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Letter To The Editor 03-06-19

Responding To ‘Settlement’


Dear Editor,

I’m writing to you on behalf of California School Employees Association, Chapter 830. We’d appreciate the opportunity to share some concerns we have with the “School District Reaches Agreement With CSEA” article in the Jan. 30 issue.

To begin with, there’s absolutely no settlement agreement between CSEA and the District regarding the grievance referenced in the article.

CSEA and the District agreed to place that grievance into abeyance, while a potential settlement was being negotiated. The District presented CSEA with their last, best and final offer which was rejected by all parties involved. CSEA has since filed claims with Department of Fair Employment and Housing against the District, alleging discrimination on the basis of gender and marital status. Those charges are now currently pending investigation. In our opinion, Mr. Malone very deliberately attempted to disparage Kathryn Songer and characterize her as a disgruntled employee, working outside of the scope of CSEA. Ms. Songer is a hardworking, dedicated employee and an upstanding member of the Oakdale community with every right to address the Superintendent and the Board of Trustees during public comment.

It is our view that Mr. Malone’s comments were unfair, inaccurate, intended to divide our union and discourage any further activists from exercising free speech during public comment.

Without acknowledging any wrong doing, the District recently agreed to repost the Lead Custodian position. The Lead Custodian job description currently posted states “the Lead Custodian receives general supervision from the Operations Supervisor, the Director of Maintenance and Operations and the Site Administrator.” Despite Mr. Malone’s claim that there’s a buffer between the Maintenance Director and his son, there’s very clearly a conflict of interest. District Board policy explicitly states that family members cannot supervise one another.

We believe OJUSD is an amazing place to work. Unfortunately, the current system supports favoritism towards friends and family members of management and we don’t agree with that. We want every employee to have an opportunity for advancement based on merit, hard work and dedication. The classified employees of OJUSD value our community and District. Our members remain committed to helping support student success.

Patricia Maaske, Public Relations Officer

California School Employees Association, Chapter 830