WCCUSD Teamsters News Archive

April 15, 2020

Teamsters 856 has been notified by the District that they are moving ahead with imposing layoffs to Classified staff at the next Board of Education meeting on April 22, 2020.  We know this will be stressful, particularly for those who may receive a layoff notice. We want you to have the information up front and the steps that have been taken to mitigate the impact of the District’s actions so you are prepared.When the District initially approached Teamsters 856, they wanted to open your contract to discuss concessions. Your contract does not expire until June 30, 2021. We responded by quickly gathering a delegation that represented all units. In listening to the members, the Delegation made it clear to the District that members cannot afford to take concessions to wages, benefits, or any other cuts to compensation such as furlough days or giving up our negotiated 2% wage increase, set to take effect July 1, 2020.

Therefore, the District is asserting their legal right by imposing layoffs as part of their attempt to balance the budget shortfall of $47.8 million.MOU to mitigate impacts

A delegation of your bargaining unit, Tony Rice, Attorney with Beeson, Tayer and Bodine and your Teamster Representatives Kathleen Romero and Jeanette Bradfield met with the District over a series of months and pushed back, minimizing the impact to our bargaining unit.
Below is a recap of what was negotiated:

  • Your collective bargaining agreement remains unchanged and there are no reopeners to Compensation, Work Hours, Benefits and Compensation as proposed by the District
  • No additional layoffs for the 2020/21 school year beyond the imposed cuts by the District
  • The District must address workload issues and address staffing
  • Any Teamster member who received a layoff notice, and meets the minimum qualifications for any vacant position within the District, will be offered that position as a probationary employee – a member of the bargaining unit will be on the interview panel for each candidate interviewed
  • District is required to fill vacant positions within a specified time period
  • The Parties will continue to pursue funding and seek to restore positions immediately

Click here to read the Memorandum of Understanding.

What does this all mean? The Board is expected to vote on April 22nd to approve the layoffs.  Layoffs can be due to lack of work or lack of funds.  In this case, the District is stating it is due to lack of funds. As in the case of other bargaining units in the District, layoff notices will go out to our bargaining unit members to fulfill the District’s obligation to balance the budget. There are over 100 positions who will receive layoff notices. Keep in mind that included in that number are partial positions, i.e. soft money that was paid for through site funding or one-time grant funded positions. Some of you have already been notified either by the District or your Representatives after the Board approved $2 million in cuts to site-funded and one-time grant funded positions. Site and grant funds are monies that are not guaranteed year after year and grants have an expiration date. This money is called, “soft money”.  Also included in those positions are SSA members who have bumping rights to Teamster positions. Our bargaining unit may be directly affected by our SSA partners who will also be receiving their layoff notices at the same time.While this sounds like a big number (and it is), the restoration of positions agreed to in the MOU will lower the original number of layoffs to approximately 20% to 30%.For more information regarding how layoffs and reemployment works, please review your contract (click here), Article 24 Layoff and Reemployment which will explain your rights. 

What’s Next?

Layoff notices will be sent immediately following the Board approved layoffs. The District will begin the process of reorganizing some departments by placing qualified employees in some positions and setting up for the interview process. 

Your Teamster Representatives will be involved daily with District staff as we have been throughout this process to ensure adherence to our agreement and to ensure full transparency.  We will keep you all up to date as things progress. As always, please reach out to your Shop Stewards and Representatives should you have any questions. There is still a lot of uncertainty and we want you to know that we are here to advocate on your behalf.

Stay Strong, Stay Healthy and Keep Fighting!

Your Teamster Delegation and Teamsters 856 Representatives,

Kathleen Romero and Jeanette Bradfield, Representatives 

Your Delegation: OTS: Joey Taber, Maria Resendiz; PARA: Monica Pacini, Janice Grant, Eddie Johnson, Kris Meadows; GSM: Greg Arias, Gary Abeyta, Leroy Harper

April 6, 2020

WCCUSD Teamsters, 

In these uncertain times, it’s important to dwell on positive things.

Your contract is still in effect! What does that mean? July 1, 2020 all employees will receive a 2% increase.

The Coronavirus pandemic, in its own strange way, has highlighted the critical role of many jobs that don’t usually get their proper recognition. It’s gratifying to see more community recognition of that reality.

