.

Tentative Agreement Reached by District, Teachers

Details of the agreement, which could include concessions, have not been made public yet.

A tentative agreement reached Thursday between the Murrieta Teachers Association and the Murrieta Valley Unified School District will not stop pink slips from going out next week, officials said.

The school board "regrettably" took unanimous action Thursday night to approve the preliminary layoff notices in light of a projected $19 to $20 million budget shortfall for the 2012-2013 school year.

The district has a March 15 deadline to file potential layoffs with the Riverside County Board of Education. This does not allow enough time for the teachers' union to vote on the agreement, officials said.

"We did send out an email letting teachers know we reached a tentative agreement," said Kathy Ericson, president of the Murrieta Teachers Association.

Details of the agreement reached during an eight-hour session Thursday can not be shared publicly until it has gone through MTA and the Riverside County Office of Education, said Karen Parris, spokesperson for the district.

"After it is approved by members of MTA, it will come to the board for approval and it will be made public at that time," Parris said.

Pat Kelley, assistant superintendent of resources, is on the negotiating team for the district. He said while the notices will still go out next week, he is confident those affected will know tentative concessions are in progress.

Also approved Thursday was an up to 9.66 percent reduction in pay for senior management, classified management, school principals and assistant principals, non-classroom certificated positions and school board members. The pay cut will be seen in the way of furlough days for most of the positions.

Board members spoke of the agreement with confidence, however.

"In spite of government indecision (in Sacramento), both groups in our district have come to an agreement," said Board President Paul Diffley. "I received a pink slip once as a teacher and it hits you right in the gut. Even though it got rescinded it was still hard, so I am thrilled tonight with what has happened."

Board member Robin Crist said the decisions made during the meeting were ones she hoped they could rescind.

Board member Margi Wray said what impressed her was the "respect" amongst the negotiating parties.

"The thing that hit me the hardest, that made an impact on me was the level of respect I saw in the document," said Board member Margi Wray. "Both the MTA and the district have worked very hard to show each other respect and that's what makes this district a great place for kids."

Budget Outlook

Board members also unanimously approved the district's second interim financial report for fiscal year 2011-2012.

This was after Assistant Superintendent of Business Services Stacy Coleman gave a presentation.

The district went into the fiscal year with $21.98 million in reserves, Coleman said. Total revenues are projected at $152.32 million, with $164.45 million in expenditures. This leaves an ending fund balance of $8.86 million—$7.14 million of which Coleman said must by law be set aside for economic uncertainties.

"We are saving for the rainy day and the rainy day starts July 1," Coleman said, with the start of the new fiscal year.

In 2012-2013, $144.59 million is expected in revenue, with $148.06 million in expenditures and an ending balance of $5.39 million. The 2012-2013 budget projections include the board's staff reduction actions taken Thursday.

Coleman said the numbers may change again depending on the governor's May budget revision. The outcome of the November election could also affect the outlook if proposed tax increases are approved by state voters.

Murrieta Resident March 09, 2012 at 03:36 PM
I personally would like to see more of our taxpayer money going to schools and teachers rather than an additional fee for the fire departments medic program.
Murrieta Mom March 09, 2012 at 07:13 PM
I agree with the above comment!!!! We need our teachers!!
Lynn Reyes Culver March 09, 2012 at 10:44 PM
Several recent articles have neglected to adequately mention the same sacrifices being made by the nearly 800 classified staff of this district. This article seems to praise the efforts of the teachers union and the district, but there is absolutely no mention of the tentative agreement with the classified union that was reached last week, which provides for the same 9.66% in pay reductions through furlough days, nor does it report that classified employees already voted to approve their agreement yesterday.  Let us not overlook the fact that negotiations between the district and BOTH employee groups, teachers and classified, will help save jobs and protect our children's education.  In future community news articles, the Patch should at least acknowledge the identical efforts that classified employees put in to these negotiations.
Maggie Avants (Editor) March 10, 2012 at 02:11 AM
You're absolutely right, Lynn. I was not aware CSEA had reached a tentative agreement last week. Thanks for bringing it to my attention and I will aim to include more information on classified employee negotiations in future articles.
thejerk March 10, 2012 at 02:29 AM
When will the bleeding stop? Cops and teachers cut one after one, and the fire dept charges more for medical aid they rarely render. And most of the fire medics are not that damn good anyway. Why do we need 5+ stations? I say cut to one station for traffic accidents and critically injured and sick-cut your fire tax out to 1/4 of what it was, give a 1/4 to education, 1/8 to PD, and 1/8 into a pot-so if your house burns down-its rebuilt...Am I so crazy? Crazy because I pay the taxes in this city and I cannot request Am/Pm's when registering my son for Kindergarten because "that option may be cut" and I cannot request a teacher-cause they might not be here next fall...BS!
Lynn Reyes Culver March 10, 2012 at 05:21 AM
Thank you, Maggie. I appreciate the acknowledgment and reply, and I look forward to your continuing coverage of our community happenings.
Diogenes March 14, 2012 at 02:50 PM
I agree with all of the above comments. These cuts to the classroom have got to stop! Education has taken cut after cut during this recession and we can't balance the State budget on the backs of children! The testing industry has not been hurt by cuts, they are still a multi-billion dollar industry supported by our taxes! Parents need to take a stand and tell the Legislature that if they'd don't fund our schools, we will not let our children take the state tests in the spring! Parents, let's all stand together this spring and Boycott the state tests! If our State and local leaders will not support learning in the classroom, we will not support the test! http://www.change.org/petitions/tell-governor-brown-and-the-california-legislature-to-restore-funding-to-california-s-public-schools-or-parents-will-boycott-all-state-tests#
Diogenes March 14, 2012 at 02:52 PM
As parents we can make our voice heard on this issue. Boycott the state tests this Spring! If our State and local leaders will not support learning in the classroom, we will not support the test! See the petition below for more info. http://www.change.org/petitions/tell-governor-brown-and-the-california-legislature-to-restore-funding-to-california-s-public-schools-or-parents-will-boycott-all-state-tests#
Diogenes March 14, 2012 at 02:55 PM
If the school administration doesn't want to listen to you when you make a teacher request, they WILL listen to you when you tell them that you will not let them test your children in spring! It is time for parents to make their voices heard. Boycott the test! As parents we can make our voice heard on this issue. Boycott the state tests this Spring! If our State and local leaders will not support learning in the classroom, we will not support the test! See the petition below for more info. http://www.change.org/petitions/tell-governor-brown-and-the-california-legislature-to-restore-funding-to-california-s-public-schools-or-parents-will-boycott-all-state-tests#

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »