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So Far, No Pay Cuts for CUSD Trustees

An approved decrease in school board compensation won't appear on trustee paychecks until October. But now one trustees wants no pay.

trustees voted in June to dock their own pay by the same amount teachers’ salaries were being cut – however, that hasn’t happened yet.

Now the trustee who introduced the idea wants to strip the stipend completely. The matter will be on the agenda at Monday's meeting.

As trustees were at the June 27 meeting, Trustee John Alpay amended the budget to include a decrease in board stipends.

“I don’t think anyone should go untouched by this,” he said at the time.

Alpay’s idea was to figure out the percentage of cuts teachers face, adding together the hits they will take in salary (1.2 percent), a six-month freeze in automatic pay increases and furlough days (eight unpaid days).

If Gov. Brown’s Prop. 30 doesn’t pass, the teachers may face an additional 1.5 percent paycut and 10 more unpaid furlough days. Alpay said trustee compensation should be similarly impacted if those cuts come to pass.

District personnel, however, have had a hard time figuring out how to calculate the new trustee stipend.

“I think the delay is due in part to the fact that I have repeatedly told staff that their calculated reductions were not high enough and were in fact inconsistent with the direction provided by the board,” Alpay told Patch.

Capo spokesman Marcus Walton said the decrease will be reflected in the October checks and will be retroactive to the start of the fiscal year in July.

But it may all be for naught because now, Alpay wants to cut trustee compensation altogether.

“Since we are calculating a percentage cut from a measly $375 per month, I'm thinking we should have followed the example set recently by the City Council in Orange in eliminating all board member compensation,” he said.

Board pay is set at $750 a month. However, in February 2008, trustees voted during a budget discussion to halve the amount, and subsequent boards have kept the reduced allotments.

Not long after Alpay was first sworn in nearly two years ago, he asked fellow trustees in an email that they consider restoring trustee compensation. He said that the 2008 action violated the state’s open-meeting laws. No action was ever taken on the request.

The June 27 amendment to decrease stipends will actually restore them completely at the end of this year.  

“At the end of the fiscal year, compensation shall be restored to levels set forth in board policy 9250A [the $750], and I ask the board to schedule and revisit the idea of compensation to determine what, if any, additional cuts would be appropriate for the next year,” he said in June.

Alpay said he asked President Gary Pritchard to put the topic of trustee compensation on Monday's agenda “so staff does not waste any further time with these numbers.” 

The board meets at 7 p.m. Monday at the district headquarters, 33122 Valle Road in San Juan Capistrano.

Capo Parent Too September 13, 2012 at 05:39 AM
It's completely valid and I'm sorry it doesn't make sense to you. it's going to be a case of, we don't agree on the contract language. The board got advice from lawyers, this is a FACT and they were advised not to breach the contract with teachers or face another strike, losing a lawsuit, lawyer fees, etc. This is what Sue and Ellen would have wanted. More chaos, why? Because they didn't want to admit they actually signed a really bad contract because they assumed there wouldn't BE ANYMORE MONEY in the revise. BUT THERE WAS more money in the revise and the word "and" made the change. Language, badly written contract language made the difference, but your side would like to make it about secret meetings, which is false and fabricated and then sue the District (boy you guys love lawsuits), and that's why you keep talking about this trigger language and how this new board honored a contract they didn't approve. So, to fit this narrative, you bash teachers, etc. It's all great theater here at the Patch but doesn't do one thing to actually solving a 50 million dollar budget hole that was caused by a really badly written contract. Fiction to you, reality to me, if we refuse to actually agree on what happened, then there is no reason in actually having a back and forth. BUT I refuse to let you and others keep spinning your yarn.
Sharon Y. September 13, 2012 at 01:52 PM
CP2, your argument about the trigger is flawed, first no lawyer gives a legal opinion that is not written, and no such document exists and if it does it has been held from many public records which would then be another problem. 2. Aside from the original give backs to political donors, aka the union, several other things occurred over the last year and a half to put us in such horrible fiscal crisis A. The flawed early teacher golden handshake B. The 30 thousand to help unions negotiate C. The vote that opened the contract to lift cap on the medical for teachers only D. The money paid to union bosses that do nothing to help our kids These are just a few BAD things you good ol' boys Pritchard and Alpay support, as a result we will see up to 18 days of lost education in over crowded classrooms. This is their fault.
Capo Parent Too September 13, 2012 at 02:06 PM
A and C were meant to save money and you have no proof they didn't. None. So you're list is wrong. It's merely to confuse parents. B and D are a drop in the bucket and standard in districts because unions are part of every District. Demonizing them, our teachers and the process takes away from the issue as well and attempting to answer the question, how do we solve this issue? Again, it all comes down to bashing the unions and the teachers, which does nothing to solve a 50 million dollar budget gap. As for a legal opinion that's not written, tell me that about the money given away to the last boards supporters that Lopez-Maddox keeps going on about and get back to me.
Capo Parent September 16, 2012 at 04:29 PM
CPToo Here's facts and logical analysis for you. The retirement golden parachute, opening up medical, and giving back money to union groups that had no restoration language in their contracts in the face of declining enrollment and a multi=million dollar deficit are undisputed examples of fiscal mismanagement. As for your claim that the golden parachute and the lifting of the cap on medical are "meant" to save money, that's the BS line from the teachers union and CUSD. Neither has produced a complete and valid analysis to show that CUSD is saving any money. Arguing that paying $30,000 to teach the union to negotiate better and CUSD paying union bosses salaries & benefits when do no work at all for CUSD, are "drops in the bucket," is the type of argument one makes when they can't think of a valid argument. The foregoing is troubling and consistent pattern of fiscal mismanagement and irresponsibility.
O Captain! My Captain! October 15, 2012 at 04:37 AM
I'm voting for Steve Lang for CUSD school board. Good businessman with no political favors to repay. (www.stevelang4cusd.com) On the other hand, check out how his opponent, John Alpay, has voted time and again to cut instruction time, increase class sizes, and waste money hurting teachers and the district. (www.whoisjohnalpay.com)

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