I am pleased to have the opportunity to offer the TVEA Spotlight tonight.
I would first like to welcome new board members Barbara Brosch and Adam Skumawitz. TVEA believes you will be immediate assets to our district as community representatives.
At this time, I would like to update the board, district, and community on one of TVEA’s major fall initiatives, our “TVEA Commitment Drive”. This effort was primarily a response to the Janus case decision in June 2018 which eliminated “Agency” or “Fair-Share” fees for non-members.
Understanding that if given the choice to pay dues or not to pay dues people might flee TVEA, we determined discussing with members to commit would be prudent.
Over the last several weeks, TVEA leaders and especially Site Representatives have distributed commitment forms to our members. More importantly, they have conducted many small group and one on one conversations with members sharing why it is important to stay united by signing this form which makes their dues renewable each year unless they opt out within a prescribed 30- day window.
The results have been impressive. To date, we have 1126 commitments out of 1321 active members for an 85% percentage. In terms of our region, out of 146 local associations across Riverside, San Bernardino, Orange and San Diego counties, TVEA ranks 9th out of 146 locals and in the 94th percentile. Among larger associations of 800 or more in the four-county area we rank 3rd.
For the record, we not did execute the TVEA Commitment Drive out of desperation- we have only had a small trickle of members drop their membership since the Janus Case. We did so to exert our united and collective strength and to promote our long-term sustainability.
The TVEA Commitment Drive has reaffirmed the general feedback our members share with us. Nearly seven out of eight members have indicated they believe in the work we do on their behalf. They also believe in our working relationship with the District. They know that we are in ongoing policy discussions with district leaders and board members, and that by consulting with TVUSD on topics such as LCAP we are advocating for our students’ needs as well.
TVEA is also pleased to see TVUSD and TVEA beginning to once again engage through the Ad Hoc Budget process.
As we await your First Interim Report tonight, we see that TVUSD has an estimated sum of an additional $32 million dollars for State Economic Uncertainties, nearly four times beyond the state mandated 3% reserve held by TVUSD. We are also aware dollars originally budgeted for 2018-19 certificated salaries have reportedly been moved to other spending categories.
While we acknowledge the district must act in a fiscally prudent manner, TVEA is fully expecting to capture our appropriate chunk of this pie. Our bargaining unit, more that any other district employee group provides direct guidance for student success for all ages, from Pre-School through Adult Bridge.
With both a healthy TVUSD fiscal outlook and support for public education in Sacramento, along with a state budget surplus projected at $ 15 Billion this year, there appears to be the ability to significantly reward the TVUSD employees who make the district look good.