Strategy and Analysis to Defend and Transform Public Education

FAQs and more on Article 12

Here is part of the packet distributed at OEA’s Article 12 Forum on 1/13/2015, including (1) FAQs on Article 12, (2) a summary of what the District wants to change in Article 12, and (3)  a description of advisory matching.

One more point about the district’s claim vs. its intention: The district’s explicit claim is that Article 12 leads to “bad fits” between teachers and schools, but the implicit message is that Art. 12 prevents the district from getting rid of “bad teachers.”  Article 12 has nothing to do with dismissing teachers;  it’s about transfer and consolidation procedures and rights. The district already has the power to dismiss teachers for unsatisfactory performance or unprofessional conduct.  But getting rid of Article 12 protections would provide far greater latitude to humiliate and force out teachers who voice criticisms, or advocate for students, colleagues, or students, pissed them off, or are “too expensive.” Eliminating Article 12 protections would accomplish that.


Frequently Asked Questions about Bargaining on Article 12

 What is Article 12 of the OEA-OUSD contract?

Article 12 covers the rules for bargaining unit member transfers, assigning members to new positions, filling vacancies, and for handling consolidations (reduction in the number of bargaining unit members at a given site or in a particular department or grade level at a site).


What major Article 12 rules currently in place does the district propose to eliminate?

  • members who are involuntarily transferred, returning from leave, or transferred due to consolidation, and who are qualified for a vacancy by credential and experience, are to be placed in a vacancy for which they have applied in order of seniority. These vacancies are not open to voluntary transfers or external applicants until this process is completed.
  • Members at sites being closed or restructured stay with their students. These members are reassigned by seniority only to the extent required by enrollment reductions.


What are the major changes the District wants to include in Article 12?

(See separate handout with a summary of all changes the district is proposing. [included in this post])

  • All bargaining unit members reassigned after consolidation, involuntary transfer, or extended leave would compete for positions with applicants from outside of the district.
  • Members at schools being permanently closed or restructured would no longer remain with their students at the new school (even a non-charter, district school), and could be reassigned without regard for seniority or status as a current employee.
  • Seniority would no longer play any role in placement or transfer rights.
  • Any member affected by consolidation, returning from leave, or involuntarily transferred could be reassigned as a substitute, curriculum developer, team teacher, or to group instruction/individual intervention for the following year or years.


Under the current Article 12 language, can members with more years of seniority currently bump senior members with fewer years of seniority from positions?

No. Members can only transfer into positions that are vacant. (Bumping rights exist in some bargaining units of classified staff, but not credentialed employees.)


What is seniority?   How does it differ from tenure?

  • Seniority is the number of years and days of service accrued by a unit member from the first day of probationary service in the district.  Under California Ed Code, seniority is a major factor in determining the order in which a district issues layoff notices when such notices are deemed necessary. Under Article 12 of the OEA-OUSD contract, seniority is also a major factor in transfers, consolidation policy, filling vacancies, and assignment to new positions.
  • Tenure is the right to due process for teachers in any consideration of dismissal. Under Ed Code that right is acquired by teachers after two years of service (75% of school days over that time). Prior to achieving tenure, teachers are probationary and can be dismissed without any stated reason.


Under the proposed Article 12 changes, who would be on a site’s personnel committee?

A majority of committee members would be teachers at the site, but the district’s proposal does not specify a process for selecting those teachers or the other members of the committee. Administration would have the power to select members or to set up a process for doing so.


What role would the personnel committee have?

It would recommend candidates. The principal/site leader would make the decisions.


What would happen to teachers not selected for any positions in the district?

They could be assigned to any role listed in the district’s proposal (team teacher, substitute, group/individual instructor, etc.) for the entire year. A member’s preference would be considered, but not necessarily followed. If not selected for a vacancy the following year, a member could be assigned to continue in one of the specified roles.


What is the district’s rationale for this proposal?

Superintendent Antwan Wilson told KPIX News on 9/5/2014, “I don’t believe… [seniority] should have any play in terms of what schools teachers should teach at… I believe that the focus should be on what’s best for kids, and people should be going to schools that they believe in the mission and vision and believe in those kids.


Has OEA proposed any ways to address this concern?

OEA and OUSD agreed in 2012 to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on advisory matching that was in practice through last year. Advisory matching helps teachers obtain information about the mission, vision, and practice at each site with vacancies, so they may consider which schools are a good fit for them. (See the advisory matching handout for details.)


Has OEA made a counterproposal on Article 12?  If so, what is that proposal?

OEA has made proposals for Article 12 regarding assignment changes for elementary school instrumental music instructors, EEIP teachers (prep), special education teachers, speech and language pathologists, nurses and psychologists, reassignment to a different grade level, and reassignment to combo classes.

For teachers displaced by consolidation, voluntary or involuntary transfers, or returning from leave, we have suggested extending the MOU on Advisory Matching for another year with the addition of a Personnel Committee.