The District’s main focus has been producing and delivering meals to the community, implementing distance learning, payroll, human resources and other essential business services.  To date, many of you have been able to stay home, and as permanent employees you are still on paid status.  

At the same time, it is important to understand that as employees at a school district you are considered essential workers and may be called into work. The District is in the process of re-assessing what is essential now that school is closed for the year. It is important to understand your rights as public employees during this time period.  Per government code 3100, all public employees are considered essential workers.  Particularly in the support of K-12 establishments, school districts have a right to call you back to work. 

Your union is focused on keeping you safe and we are working closely with WCCUSD to ensure that you can perform your work with sufficient safety precautions. First priority is to have people work from home. If your job is a role in which you may be called back to work, the District has an obligation to ensure the workplace is safe. They must train you on any risks or hazards, advise you of best practices to minimize exposure and supply you with the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE). Call us if you believe the District is not meeting these basic precautions.

Any position that supports food service and the mandated services that the District must provide may need to come in. After Spring Break, once the District has clarified what is needed, you may hear from your supervisor. Your health and your families’ health is a top priority. If you are over 65, have a personal health issue, are caring for someone that has a health issue, or must stay home to care for your children, there are leave laws that allow you to do that. If you are not able to report to work you must advise your direct supervisor as well as email HR at: HR@WCCUSD.NET.

Anyone who is a substitute should file for unemployment. Waiting times for unemployment benefits have been waived. Normally unemployment is 60%-70% of your wages. Recent changes allow for an additional $600/week.  Only Substitutes need apply at: https://www.edd.ca.gov       

We know there is a lot of uncertainty right now, and this situation is fluid and ever changing.  Even though our offices are closed for walk in’s and meetings, we remain available for calls and contractual issues.  We want all our members to know that we are working non-stop on your behalf and remain here for you.   

In Solidarity,

Kathleen Romero,
(510) 421-0457

Jeanette Bradfield
(925) 783-9166

March 30, 2020   Dear WCCUSD Teamsters,   The Public Health Order for people to shelter-in-place safely in their homes will soon be extended until at least May 3. All permanent employees will continue to be paid through the closure.  Based on the various news sources, we anticipate that schools most likely will not reopen until fall.   Many of you have reached out to us concerned that the extended closure will result in more layoffs. This is not the case.  The District still has an obligation to balance the budget at the end of the fiscal year regardless of the closure.  Strict timelines must be followed as well as notification requirements.  Layoff notifications will not take place any sooner than April 21, 2020. As we previously reported on March 5 (click here to readin our budget update, “our Teamster 856 legal team has requested time to analyze and develop language to address these issues and the delegation will meet again with the district when the process is complete.”  We anticipate that we will meet sometime after Spring Break.   UTR and WCCAA have reached agreements with the District regarding the budget impact to their members and it is anticipated that the Board of Education will approve those agreements this coming Wednesday, April 1 at the Board of Education meeting. Essential Services required by School Districts: On March 20, Governor Newsom issued a stay-at-home order covering all of California.  Schools are required to provide essential services. They include distance learning, school meals, and childcare/supervision. There are other essential services which support distance learning and school meals that will need to be discussed going forward. We are currently working with District staff to discuss meeting those requirements with balancing the stay at home order.  The area of particular focus currently is food service.  The demand is extremely high for the community and the meals provided have increased substantially since the closure.  It is anticipated that all food services employees will be contacted by your department supervisors in the next few days and you will be asked to report to work.  Childcare has not been discussed as the District is awaiting more direction from the Governor as to those requirements. Your Teamster Representatives are meeting with District staff and departments to set up special task forces to identify and develop plans for other essential services and needs going forward.  We hope to have more information in the coming days. For now, essential office staff such as Human Resources, Payroll, Accounting, Purchasing, Facilities and school office personnel will be contacted and are scheduled to work from home when possible.  If office time is necessary, then strict schedules and safety protocols will be put in place.  Other departments are currently reviewing their needs.  Some of these areas have not been fully developed however we anticipate completion of those plans soon. Beginning Friday, Safety Disaster Preparedness Officers and Campus Security Officers will be providing additional support at the schools where security is needed. We want to give a big ‘shout out’ to the District Nurses for the support and expert guidance they are providing to staff to minimize infection and pathogen spread while prepping and handing out meals to the community. If you have any questions or concerns please reach out to your Teamster Representatives and Shop Stewards.  As we said in our last communication to you – we are fielding an unusually high volume of text, phone calls and emails.  We will do our best to reach out to you as soon as we can. In Solidarity, Jeanette Bradfield and Kathleen Romero and your Teamsters Local 856 Family
March 27, 2020 Dear WCCUSD Teamsters – As this busy week comes to close, we hope you and your families are doing well and adjusting to a new normal. You will receive an update from the District very shortly with an important update.  As you have heard, the school closure remains in effect until Friday, May 1, 2020.  Distant learning and food service to the community will continue through the week of Spring Break, with the exception of the holiday on Monday, April 6.  It is anticipated that school may not resume until fall.  We are taking this one day at a time keeping in mind that the current plan could change should we receive direction for Federal, State or Local jurisdictions. We have met remotely on several occasions with District Staff this week to ensure that communications are transparent and in line with what was discussed on your behalf.  There are many moving parts to coordinate district business and serve the community while keeping everyone safe.  It has certainly been a challenge and at times extremely frustrating when there are communications from several sources which seem to contradict one another. Discussions this week focused on returning some employee groups back to work.  While the details are currently being tweaked based on our discussions, you may begin to receive communications from your administrators and supervisors of your anticipated work schedule.  We have been assured that when these plans have been completed that we will have an opportunity to review what was agreed upon and discussed.  As we receive this information from the respective departments we will share the information with you.  Some of those details will be broadly communicated in the District’s communication to you today. When possible, staff will only work from home If the work required necessitates coming into the office, a schedule will be developed in coordination with your supervisor which will be communicated to the individual employees and coordinated to align across the District  The current guidelines are that most staff that may be asked to come into the District would be coming in no more than 2-3 days per week Strict Social Distancing protocols will need to be in place for any staff that come into work Supervisors are working with the District and the Associations to outline the needs for each classification and will be sending out direct communication to our employees about next steps for beginning to get operations back on a schedule on a staggered schedule over the coming weeks.  Employees should monitor their email for more information and we will ask supervisors to call those that do not respond to email communications. All employees who have a set work schedule will continue to be paid during this closure Please know that we are working closely with the District to make sure that your safety and well-being is protected as you return to your sites.  Efforts are being made to provide employees with the equipment to work remotely as much as possible.  Staggered scheduling to support social distancing at work sites were emphasized.  Personal protective equipment (PPE) will be made available.  On that note, should your work site not have adequate protective equipment you must contact your immediate supervisor. Any call back to work must minimize risk of infection for our members Emergency response protocols and plans must be adopted and shared Training for any new cleaning procedures and protocols Any workplace changes that impact our members in the workplace must be bargained Am I still getting paid? All employees who have a set work schedule will continue to be paid during the closure through – May 1, 2020. There are several exceptions to this with regards to certain leaves, worker’s compensation and other circumstances which might have been in effect prior to the closure.  Substitute employees are encouraged to file for unemployment.  The State of California and the Federal Government have recently made many changes.  No waiting period, an increase in the number of weeks from 26 to 39 weeks.  Substitutes only should file by clicking here: https://www.edd.ca.gov/ Human Resources Questions If you have questions regarding your current status you may contact one of your union representatives or contact Human Resources at HR@wccusd.net.  You may also call the main number for Human Resources at (510) 231-1185, however we encourage you to email first and wait a reasonable amount of time for a staff member to research your question and get back to you.  If you have a benefits question, please contact benefits@wccusd.net Employees who have challenges with child care, care for others, have health concerns, or are over 65 should communicate with Human Resources and their Supervisor to address options for them during this period. Please review the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act (“FFCRA”) which applies to public employers including school districts: It provides: 10 days Emergency Paid Sick Leave to employees with Covid-19 diagnosis, symptoms and seeking diagnosis, subject to quarantine or isolation order, need to care for family member with covid-19 or symptoms, or need to care for child due to covid-19 school/day care closure (and who cannot work from home).
Pay = regular pay up to $511 per day for own illness
Pay = 2/3 regular pay up to $200 for caring for school closure
Expands FMLA protection for employees who need leave to care for child because of covid-19 school/day care closure. This is now an FMLA protected leave and employer must maintain health and welfare benefits.
For the last 10 weeks (after first two weeks), employee receives 2/3 pay, up to $200 per day. Don’t assume we hear what you hear!  We rely on all of you who are on the front-line serving the community to keep us updated.  We ask that you continue to reach out to your union representatives and shop stewards.  This helps all of us while supporting your families and each other. In Solidarity,   Jeanette Bradfield                                Kathleen Romero jbradfield@ibt856.org                          Kromero@ibt856.org (925) 783-9166                                    (510) 421-0457

