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Dr. Barry L. Kayrell, Superintendent
February 7, 2014
Dear Staff Members,
Just a quick note to update you on some essential information as we prepare for the final four months of the 2013-14 school year. We are moving quickly with all the changes required under the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) and the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP). We are making the necessary adjustments to help students be successful with the new Common Core State Standards (CCSS). On top of all the academic changes, we are adjusting to the consequences, some unintended, of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). While change is often uncomfortable and challenging, we have a truly wonderful opportunity to use our imagination to create a more engaging learning atmosphere for generations of students. I know we are all up to the challenge!
In negotiations, we have completed language conversations with CSEA. We are not as far down the road with HTA; but, we are making continued progress. We continue to exchange salary proposals and monetary increases to both units' medical packages.
During negotiations, it is important to have an accurate flow of information to ensure that morale remains high and to let all employees know that they are valued. We want to compensate everyone to the best of our ability while still being able to achieve the mission of providing the best educational opportunities for our students and remain fiscally solvent.
I am prohibited by law from sharing the details of the numerous offers that have been made to the negotiating teams; however, I can attempt to shed light on some of the rumors that I am hearing. This is the best method I have to respond when there appears to be some information that is not accurate.
A point that is often expressed at board meetings is that administration is willfully trying to withhold funds from our employee groups. That simply is not true. What is true is that the District Administration is charged with providing a fiscally sound financial plan that spends our funds in the most strategic manner possible. As many of you know we must provide RCOE with an annual budget that meets all county and CDE guidelines. Any fiscal changes to our existing employee contracts also must undergo a three year AB1200 analysis that examines the fiscal impact of those proposed changes and the ability of the district to maintain solvency with the additional changes. Finally, after all the necessary checks and balances have been completed the Hemet USD Board of Trustees must approve the revised contracts.
On another very important topic, the subject of Vince Christakos' and Dr. LaFaye Platter's contracts have been discussed so I too want an opportunity to explain some misinformation that may be circulating. As a result of the debacle in the City of Bell, greater scrutiny has been paid, and rightfully so, to all public employee contracts. Several statutory changes to PERS and STRS have been enacted that have resulted in significant changes to existing managerial contracts. The District's legal counsel has completely rewritten all of the Cabinet level contracts and made them compliant with all current laws and statutes. As a result of the rewrites, the Board re-benched both Mr. Christakos and Dr. Platter's salary schedules effective July 1, 2014. While the re-benching increases their base pay, the overall net differential in take home pay for Mr. Christakos will be 13% less and for Dr. Platter it will be 15% less. The restructuring of their contracts is very complex, but both of them gave up significant monetary benefits and language within their contracts.
On a different note, Dr. Platter, Dr. Horton, Mr. Christakos and I have been holding community meetings all over Hemet to get feedback from our stakeholders regarding the LCAP. You will all have an opportunity to share your thoughts with us via a survey that has just been released. Please take a moment and share your thoughts and ideas. The survey can be accessed on the district website at www.hemetusd.k12.ca.us.
Many thanks for the great job you are doing keeping our students safe and focused on learning during these changing times. I sincerely appreciate all that you do for our students.
All the best,