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LBUSD Bargaining with CSEA on Opening of Schools Memorandum

Employee Relations Services

Employee Relations Services

Department Address 
1515 Hughes Way
Long Beach, CA 90810

Department Phone 
(562) 997-8220

LBUSD Bargaining with CSEA on Opening of Schools Memorandum

Bargaining teams for the Long Beach Unified School District and the local chapter of the California School Employees Association have held several negotiation sessions regarding an Opening of Schools Memorandum of Understanding, as the school district strives to continue running its operations safely for all.

The school district has planned to open the school year with rigorous online and in-person instructional programs (when safe to do so) and implemented policies and practices to ensure the highest standards of health and safety. The decision-making process regarding the start of the school year is informed by guidance from federal, state, county and local health agencies, and related health and safety protocols. At the same time, the school district works to support staff while keeping student learning foremost in mind. 

These overarching goals provided the framework to develop the school district’s proposals and discussions with CSEA. The negotiations process continues, so the school district is providing this overview of its MOU proposals provided to CSEA during recent bargaining sessions.

Common Ground   

Through a structured process of open dialogue and exchanging of proposals, LBUSD and CSEA have come to tentative agreements in the following areas:

  • Safety
  • Testing and Tracing
  • Protocols for Outside Visitors and Groups
  • Accommodations 
  • Work Hours
  • Term of the Agreement

Reaching an agreement on safety protocols was especially important because both parties identified this as their top priority, and because keeping students and staff safe during the pandemic is critical. CSEA and LBUSD have agreed to safety parameters including physical distancing, hand washing and sanitation, face coverings, personal protective equipment (PPE) and hygiene, and cleaning and sanitation protocols.

Pending Issues

Worksite Flexibility: In an effort to reach agreement, LBUSD has proposed worksite flexibility to CSEA for classifications that work directly with students in the classroom including instructional assistants, speech-language pathology assistants, instructional aides and behavior intervention assistants. CSEA has requested that additional classifications are added, however the school district needs unit members to be available at sites to fulfill operational, clerical, administrative and instructional roles in support of students.

Compensation: CSEA’s recent proposal to offer unit members hazard pay in the amount of $3.50 an hour was shared with the school district on Sept. 1, 2020. The school district has reached a tentative agreement to ensure safe conditions and a process to address unsafe conditions should they arise. Over the course of 120 days, the proposed hazard pay could cost the school district nearly $9 million dollars. With looming budget cuts from the state and ongoing declining enrollment in subsequent school years, LBUSD is making budgetary decisions to mitigate future cuts as much as possible. Being fiscally wise now will help decrease the number of positions impacted.  

Leaves of Absence: In addition to the 80 hours of Emergency Federal Sick Leave, CSEA is proposing additional paid leave for employees who are asked to be quarantined based on their interpretation of Article VIII, Section T.  The school district has maintained a consistent position for all employees to use up to 80 hours of Emergency Federal Sick Leave and/or accrued district leave balances in the event self-isolation is necessary. Allocating each unit member an additional two weeks or 80 hours of paid leave could cost the school district more than $4 million.

Screening: The teams have agreed to protocols for screening employees, students and visitors reporting to school sites and district buildings. In the event an employee needs to be sent home for not meeting COVID-related screening criteria, they will be allowed to use up to 80 hours of Emergency Federal Sick Leave and/or accrued district leave balances to cover the time during their absence. Human Resource Services will work closely with symptomatic employees to provide them guidance.

Reporting Unsafe Conditions: The school district has articulated in the MOU proposal a process for employees to report concerns regarding implementation of safety protocols and working conditions. However we differ on allowing employees to refuse to work in the event they have a concern regarding the implementation of safety protocols. The school district has worked diligently to implement safety protocols and believes it should adhere to the process outlined in Article X – Safety  of the  Collective Bargaining Agreement which requires the school district to respond to any safety concerns brought to the supervisor’s attention.

  • Bargaining
  • CSEA