WCCUSD Budget Meeting Update — 3/5/2020

As you know, the State’s inadequate funding of public schools combined with years of incompetency and a lack of transparent processes at the leadership level of the District has led to the budget crisis we are now forced to confront. Your delegation of rank and file Teamsters 856 members and Local 856 representatives, led by Attorney Tony Rice from Beeson Tayer and Bodine, have met with the District five times over the last six weeks in an attempt to get answers and make it clear this budget crisis is not the fault of the employees.

We met again on Tuesday, March 3rd to continue discussions on the potential impact the budget deficit may have on Teamsters classified staff. Your Teamsters 856 delegation strongly pushed back. We made it clear to the District that members cannot afford to take concessions to wages, benefits, or any other cuts to compensation such as furlough days or giving up our negotiated 2% wage increase contractually set to take effect July 1, 2020.

The District has stated they will impose layoffs to close the budget gap. While the District has the legal authority to impose layoffs, your Teamster delegation is working to minimize the impact of the layoffs on our bargaining unit and make certain that processes are in place going forward. To accomplish this, we are working to address the following:

  • reduce the impact of layoffs by establishing a process in which vacant positions are first offered to those impacted by the layoff
  • guarantee that all vacant positions not eliminated are filled within a specified time period
  • no additional layoffs beyond the imposed cuts
  • address workload issues

Our Teamsters 856 legal team has requested time to analyze and develop language to address these issues and the delegation will meet again with the District when that process is complete. As a reminder, any District imposed layoff notices will not be issued until April.

The next Board of Education meeting is scheduled for next Wednesday, March 11th at 6:30 p.m. at Lovonya DeJean Middle School. Please join your Teamsters 856 representatives at the meeting.

In Solidarity,

Jeanette Bradfield and Kathleen Romero
Local 856 Representatives
Your Rank and File Delegation: OTS: Joey Taber, Maria Resendiz; PARA: Monica Pacini, Janice Grant, Eddie Johnson, Kris Meadows; GSM: Greg Arias, Gary Abeyta, Leroy Harper

WCCUSD Budget Meeting Update — February 26, 2020 The delegation met with District staff on Tuesday, February 25. Associate Superintendent Tony Wold summarized that he is still negotiating with the other unions and the District is working to notify certificated staff (UTR) of layoffs by the deadline requirements. The board took action last night to issue layoff notices to 250 UTR members. 
Any potential layoffs to Teamsters bargaining unit members would not be issued until April. Budget discussions will continue next week and when we have more information, we will schedule membership meetings so that you are fully informed. Importantly, our delegation once again made it clear to the District that current employees cannot afford to take cuts to our wages and benefits and members are already working at the highest capacity with nearly unsustainable workloads.

Meanwhile, you can stay up to date with current information by attending the Board of Education meetings, listening to them live or by recording later.

Our next meeting with the District is scheduled for Tuesday, March 3, 2020.

In Solidarity,Jeanette Bradfield and Kathleen Romero
Local 856 Representatives
Your Rank and File Delegation:
OTS: Joey Taber, Maria Resendiz; PARA: Monica Pacini, Janice Grant, Eddie Johnson, Kris Meadows; GSM: Greg Arias, Gary Abeyta, Leroy Harper  

WCCUSD Budget Meeting Update — February 14, 2020

Our delegation met with the District yesterday to continue budget discussions. While $6 million in outside contracts and vendors reductions was a great start at Wednesday night’s Board Meeting in reducing the impact to our bargaining unit, there was also $2 million in cuts approved to site funding.

Reductions in site funding and one-time grant-funded monies directly affect members and we did not receive specific information on these cuts in our meeting yesterday. The delegation agrees that there needs to be more clarity before continuing meaningful discussions.