What has OEA’s bargaining team said about the district proposal on Article 12?

First, we have said and continue to say that it is not on the table for this round of bargaining. The district previously stated that it wanted to stick with current contract language for Article 12, so it would be regressive bargaining to now insist on major changes to that article. We also have expressed a concern about the stigma that follows a member being displaced and the emotional impact on those members.  We have made clear that seniority is the only objective factor that protects members from discrimination based on years of service, cost to the school/district, and all other forms of discrimination. Finally, we have said that the district’s proposal would increase instability in our schools and would not improve educational conditions in the district.


If the district’s proposal were implemented, would that affect many teachers?

Over the past two years, there have been relatively few OEA members affected by consolidation, involuntary transfer, and returning from leave.  But this can quickly change. For example enrollment declines or moves to restructure schools (such as the “turnarounds” recently announced for 5 schools) could significantly increase the number of teachers reassigned. And while involuntary transfers are rare under the current system, it’s hard to predict whether that would remain the case, if transferred teachers had no say over where they went next.


Can the district impose its desired changes to Article 12 if OEA doesn’t agree to them?

If the district takes this to impasse, we will have an unfair labor practice filed with the Public Employee Relations Board (PERB).  While they might impose this, we would view this as an unlawful imposition.


What is the district proposing to change in Article 12?

(Full summary – see FAQs on Article 12 for highlights)

OUSD is proposing significant changes to the transfer and reassignment procedures currently in place:  

  • Employer-initiated transfers, those returning from leave, or consolidated from a site would no longer be given the first opportunity to accept vacancies for which they are qualified. Instead, all bargaining unit members and applicants from outside of the district would go through the same process of consideration for vacancies.
  • Members at schools being permanently closed or restructured would no longer remain with their students at the new school (even a non-charter, district school), and could be reassigned without regard for seniority or status as a current employee.
  • Seniority would no longer be a factor in transfer and reassignment.
  • A Personnel Committee of up to seven members, with a majority of members being teachers at the site, would review the transfer requests. It could engage in candidate interviews, demo lessons or other demonstrations of professional practice before making a recommendation to the principal/site leader.
  • The principal/school site leader would make the final determination. If the Personnel Committee cannot be convened the principal becomes the sole decision maker.
  • Members not assigned by August 1st would be assigned, with consideration given to unit member preference, to an instructional support role that may include one of the following:
  1. Team teaching assignment
  2. Curriculum development and design
  3. Single site-based substitute teacher
  4. Small group instruction and intervention
  5. Substitute for a specific network or group of schools.

Members would remain in these roles for the duration of the year and would participate in the interview process with Personnel Committees again the subsequent school year. Any member not chosen for a vacancy in the subsequent year, would again be assigned to an instructional support role.





Advisory Matching

(Not currently in effect, but OEA has proposed continuing this process for another year.)

Advisory matching follows current contract language (OEA Articles 12.8 and 12.9 and practice focused on best interests of students)
·   Teachers provided with vacancy list after close of BDP and invited to participate in School Showcase event on April 4th where Talent Pool and school community ambassadors meet and greet.

·   Teachers offered two days of sub coverage to visit schools of interest between April 8th and April 19th.

·   School ambassadors available as a resource.

·   School profiles crafted to call out specific prevailing practices, peer expectations, culture and climate.

·   2 rounds of Talent Pool placement scheduled.

·   Teachers may “skip” identifying preferences in Round 1 waiting for additional/different vacancies.

Schools with vacancies provided with list of credential and work history for teachers in the Talent Pool.

School community representatives make site visits to Talent Pool home sites

Teacher preferences informed by advisory input from school sites.
·   $500 cash incentive for early signing of separation papers – on or before March 15th

·   $300 cash incentive – between March 18th and April 2nd

·   Vacancies indicated after April 2nd reviewed by Vacancy Review Board

School Ambassadors

Selection – teachers chosen through process similar to teacher convention:

–        Nominations of teacher can come from any staff member (principal, classified, teachers, etc.)

–        OEA member vote at site level

Compensation – $250 per site distributed based on site-based decision

–        Tracking sheet to record ambassador activities

–        Tracking sheet and payment approved by administrator and paid by end of school year.



3 comments on “FAQs and more on Article 12

  1. clevelandoea
    March 5, 2015

    Reblogged this on clevelandoea and commented:
    What are seniority rights and why are they important?
    (or more than you ever wanted to know about Article 12)

  2. kzt123
    March 12, 2015

    Reblogged this on ousdparentsunited and commented:
    Some answers to your questions about Article 12

  3. geld verdienen im internet
    August 16, 2015

    It’s remarkable to pay a quick visit this web page and reading
    the views of all mates on the topic of this article, while I am also keen of
    getting knowledge.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


This entry was posted on March 2, 2015 by in Uncategorized.
%d bloggers like this: