CUSD: A Close-up of the New Contracts

To balance the budget this year, the school district needed to re-negotiate all its contracts with the various employee groups. Here's what they say.

EDITOR'S NOTE:See related stories:  and 

The negotiated agreements with the various employee groups in the Capistrano Unified School District differ from one another. Here’s how they shake down:

Teachers’ Union

The agreement with the Capistrano Unified Education Association included in the Wednesday Board of Trustee packet is the same as . It is a one-year agreement and calls for:

  • An increase of 1.5 students on average per class at all grade levels
  • The continuation of a 1.2 percent salary cut already in place
  • The continuation of three unpaid furlough days already in place
  • Five additional unpaid furlough days from the academic calendar, to be lopped off at the end of the year
  • A freeze on regular salary step-and-column increases for six months

In addition, if  doesn’t pass in November, forcing the district to cut another $18 million, the district will:

  • Cut another 10 days off the academic calendar (unpaid), to be set for the end of the school year
  • Reduce teacher pay by 1.5 percent

However, that pay cut is not set in stone. According to the tentative agreement, shortly after the November election, the two parties will meet again to discuss whether there are ways to avoid the 1.5 percent cut if the temporary taxes don't receive voter approval.

Non-teaching Employees

The agreement with the California School Employees Association, Chapter 24, is different than that of teachers. It assumes the November tax initiative won’t pass, but includes provisions to restore concessions if it does. It calls for:

  • 18 furlough days, 15 of those school days
  • 1.6-percent salary reduction

“In the event that the governor’s tax initiative is passed and enacted and there are no midyear cuts, then the district shall restore and reimburse the ten (10) furlough days and the 1.6 percent salary schedule decrease,” the agreement states.

Representatives from CSEA and the school district met at least seven times, and the tentative agreement was signed just this Thursday.

The two parties agreed to start meeting in October on a number of other issues, including:

  • Hours and overtime
  • Grievances
  • Transfers and promotions
  • Leaves
  • Vacation
  • Wages
  • Benefits
  • Association rights

The CSEA agreement is good through June 2015; however, the salary freeze, 1.6 percent salary reduction and furlough days are only agreed upon for the 2012-13 year. The district would have to renegotiate if changes are needed for subsequent years.


The Teamsters make up the district’s third union. Representatives met with district officials twice to hammer out an agreement. It calls for:

  • One new furlough day, which brings those employees’ total to five
  • Nine more furlough days if the November tax initiative doesn’t pass
  • A freeze in regular salary increases for half a year

The Teamsters' agreement is good for one year. If the voters reject the tax increases, the district and union representatives may sit down and discuss alternatives to the furlough days and salary freeze.

The CUSD Board of Trustees is scheduled to approve the contract agreements at its Wednesday meeting, which starts at 7 p.m. at the district headquarters, 33122 Valle Road, San Juan Capistrano.

bbq June 25, 2012 at 09:51 PM
What is this half year freeze? That sounds like they can "restore" the pay cut in January. Salaries should be frozen for an indefinite period at this point.
Penny Arévalo June 25, 2012 at 10:55 PM
It's a freeze on automatic advancements in salary (for certain milestones passed, such as years of service or a master's degree earned). The freeze isn't a pay cut. It's a freeze. But yes, it's only proposed to be "frozen" for six months. It saves the district $2.7 million for the six months across all employee groups.
Teacher June 29, 2012 at 09:24 PM
Hi Penny, Do you know what reduction school site administrators are taking? Also, what reductions are district level employees taking? Thanks in advance.
Penny Arévalo June 29, 2012 at 09:35 PM
Hi MT. They said at the BOT meeting the other night that the agreement with CUMA (not a union, but an employee group) would be forthcoming in July. So as soon as the agenda is out, we'll find out more.
randy June 30, 2012 at 06:47 PM
And the actual number of retirement and rifs...staffing vs. current enrollment. (said declining but...)


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