CONTACT:  Michael Matthews                         FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

310.450.8338, ext. 220                                      05 FEB 2010





The SMMUSD announced at the February 4, 2010, Board of Education meeting that after months of negotiations between SMMUSD and Santa Monica-Malibu Classroom Teachers Association (SMMCTA), representing teachers and other certificated employees, and Service Employees International Union (SEIU), representing classified employees, a tentative agreement has been reached with both unions.


Any reduction in salary resulting from furlough days for SEIU and SMMCTA will also impact all district and school administrators, who will also have furlough days and reductions in salary.


The state of California has cut over $10 million from the district’s budget, and more reductions may be in store for next school year as a result of the State’s fiscal crisis. The District has projected that it is facing a $14 million operating deficit for the 2010-11 school year in spite of cuts equaling $4.5 million made last year.  Details of the $4.5 million cuts made last year and the proposed reduction for next year can be found on the District’s web site.


To address that budget deficit caused by reductions in funds from the state, the district is studying many reductions, including laying off as many as 120 employees in the 2010-11 school year in order to submit a balanced three-year budget to the County Office of Education. 


These tentative agreements with teachers and classified employees, along with similar salary reductions for all managers, will result in a saving of approximately $2 million a year for the 2009-10 and 2010-11 school years.


Text Box: Common Elements of the Tentative Agreements with SMMCTA and SEIU
•	5 furlough days for the 2009-10 school year, resulting in school ending one week early.  This will result in a $2 million savings to the district. 
•	5 furlough days for the 2010-11 School Year.  This will result in an additional $2 million savings to the district. 
•	No change to health and welfare benefits for the 2009-10 and 2010-11 school years.  The district will continue to pay for full HMO health insurance and dental insurance for all full-time employees and their families.
•	Formation of a Health Benefits Committee to investigate ways to reduce health costs beginning January 1, 2012.
•	Other contractual changes with minimal or no financial impact.


Dr. Michael Matthews, the Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources, stated, “This has been one of most difficult negotiations with our employee groups.  The financial reductions from the state are unprecedented, and it is difficult to agree to reductions in school days for our students, and reductions in pay for our dedicated employees.  But these sacrifices will have a positive impact on helping balance the budget, and will help to save jobs so that we can better serve our students.” 


Tim Cuneo, Superintendent of SMMUSD, added, “We are appreciative of all employees making these financial sacrifices at this time to help save jobs and the instructional program.   Even with this commitment from all our employees, the District will be facing a budget deficit.  We can no longer depend on Sacramento to adequately fund our schools, and we are asking our community to support an emergency local funding measure on the May 25 ballot. If passed, these monies will help offset a portion of the deficit and help protect our great schools.  It will still be necessary to make staff and program reductions.”


Barry Snell, President of the Board of Education, stated, “The board understands that reaching a tentative agreement with our employees that reduces their salaries through furloughs is a major sacrifice. The irresponsibility of our state government has force our school district to drastically reduce our reserves and to look for ways to reduce our expenditures while maintaining jobs and programs. Our employees have shown that they understand our district’s dilemma and this tentative agreement is an example of their willingness to do their part. On behave of the Board of Education of the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District, I want to thank all of our employees.”


SEIU and SMMCTA are now working with their membership groups to ratify the tentative agreements.  The District is planning to bring the agreements to the Board of Education for ratification on the March 4, 2010, agenda.





1651 16TH Street, Santa Monica, CA 90404

ph: 310.450.8338; fax: 310.581.1138