Beverly Hills Unified School District

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BHUSD Update on Contract Negotiations with BHEA

(April, 2018)  Negotiating teams for BHUSD and BHEA have been working very hard to reach a mutually acceptable agreement that fairly compensates our teachers while ensuring the financial sustainability of the district.  In an effort to keep our community informed and our District finances transparent, here is where contract negotiations stand now: 

  • BHUSD is offering our teachers a 9% salary increase over the next three school years, along with additional health and welfare benefits totaling $2,250, and the removal of the current salary formula.  
    • The salary formula obligates a majority of the District’s property tax revenue growth for annual salary increases for teachers.  This leaves very little remaining property tax revenue growth, which the District relies upon to cover increased costs in retirement benefits, inflation on materials and services, funding new projects and growing much needed reserves.
  • BHEA is asking for an 18% salary increase over the next three school years, along with an additional $1,000 in Health and Welfare benefits over the next two years, in order to remove the current salary formula.

BHUSD and BHEA negotiating teams met six times over the past seven months, but still have not seen any movement toward a fiscally responsible compromise. The California Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) has certified that contract negotiations between the district and BHEA have now reached an impasse.  PERB will now assign a neutral, third party mediator to try to help the bargaining teams reach a settlement.

Q: What does an impasse between BHEA and BHUSD mean?

A: After months of bargaining with no settlement on wages, BHEA and BHUSD have determined they can make no further progress on the table.  The result is a declared impasse by BHUSD.  At any point in the impasse process, the union and employer can return to the bargaining table to settle the contract.

Q: Does the impasse mean there will be a strike?

A: No. The law requires that BHEA and BHUSD complete the impasses process before a strike is allowed.  Any strike that would occur during the impasse process would likely be construed by PERB as bad-faith negotiations.

Q: What are the steps in the impasse process?

A: Impasse is a two-step process: mediation, then fact-finding.  The California Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) will assign a mediator, a neutral, third party, to try to help BHEA and BHUSD’s bargaining teams reach a settlement.

Q: What is the mediation timeline?

A: Mediation should begin in April of 2018.  The number of mediation sessions and the timeline depend on how productive the mediation meetings are.  There could be one, two, five or more mediation sessions.  Those sessions could be spread out over a few days, a month, or longer.  It depends on whether or not the mediator, the union and the employer all believe that more mediation could result in a settlement. 

Q: What is fact-finding?

A:  If a fair contract is not agreed upon during the mediation process, the next step is fact-finding.  In fact-finding, BHEA and BHUSD both present arguments about financial factors that impact bargaining, including the District’s ability to pay, the comparability of wages to other similar districts, and cost of living to name a few.  A three-person panel hears these arguments.  Both the union and employer pick a panel member, and PERB assigns a neutral member.  Based on the presentation of facts, the neutral member will issue a non-binding report.  Either side can agree or disagree with the report. 

Q: What is the timing for fact finding?

A: If the process advances to fact-finding, it is anticipated to take place in late April or early May.  The report would most likely come out in May or June.  After the fact-finding report is issued, BHEA and BHUSD can bargain over the report.

Q:  What happens if a fair contract is not settled upon at this point?

A:  BHUSD may impose a contract on BHEA.  BHEA members can either choose to accept what the District imposes, or choose to go on strike.

Q: What is the contract offer on the table from BHUSD?

A: The best, last, and final offer from the Board of Education is:

  • Remove the current salary formula
  • 2017-2018
    • 3% salary increase
    • $1,250 additional (over current $8.5K) Health & Welfare Benefits
  • 2018-2019
    • 3% Salary Increase
    • $500 additional Health & Welfare Benefits
  • 2019-2020
    • 3% Salary Increase
    • $500 additional Health & Welfare Benefits

Q: What is BHEA asking for regarding salary and benefits?

A:

  • 2017-2018
    • 6% Salary Increase
  • 2018-2019
    • 6% Salary Increase
    • $500 additional Health & Welfare Benefits
  • 2019-2020
    • 6% Salary Increase
    • $500 additional Health & Welfare Benefits

Q: Why does the district want to remove the current salary formula?

A: The salary formula obligates a majority of the District’s property tax revenue growth for annual salary increases for teachers.  This leaves very little remaining property tax revenue growth, which the District relies upon to cover increased costs in retirement benefits, inflation on materials and services, funding new projects and growing much needed reserves.

Q: How do BHUSD teacher salaries and class sizes compare to other school districts?

A: BHUSD certificated salaries are consistently in the top 10 out of 47 Unified School Districts in Los Angeles County. (Source: L.A. County District Salary Survey)  BHUSD teachers benefit from the lowest class sizes in the county, state, and most of the nation’s public schools. (Source: Los Angeles County Office of Education)

Q: What is BHEA?

A: BHEA is an affiliate of CTA (California Teachers Association). The primary function of BHEA is to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement with the school district. Among the critical job issues within the legal scope of bargaining are:

  • Total compensation (Salary & Health Benefits)
  • Hours of work
  • Safety issues
  • Class size
  • Evaluations & Discipline
  • Preparation time
  • Seniority
  • Transfer rights
  • Grievance procedures
(Source: BHEA.org)
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