Executive News Editor
A public disclosure and public comment regarding the Initial Contract Proposal from the Manhattan Beach Unified Teachers Association to the Manhattan Beach Unified School District’s Board of Trustees took place at Wednesday’s MBUSD School Board meeting, which marks the beginning of the sunshining process.
Sunshining is the process through which MBUTA’s wishes are made public, and in the future, the same will be done for MBUSD’s side of the contract, MBUSD Assistant of Superintendent of Human Resources Brian Lucas said.
“I hope we have as much fun dealing with the issues that are going to be opened up with the new contract as we are with the discussion tonight,” MBUTA President Shawn Chen said. “I am looking forward to [the process] and I am happy to be here to witness the sunshine.”
MBUTA is an association that represents its members in their relations with their employer, and to seeks to be the exclusive representative of appropriate units of school employees in all matters relating to employment conditons and employer-employee relations. MBUTA meets at the end of each Costa staff meeting.
“The meetings are great because it is a chance to talk to members about what kinds of issues they have been having,” Chen said. “Specifically, what things in our contract support them and keep them updated on negotiations, and all of the other tools that are a part of being in [MBUTA].”
The previous MBUTA/MBUSD Collective Bargaining Agreement began on July 1, 2014 and was updated on April 26, 2016, making it valid until its end date on June 30 of last school year. The Collective Bargaining Agreement is the official contract for certificated staff and now that it is expired, teachers are not currently under a valid contract, Chen said.
“Since we have regular staff meetings, [MBUTA doesn’t] have to do much work with negotiating because the representatives make it known what people are thinking and in order to know what [MBUTA] need[s] to negotiate.”
As of Wednesday night’s meeting, there are a total of 21 changes, such as proposed teacher salary adjustments and stipends, and modifications to class size language within the contract intended to benefit students. All proposed agreements will be tentative until they are ratified by MBUTA and approved by the MBUSD School Board.
“It is a negotiation process, so [the length of the process] depends on how long it takes us to get to agreements between the two sides,” Deputy Superintendent Dawnalyn Murakawa-Leopard said. “We [will] sit down with the union and both sides [will] share their thoughts and perspectives and we work to come to mutual agreements; as soon as that happens, the contract is formed.”