LANCASTER — Antelope Valley Union High School District’s governing Board unanimously and without discussion approved a collective bargaining tentative agreement with the Antelope Valley Teachers Association, and a memorandum of understanding with the California School Employees Association Chapter 612, during a brief Saturday morning special meeting.
The Board called the special meeting Friday morning more than 13 hours after acting President Victoria Ruffin and Clerk Amanda Parrell walked out of Thursday’s regularly scheduled meeting, following a 2-2- vote to adopt the agenda, with Ruffin and Parrell dissenting.
Both union agreements were on Thursday’s agenda.
The Board is one member short after the sudden resignation on Nov. 4 of former Board President Robert “Bob” Davis.
Ruffin wanted to table a scheduled presentation by attorney Jay Fernow of Fagen Friedman & Fulfrost on how to fill the Board vacancy.
Ruffin estimated the discussion on the Board vacancy would take more than one hour, and she wanted to spend adequate time on the teachers’ contract, she said Thursday night.
Trustees Jill McGrady and John Rush were the only Board members who remained after Ruffin and Parrell’s exit, but they could take no action without a quorum.
Saturday’s agenda included a public hearing on the proposed tentative agreement with the AVTA for the cost disclosure.
The tentative agreement’s estimated $3.5 million cost includes a 1% ongoing salary increase, and a 1% one-time, off-schedule bonus. Teachers will also get a pay raise in the extra duty hourly rate, from $38.30 per hour, to $50 an hour. The District will also increase its contribution to teachers’ annual health and welfare benefits by $250, raising the cap to about $14,840 a year.
The Board reportedly had to act by Saturday in order for teachers to get the one-bonus in time for the holidays.
No one from the public spoke during the public hearing.
Assistant Superintendent of Personnel Services Brett Neal explained the AVTA’s entire contract was open this year.
“This is a three-year contract, and while all articles are open for discussion we focused mainly on about eight of the articles,” Neal said.
“I believe you guys have done a great job with the work you’ve been doing in reporting back to the Board, so thank you for that,” Ruffin said.
The District and CSEA Chapter 612 are in the middle of negotiations, Neal explained, but the District and the union agreed to address specific issues.
“This is one that we’ve agreed to as it addresses reclassification, as the reclassification process, that will eventually come to negotiations,” Neal said.