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Negotiation Updates

MUSD Negotiation Update 9-11-23




CBO Presents MUSD Financial Outlook Report

MUSD’s “Local COLA” is Less Than 3% for 2023-2024

Parties Exchange Proposals on 12 Articles at First Bargaining Session



This is Martinez Unified School District’s first Negotiations Update for 2023-2024 contract negotiations between the District and the Martinez Education Association. The District will distribute the Negotiations Update after meetings with MEA to inform our community on the progress of negotiations.


Bargaining teams for MUSD and MEA held their first negotiations session for the 2023-2024 school year on September 11th.  A summary of this session follows.


CBO Presents MUSD Financial Outlook Report

As in past years, the session began with a report from the CBO on the District’s current financial outlook, which is linked here. Major points covered were as follows:

  • Based on state funding and continued declining enrollment, the next few budget years do not look as favorable as the past few years.
  • Enrollment is expected to decline through 2024-2025 and then flatten out.
  • The District has been receiving one-time COVID funds to offset the drop in attendance, but this money is close to being exhausted.
  • The District is funded on the number of students actually attending school (“average daily attendance” or “ADA”) and this number is lower than usual as an ongoing impact of the pandemic.
  • These factors, and lower projected state COLAs for districts, will result in an estimated $5 million reduction in Local Control Funding Formula (“LCFF”) basic state funding between 2023-2024 and 2025-2026.
  • The District’s parcel tax will expire in June 2024. This measure generates about $800,000 annually all of which funds certificated employees, including arts, music, and counselors. The Board of Education will determine whether to put a renewal measure on the ballot; however, the District is taking an optimistic view and assuming the tax will continue in its multiyear revenue projections.


The “Local COLA”: The amount of LCFF funding actually received by the District is based on the dollar amount received per ADA times total ADA. For MUSD, the dollar amount per ADA was increased by a state COLA of 8.22% for 2023-2024. When one multiplies this by the declining ADA number, the total increase in LCFF dollars from 2022-2023 to 2023-2024 is 4.68%. This is MUSD’s “Local COLA.”


The District emphasized its positive intent underlying the financial presentation continues to be to reach a shared understanding of MUSD’s budget so that this can serve as a foundation for reaching a settlement that is fiscally responsible and meets the needs of our students, staff and community. 


Parties Exchange Proposals on 12 Articles at First Bargaining Session

MUSD and MEA introduced initial proposals on 12 Articles including the following:

MUSD Proposals:

  • Negotiations Procedures: Specified a date certain for the commencement of negotiations over a new contract and clarified that MEA’s CTA representative and the District’s attorney do not count towards the maximum number of bargaining team members.
  • Association Rights: Eliminated expired language regarding an employee directory and reimbursement by MEA for the cost of MEA President release time.
  • Association Representatives: Deleted an expired “Building for Success Pilot” program.
  • Contract Year: Compensate new teachers at their per diem rate for attending the one additional day of orientation. Provided more flexibility in scheduling professional development and classroom preparation time during the two days immediately preceding the first student day.
  • Workday: Clarify the 7-hour workday applies to all full-time unit members, including on “finals days” at the high school (teachers would remain free to leave campus upon the completion of the 5 hours for finals but would still be responsible for 7 hours of work for which they are paid). Eliminate outdated language based on the new high school schedule. Clarify preparation time for PALS teachers.
  • Transfers: Extend time for posting vacancies internally and externally from the first week of instruction to through the fourth week. Clarify the process for involuntary transfers initiated by the Superintendent with input from MEA.


MEA Proposals:

Class Size:

  • Make class size numbers/loads into hard caps (rather than current goal-oriented language).
  • Require “equitable distribution” of student loads.
  • Add P.E Speed and Strength Training classes to those whose class size is limited by identified work stations.
  • Define caseload for RSP or ISP to be all pupils for whom the employee performs any services (as opposed to those for whom they serve as case manager).
  • Extend class size overage payments to all unit members, including those with caseloads.
  • Reduce high school PE class size for freshmen to 37 if health curriculum is taught and 40 for all other high school P.E. classes.
  • Reduce combination class size to four fewer than normal.
  • Pay elementary teachers $5/day and secondary $10/day if an assigned paraprofessional is absent with no substitute provided.


  • Employees who miss work due to legally required “stay home” orders due to COVID shall be paid by the District and not have sick or personal leave deducted.
  • Modify language for when medical verification of absence is required. 
  • Change “differential sick leave pay” from current regular pay minus the cost of substitute to either this current differential pay or 50% of the employee’s per diem rate, whichever is greater.

Safety Conditions:

  • Require every District effort to provide an SRO at all secondary sites and a rotating SRO for elementary sites.
  • Prohibit all employees from being required to change diapers or provide toileting assistance.
  • Expand the definition of “classroom” to include hallways, offices and gyms for purposes of addressing ventilation issues.
  • Require the District to provide regular pay (not deduct from sick leave) if they are required to quarantine or isolate due to at-work contact with a person with a contagious disease.

Part-Time Employment With Full Retirement Credit (the so-called “Willie Brown” Program):

  • Require the District to make “every effort” to grant employee requests to participate.
  • Treat the part-time employees as full-time employees for purposes of reassignment/transfer, continuation of assignment, seniority and salary schedule advancement.
  • Allow the part-time assignment (at least 50% as required by law) to be any configuration of one-half the number of days of required service (currently must be one-half daily or one-half year).


The parties exchanged counterproposals on several of the above proposals, made progress in many areas, and reached tentative agreements on Transfer and Employee Travel.


Next Steps:

The next bargaining session is on October 26th. The parties will continue to exchange counterproposals in good faith efforts to narrow their differences and reach agreements.  MEA will provide its initial proposals on Salaries and Employee Benefits at this next session.


MUSD Negotiations Team:                                MEA Negotiations Team:

Dr. Dan Scudero, Director I, Personnel          Jennifer DeWeerdt, Teacher - John Swett

Services (Co-Spokesperson)                           Elementary (Co-Spokesperson)

Janelle Eyet, Assistant Superintendent,          Alexis Weingarten, Teacher on Special

Educational Services                                      Assignment (Co-Spokesperson)

Andy Cannon, Chief Business Officer           Marianne Griffin, Teacher - Alhambra

James Stewart, Assistant Principal –                          High School

Alhambra High School                       Jacqui Benton, Teacher - Martinez Junior

Nikki Green, Assistant to the                                      High School

Superintendent                                    Dave Mathers, Teacher - Teacher - Alhambra

Gregory J. Dannis, Legal Counsel                              High School

(Co-Spokesperson)                              Gray Harris, CTA Representative

MUSD Financial Outlook Negotiations 9-11-23