Mike McMahon AUSD
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Educational Collective Bargaining Steps

There many steps in the collective bargaining process adopted in 1975 legislation Educational Employment Relations Act (EERA). Each step is further explained below and matches this pictoral representation.

  1. Openers submitted

    To start the collective bargaing process, each side presents a proposal (openers) of what it intends to request during negotiations.

    During 2003-4 school year, Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) is negotiating new contract with California Teachers Association (CTA) through the local representation of the Alameda Education Association (AEA). In addition, AUSD is negotiating a specific portion of their contract with California School Employees Association (CSEA).

    AEA's initial openers , CSEA's initial openers , District's initial openers for AEA and District's initial openers for CSEA were approved by the Board of Education during a public hearing to insure an opportunity for community input.

    In March, 2004 Public Employes Union, Local One presented their openers for approval by the Board. The Board will present their openers in the coming months.

  2. Negotiations

    The process of negotiations is where each side comes together in good faith and works to reach an agreement. There are two methods of negotiations: "interest-based" bargaining and "positional" bargaining.

    In Interest-based bargaining both sides work together to identify mutual interests, brainstorm solutions and evaluate options. This method is being used by CSEA and AUSD.

    In positional bargaining both sides state their respective positions and pursue individual interests. This method is being used by AEA and AUSD.

  3. Tentative Agreement

    Once both sides negotiation teams have agreed in principle then the negotiations teams sign off on the tentative agreement.

  4. Employee Ratification

    After the tentative agreement, the employees vote to ratify the agreement. If a majority of those employees voting approve the agreement, it then goes to the Board of Education. If the agreement fails, we go back to step 2 Negotiations.

  5. Public Disclosure

    Before the Board of Education can accept a tentative agreement, a public meeting is held to disclose the costs associated with the agreement.

  6. Board Approval

    With a majority vote, the Board can approve the tentative agreement. If the Board does not approve the agreement, we go back to step 2 Negotiations.

  7. Impasse/Mediation

    If one or both sides in Step 2 negotiations feels they can not continue to negotiate, they can request a mediator be appointed through the impasse process.

  8. Factfinding

    If a mediator can not help facilitate an agreement, then factfinding process starts. Both sides appointed one member to a factfinding panel with a third member being selected by Public Employees Relations Board (PERB). The factfinding panel shall make findings of fact and recommend terms of settlement which shall be be advisory only. Recommendations shall be submitted in writing to the parties private before they are made public. Here is the Factfinding report from the 2007 labor action in Hayward and the Factfinding report from Capistrano Unified in 2010 .

  9. Board Approves Last Offer

    In circustances when both sides can not agree after all of the steps above have taken place, the Board of Education can adopt their last offer. If they adopt their last offer, the union has the ability to go on strike.

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Last modified: January 10, 2004

Disclaimer: This website is the sole responsibility of Mike McMahon. It does not represent any official opinions, statement of facts or positions of the Alameda Unified School District. Its sole purpose is to disseminate information to interested individuals in the Alameda community.