For the last few years MBUTA has maintained that MBUSD has been aggressively hostile in negotiations and has displayed that hostility by not providing us with necessary information to which we are entitled by law in a timely and thorough fashion.
Of course, the District denied any such action and even in the face of a PERB issued complaint they denied and minimized their lack of response.
Parents and teachers were purposefully and strategically pitted against each other by District leadership as a lack of timely response to our requests for information allowed the Administration to perpetuate financial claims that made little sense until we had the information necessary to expose their “mistaken” accounting practices.
We knew, though, that what we asked for was needed information that would give us a true sense of the District’s financial picture. We knew, as well, that their failure to fully, completely and in a timely manner respond was hampering our ability to represent you at the negotiating table. Confident that we were right, we chose to pursue the complaint before an administrative law judge.
Today, a preliminary decision was released showing that:
1. Our case was filed in a timely fashion despite desperate District claims to the contrary.
2. Our claimed scope of the complaint (the months and years cited for failing to comply) is legally sound and that District attempts to narrow the scope were “disingenuous.”
3. All nine of our broad requests for information WERE DEEMED TO BE LEGALLY VALID in our capacity as the exclusive bargaining agents of the certificated staff. We asked for information regarding:
a. an entity on the books called the “Manhattan Beach School Facilities Corporation”
b. stipend information for all District employees
c. management salary schedules/details
d. contracts made with firms/individuals providing legal, accounting or consulting services
e. all adopted budgets for several years including all detail pages
f. communications with LACOE in which budgetary advice/directives were given
g. invoices and budgetary information associated with ALL aspects of iPad implementation
h. information regarding itemized information for all legal services
i. all public disclosures of collective bargaining agreements
4. Seven of our nine requests for information WERE HELD TO BE “UNREASONABLY DELAYED” and/or ONLY PARTIALLY RESPONDED TO by the District.
5. The District was found to be in violation of the Educational Employment Relations Act (EERA), Gov. Code Section 3543.5 (a), (b), and (c)
6. The District was found to be in violation of the EERA’s requirements for timely and/or complete responses to valid requests for information by the Union.
The judge is ORDERING that
1. MBUSD CEASE AND DESIST from “refusing to respond to MBUTA’s requests for information that is necessary and relevant to its representational duties” AND from interfering with protective rights. That is a finding that the District was engaged in “unfair labor practices.”
2. MBUSD produce up to date responses for information on seven of our outstanding requests
3. MBUSD must post a notice of their violations of law in ALL work locations where notices are customarily placed
4. MBUSD “CEASE AND DESIST” from denying MBUTA the right to represent its bargaining unit.
5. MBUSD “CEASE AND DESIST” from denying employees their right to be represented by MBUTA.
6. MBUSD must provide written notification of their actions taken to comply these orders to the General Counsel of PERB.
The above is unprecedented in the history our District. We are on record as saying that this District’s leadership has been more hostile to MBUTA that any administration on record. These legal findings, after an impartial presentation of the facts, are proof that we have been up against an aggressively hostile administration that has done all they can to obfuscate the financial picture of the District so that you would not receive the compensation to which you are so deserving.
The question now is whether they will come to the table with a desire to negotiate and an intent to come to an agreement in which everyone’s interests, including the teaching staffs’, are respected. We will know very soon when bargaining begins for a contract covering 2014-15.
Shawn Chen, MBUTA President
Lauri Gonalons, MBUTA Vice President
Bill Fauver, MBUTA Vice President