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  • Tuesday, December 16, 2014



    ORANGE Unified Schools INSIDE
    Independent insight into OUSD      
    a news service of
     Orange Net News /O/N/N/
    OUSD Board calls unprecedented
    special meeting on employee contracts
    At their December 11, 2014 meeting, the Orange Unified School Board without comment withdrew the scheduled Action Item vote on the contract with all of its employee units from the December 11, 2014 Agenda and moved it to an unprecedented end-of-the-year Special Meeting on December 18, 2014.

    OUSD Board President John Ortega announced the move when he called for approval of the December 11 Agenda eliminating Agenda Item 14 D of the published agenda. The OUSD Board voted 7-0 to approve the agenda minus item 14 D- the vote on the "Tentative Agreement between the District and its Related Employee Associations".  The agreements covered the classified employee union, the teacher's association and the administrative leadership organization.  Votes to accept the agreements had already been conducted by the OUSD employees.

    The Orange Unified California School's Employee Association (CSEA) Local 67 immediately  released a statement on the move (bold emphasis from the original) :

    "In a shocking and extraordinary move for the Orange Unified School District (OUSD), the Board of Trustees removed from tonight's agenda the Tentative Agreements scheduled to be approved for CSEA as well as the OUEA."

    As the statement continued, it included:

    "These actions are VERY disturbing to us so soon after the recent elections where Board members who we and OUEA did not support (we in fact endorsed their opponents) are the VERY ONES who moved to table these agreements. If this was indeed their motivation, these actions would be ILLEGAL and CSEA would pursue every legal avenue available to us."  

    "We know that finances cannot be a legitimate concern for the District because despite the failure of passing the recent bond (which was NOT slated for salaries but only for building/repairs) the District STILL enjoys a reserve in EXCESS of $80 million dollars

    The CSEA webpage includes a link to this OUSD Budget Analysis: Click on: BUDGET

    The Orange Unified Education Association (OUEA) website also had a statement to its members which in part reads:

    "The Orange Unified School Board had a series of action items that they were ready to take action on…except for one! The lone item was Action Item 14D; The Tentative Agreements (TA) scheduled to be approved for OUEA as well as for classified employees. The approval of the Tentative Agreements were tabled and will be discussed during a Special Board Meeting on December 18, 2014 at 6 pm."

    Both bargaining units (OUEA & CSEA) have already ratified the agreements which were negotiated with the District’s bargaining team. All that was needed was for the OUSD School Board to approve the TA. Usually it’s a quick mention during the meeting and then life goes on. Now, There is a delay.

    The district’s bargaining team had full authorization from the School Board to complete the TA. Rejecting a tentative agreement negotiated in good faith would establish a poor precedent for future negotiations."

    Trustees Rick Ledesma and Tim Surridge easily won re-election in November despite the fact that their opponents  were  endorsed by the OUSD employee unions. Both Surridge and Ledesma had sought the endorsements of the teacher's union.

    The OUSD Trustees had met once a month in Closed Session with their district negotiators from  for six consecutive months, from March to September of this year. The Tentative Agreements were announced in mid November. Votes by both employee associations to approve the agreements immediately followed. The vote for approval of the agreement by the OUSD Board-considered a mere formality because of the six months of Closed Session meetings with their negotiators  -  was scheduled for the December 11th meeting. 

    During the Great Recession, OUSD employee groups early on  agreed to a series of cost saving measures including furlough days that lasted for years. Those employee concessions along with other cost cutting measures lead Orange Unified to be on solid financial  footing throughout the Great Recession giving it a stellar financial reputation across California. That reputation led OUSD to be one of the first districts in the state to promote its budget director to the district's top job. The financial architect of the OUSD budget miracle, Michael Christensen, was promoted to OUSD Superintendent.  When Christensen's appointment was announced in the OUSD Board Room filled with OUSD employees, the room burst into cheers and applause.

    OUSD Board elects 2014 officers on a 4-3 gender vote
    At the December 11th meeting, the OUSD Trustees voted three times to exclude Dr. Alexia Deligianni for any Board Office along gender lines. Nominated for OUSD Board President, Vice-President and Clerk, all three votes were cast along gender lines. Kathy Moffat, Diane Singer and Dr. Deligianni were out voted on all three votes by the male trustees, John Ortega, Timothy Surridge, Mark Wayland and Rick Ledesma. 

    John Ortega was elected President, Timothy Surridge was elected Vice President and Mark Wayland was elected clerk.

    OUSD Board votes to oppose Killefer site nomination to the National Registries of Historic Places
    Also at the December 11 meeting, during Closed Session, the OUSD Trustees voted  7-0 vote, to oppose the Old Towne Preservation Association attempt to add the former Killerfer School site buildings to the National Register of Historic Places.

    In April 2013,  a split Orange Unified Board  voted in to sell the Killerfer site to Olsen Urban Housing for a housing development.  

    The OPTA is trying to get the site's buildings placed on the National Register of Historic Places as one of the first schools in California to voluntarily desegregate before the landmark 1947 California desegregation case Mendez vs. Westminster. That case included the El Modena School District plaintiff Lorenzo Ramirez as one of the five families that successfully helped end segregated schools in California.  After the case won in California and in a federal appeal, based on the rulings then California Governor Earl Warren signed the law ending segregated schools in California. Warren then went on to be the U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice and it was his court that issued the landmark 1954 U.S. Supreme Court case of Brown vs Topeka Board of Education that ended the "separate by equal" doctrine in public education across the United States, thus ending legal segregated schools.

    The Killerfer School was racially integrated in 1943 when the school for the Hispanic population, the Cypress Street School (located a block away), closed.

    In August, OPTA notified OUSD that they were in the process of getting the Killerfer historic school site placed on the National Register of Historic Places. OPTA has hired a consultant to work on the designation that has included filing documents to nominate the site as historic to the California's State Historical Resources Commission. 

    If the site does get placed on the National Register of Historic Places the buildings could be adapted for re-use, but not destroyed.

    For the National Register of Historic Places: CLICK ON NRHP

    Next OUSD Board Meeting -OUSD BOARD ROOM
    CLOSED SESSION- 6:00 pm
    OUSD Regular Session: 7:30 pm

    For more information call the OUSD Superintendent’s office at 714-628-4040
    For budgeting questions call Business Services at 714-628-4015

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