BUSD Classified Employees Ask To Reopen Contract By J. DOUGLAS ALLEN-TAYLOR

Tuesday December 07, 2004

The Board of Education of the Berkeley Unified School District (BUSD) will consider a proposal at this Wednesday night’s board meeting to reopen collective bargaining agreement with its classified employees. 

The meeting will be held at 7:30 p.m. at the Old City Hall on Martin Luther King Jr. Way. 

The request to reopen negotiations was made last month by Berkeley Council of Classified Employees (BCCE) field representative Richard Hemann in a letter to BUSD Superintendent Michelle Lawrence. BCCE, Local 6192, represents 360 instructional assistants and office workers in the school district. 

The BCCE-BUSD contract was approved by the board in April and runs through June of 2007. 

Representatives of the BCCE were not available for comment. 

In other action, the board will be asked to approve Berkeley High School’s revised Site Plan for 2004-05.  

Site improvement plans are required by the state superintendent’s office for all California public schools receiving state funds. Among other things, these plans track pupil achievement and progress toward meeting academic goals, progress in reducing dropout rates, expenditures per pupil and types of services funded, and progress toward reducing class sizes and teaching loads. 

Plans from all of the district’s schools were originally submitted to the board last June, but were sent back for improvements. 

Last month, the board accepted the revised school site plans from most of the schools in the district, but only after severely criticizing several of the plans, and after receiving assurances from Superintendent Lawrence that changes will be made in the future in the way the site plans are developed. 

Revised site plans are yet to be received by the board for Willard Middle School and Berkeley Alternative High School. Those will be brought before the board at its Dec. 15 meeting. 

In addition, even with all current board members returning for the new term, Wednesday’s agenda calls for the board to reorganize itself for the coming year, including selecting new officers. 

Meanwhile, the Board of Education has announced that it is presently soliciting applicants for membership on the BUSD Youth Commission, Facilities Safety and Maintenance Oversight Committee, the Peace and Justice Commission, and School Construction Oversight Committee. Participation on the committees are open to parents, students, and community members as well as all BUSD staff members who do not have conflicts of interest with the respective committee. Applications are available online at www.berkeley.k12.ca.us/SB/SB_advisory.html.›