiate the necessary concessions to balance the budget, maintain positive cash flow, and avoid a State takeover,” she said.


  1. Anonymous says

    All Lisa and the rest of the board need to do it in look in the mirror to find blame for the district’s continuing budget problems. State receivership was her path of choice when she and her cronies proposed continuing a multischool agreement, and have put in place other items that either continue their irresponsible spending habits, or block efforts by the new superintendent to generate revenue to rescue the budget. Better face it now, Lisa. It’s already over. So you can stop tweeting about IF, and accept that it’s now WHEN. Thanks for not helping.

  2. Anonymous says

    Both unions seem to want to drag things out as a means of delay. What is needed is honest negotiations by the teachers and classified with a willingness to compromise in order to avoid State takeover of NUSD.

  3. Anonymous says

    I find it quite interesting that someone who hasn’t participated in our negotiations process can presume to
    make such judgements. Where have you been since we opened negotiation to the public? I know it hasn’t been at one negotiations, because if you had been at just one CSEA/NUSD negotiations you would know we aren’t delaying anything.

    When you put your opinion out for the world to see, and you don’t have facts to support that opinion. Then admit you’re really spewing someone else’s rhetoric and exposing your ignorance.

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