Our delegation requested that the $1500 retirement bonus notification deadline of February 14, 2020 be extended – the new deadline is Friday, February 28, 2020. The new document will also be provided in Spanish.

Our next meeting with the District is scheduled for Tuesday, February 25, 2020 and we will continue to keep the membership updated. We are committed to fighting to ensure Teamsters 856 members are treated with respect for the important work we do for the WCCUSD community.
In Solidarity,

Jeanette Bradfield and Kathleen Romero
Your Rank and File Delegation: OTS: Joey Taber, Maria Resendiz; PARA: Monica Pacini, Janice Grant, Eddie Johnson, Kris Meadows; GSM: Greg Arias, Gary Abeyta, Leroy Harper

WCCUSD Teamsters Budget Meeting Update — February 6, 2020

Dear WCCUSD Teamsters 856 Members,

On Tuesday, February 3, your member delegation, Teamster Attorney Tony Rice and Teamster Representatives Kathleen Romero and Jeanette Bradfield met with the District to continue discussions about the budget crisis and the potential impact to our membership. While it is still too early to tell exactly what the impact to our members will be, i.e. the number of layoffs, we will have a voice in determining the outcome at these meetings. We were presented with Non-Salary Reductions as of January 29, 2020. Potential reductions in non-salary positions total approximately $6 million.

At the next board meeting on February 12, these reductions will be brought forward to the Board of Education. The expectation is that the Board will approve the cuts, however for any programs that are recommended to remain, an alternative reduction of equal dollar amount would need to be recommended for the District to meet its cut target. When our delegation meets again with the District on Thursday, February 13, we will have a much better idea of what the impact will be to our bargaining unit.

We ask all Shop Stewards and general membership to please come to the next board meeting on Wednesday, February 12, 2020, at 6:30 p.m. Lovonya DeJean Middle School Multipurpose Room, 3400 Macdonald Ave., Richmond. 

If you cannot attend, watch it live here: http://www.ci.richmond.ca.us/3218/WCCUSD

WCCUSD Budget Meeting Update — January 22, 2020

Yesterday we, along with our legal counsel, Attorney Tony Rice, met with the CBO of the District, Tony Wold, and District Staff to gain insight into the budget crisis. The District laid out the situation in broad terms which included a plan to cut $20 million from the 2020-2021 budget by the end of the current school year. This same information will soon be shared with the school board.

Your coworkers who attended the meeting agreed that we need more information before proceeding to any formal discussions. Our attorney will seek out specifics to better inform us. For example, we need to see the line item budget from each department to understand how cuts might impact union members and the families we serve. We also need to thoroughly examine what cuts are going to be proposed at every level of the District and see this in writing.

While we seek more information from the District, we will begin a process of talking with shop stewards starting on Saturday, at our scheduled training. From this meeting we will develop a plan to meet these challenges head on.

In Solidarity,

Jeanette Bradfield, Representative, Kathleen Romero, Representative,

and Your Rank and File Delegation:

OTS: Joey Taber, Maria Resendiz; PARA: Monica Pacini, Janice Grant, Eddie Johnson, Kris Meadows; GSM: Greg Arias; Gary Abeyta; Leroy Harper

December 12, 2019

At the school board meeting on December 11, 2019, Teamsters 856 members continued to stand with our brothers and sisters in the WCCUSD Employee Coalition (UTR, WCCAA, SSA, & IFPTE 21) and urged the District to seek funding from the state and to cut contracts with outside consultants and vendors, before even considering internal personnel reductions. In addition, we demanded accountability and increased oversight for future budget procedures. (See the joint statement and a video of Local 856 Representative Kathleen Romero addressing the board below.) The board passed the associate superintendent’s qualified budget, and more details will be forthcoming.

As employees of the District, we know we are already asked to do more with less to serve the students and our school communities we care so deeply about. We will continue to fight to keep cuts away from the crucial student services our members provide.

Thank you to all the Teamsters 856 members who attended the school board meeting – we do have strength in numbers and your presence was seen. We will continue to provide updates on future developments.

Full statement from the WCCUSD Employee CoalitionDecember 11, 2019

VIDEO: Local 856 Rep Kathleen Romero addressing the WCCUSD Board regarding proposed budget cuts

September 25, 2019

Statement from the WCCUSD Employee Coalition regarding the district’s deficit