Manhattan Beach Complaint

“…Bagley said the district has responded to the union’s myriad requests by posting on its website the formal requests as well as the district’s answers.

“They have a right to complain,” he said. “Our belief is that these things get worked out in a session where we’re discussing face to face, and having an opportunity to talk to each other (emphasis added), rather than declaring some kind of victory.”

The state’s labor board has filed a complaint against the Manhattan Beach Unified School District, saying the district has bargained in bad faith with the teachers union by failing to cough up documents pertaining to the budget, according to a statement released Wednesday by the union.

The complaint came in the form of an Oct. 4 letter to the district from an attorney with the Public Employment Relations Board alleging that the district has failed to respond to the union’s requests for information on matters ranging from district expenses on iPads to manager pay to stipends for teachers performing extracurricular duties.

“It’s really about their quote-unquote deficit-spending,” said Shawn Chen, president of the Manhattan Beach teachers union, adding that the district has been claiming it is “poverty-stricken.” “We have been telling our members that the district has been duplicitous, and less than honest about their budget. … I feel that (PERB) ruled unequivocally in our favor.”

The complaint, which is a response to the union’s filing this past spring of an unfair labor practice charge, comes a year after another contentious round of pay talks ended in September 2012 with teachers getting a 3 percent raise. The two sides have reopened negotiations on salary and benefits and will meet to discuss those matters on Monday.

District officials downplayed the letter, saying it amounted more to a request for information than a ruling against them.

“It’s premature to argue that the district has been found in violation of anything — it’s like saying you’re guilty before you’ve had an opportunity to defend yourself,” said Rick Bagley, deputy superintendent of the Manhattan Beach Unified School District. “There’s been no meeting with PERB, no hearing, no evidence exchange or anything like that. … This is their attorney saying it looks like there might be a situation here worth investigating.”

Still, the letter does say the district is required by law to file an answer within 20 calendar days. It also says the two sides must meet for a settlement conference.

Among the documents the union has been trying to obtain are the district’s adopted budget for the past three years (including all the detail pages), copies of all agreements made with law firms and copies of all contracts and invoices related to the district’s extensive iPad program.

The letter from Mary Weiss, senior regional attorney for PERB, states that the district “failed and refused to meet in good faith” because it “failed/refused to respond to” the union’s requests.

In any event, Bagley said the district has responded to the union’s myriad requests by posting on its website the formal requests as well as the district’s answers.

“They have a right to complain,” he said. “Our belief is that these things get worked out in a session where we’re discussing face to face, and having an opportunity to talk to each other, rather than declaring some kind of victory.”

Manhattan Beach teachers maintain that they are in the lowest quadrant when it comes to teacher pay in Los Angeles County. Story:  https://www.dailybreeze.com/2013/10/09/california-labor-board-files-complaint-against-manhattan-beach-unified-school-district/

Manhattan Beach Unified School Districts 1 million oversight fuels bickering

LEGAL RULING ON PERB COMPLAINT:
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 than 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.

More:

Among the documents the union has been trying to obtain are the district’s adopted budget for the past three years (including all the detail pages), copies of all agreements made with law firms and copies of all contracts and invoices related to the district’s extensive iPad program.

The letter from Mary Weiss, senior regional attorney for PERB, states that the district “failed and refused to meet in good faith” because it “failed/refused to respond to” the union’s requests.

All of this leaves open three options. MBUSD is overspending on books and supplies, which Matthews publicly denied; MBUSD increased spending on unknown items such as iPads and related costs, which Matthews also denied publicly; finally–figures in the budget are being manipulated to distort the District’s true state of financial health which keeps teachers fearful for their jobs, undermines the union’s ability to garner community support for a salary adjustment which maintains our healthcare benefits, and misleads the now fearful community into donating to various supplemental MBUSD fund sources to “save” the allegedly financially fragile district. This strategy increases reserves and provides the ability to boost discretionary spending. That is the priority of MBUSD and this Board.

3
Leave a Reply

Your name and email are not required to comment.

avatar
3 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
0 Comment authors
WonderingDave T. Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest
Notify of
Dave T.
Guest
Dave T.

I had no idea it was that bad in Manhattan Beach.

Wondering
Guest
Wondering

Teachers union had to pursue doggedly for three years, insisting something was wrong. If it was truly a mistake, why not open books together and try to find out why they had such specific concerns, rather than wait to get sued and forced to find “error” and create grounds for appearance of fraud?

Magician, manipulator or hapless victim?

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

“failed and refused to meet in good faith”

Boy, doesn’t that sound familiar. Why is Bagley so afraid to have a face-to-face meeting when there are disagreements or concerns? So much of the local drama could have been avoided if he’d only sat down with MAP parents and teachers years ago.

Why did RVSD hire a guy without this basic skill?