By Karin Yuhl and Donna Braye-Romero
Dr. Graeff states that he wants to engage in transparent, collaborative and well-intentioned negotiations, and yet he is choosing to engage in direct public bargaining that demonstrates an illegal, unfair labor practice.
In the past the bargaining window has always been in the spring. When the district made the decision to open the negotiations for the 2012-13 school year in October of 2011, the teachers were caught completely off guard. Our bargaining sessions are based on the state budget and the first proposal for that does not even arrive until January 2012, with the actual budget not being completed until the summer.
At this time the district has no actual budget information available for us to look at and discuss in regards to the 2012-13 school year. It would be irresponsible for us to sit down to discuss this information based on district projections when those projections have been wildly inaccurate for the past several years.
For example, the projected ending balance for the 2010-11 school year was $184,677.94. In fact, the actual ending balance for that year was $8,194,394.76.
We believe that it would be detrimental to the students that we teach to engage in bargaining based upon knee-jerk speculation instead of reality. It is our intention to support our students in all aspects inside and outside the classroom.
Ramona teachers have always engaged in good faith bargaining with the district and we are prepared to do so again this year when it is appropriate.
Karen Yuhl is chief negotiator for the Ramona Teachers Association, and Donna Braye-Romero is association president. Both teach in the district, Yuhl at Olive Peirce Middle School and Braye-Romero at Ramona Community School.