Labor Negotiations

Labor Negotiations

Two employee unions represent the staff of Cabrillo Unified School District. The Cabrillo Unified Teachers’ Association (CUTA) represents certificated staff, and the Cabrillo Classified School Employees Association Chapter 485 (CSEA) represents classified staff members.

California School Boards Association Collective Bargaining Flow Chart

CUTA/CUSD Negotiations Update - April 25, 2024

As you may know, recently both CUSD and CUTA mutually agreed upon an experienced and qualified labor relations professional to serve as the chairperson of a factfinding panel that is assigned as the next step in impasse bargaining. 

Factfinding is the next step in the bargaining process, and it is hoped that this step will help the parties resolve the current impasse over salaries and benefits.

The three-person factfinding panel (comprised of the chairperson, one individual selected by CUTA, and one individual selected by CUSD) will hold a closed meeting where it will review information supporting each party’s last and best offers. After the meeting, the panelists will meet in private to evaluate the respective positions and data. The panel will then prepare an advisory report containing findings of fact and non-binding recommendations for a settlement. This process may also include back-and-forth discussions or even further mediatory efforts involving the chairperson and both bargaining teams after the meeting. In some cases, districts and unions have agreed to resume mediation.

The advisory report will be submitted to CUSD and CUTA privately, where they have another opportunity to determine whether a tentative agreement can be reached. The report is made public within ten (10) days after receipt. If agreement cannot be reached at this stage, then both CUTA and CUSD are considered to have completed their obligations to negotiate with one another, and the impasse procedure is deemed to be exhausted.

Only at this point may the District unilaterally impose terms of employment that are within the scope of its last, best, and final offer, and only at this point may CUTA engage in concerted activity. It is unlawful for CUTA to engage in a strike, or for the District to unilaterally implement its final offer, at any point prior to the formal completion of the impasse process.

While CUSD and CUTA are still in the midst of the impasse procedure, the District looks forward to continuing work with CUTA in the hopes that their differences can be resolved in a respectful, lawful, and positive manner.


CUTA/CUSD Negotiations Update - April 10, 2024

On April 10, 2024, both CUSD and CUTA have now jointly filed for factfinding. Please see below for additional background context, what has transpired before this, and an explanation of the next steps in the bargaining process. 

CUTA/CUSD Negotiations Update - April 9, 2024

On February 28, and March 20, 2024, the bargaining teams on behalf of the Cabrillo Unified School District and the Cabrillo Unified Teachers Association met with a state-appointed mediator in efforts to resolve an impasse in negotiations.  The District and CUTA were unable to reach an agreement with the mediator’s assistance.  Accordingly, the mediator has released the District and CUTA to factfinding, which is the next stage in the state-mandated procedures for resolving an impasse. 

If either the District or CUTA formally request to proceed to factfinding to the state, then a panel will then be convened.  Each party will choose a representative to sit on the factfinding panel.  These two individuals then complete the panel by selecting an outside neutral party to serve as the chairperson from a list of qualified individuals supplied by the state and/or the parties can mutually agree upon a chairperson.  To date, the panel has not yet been convened, and a chairperson has yet to be selected.

In the event the District and CUTA proceed to factfinding, the panel will assist both parties in finding agreed-upon solutions following a presentation of facts about outstanding issues and proposals by the District and CUTA.  If the parties do not reach an agreement, the panel will issue an advisory report containing recommendations for a potential settlement, which may serve as a basis for agreement and/or continued negotiations.

The District will continue to work with CUTA in good faith and believes strongly that the parties’ differences can be resolved in a positive and mutually respectful manner. 


CUTA/CUSD Negotiations Update - January 17, 2024

 Tentative Agreement

On January 17, 2024, CUSD and CUTA reached tentative agreements on the following:

  • Article 4, “Leaves of Absence,” which was updated to reflect recent changes in the law relating to leaves and to add clarity to the parental leave and personal necessity leave provisions.
  • Article 14, “Safety Conditions of Employment,” which reflect changes to safety reporting and student discipline procedures, and to provisions relating to environmental safety and workspaces.


On January 11, 2024, PERB informed CUSD and CUTA that the parties have reached an impasse in negotiations.  Accordingly, a State-appointed mediator will be assigned to assist CUSD and CUTA reach agreement on the following items:

(1) Compensation and Health/Welfare Benefits


Last school year (SY 2022-23), CUSD’s Third Interim Financial Report of May 30, 2023, was certified as “Negative,” meaning that CUSD will be unable to meet its financial obligations for the remainder of the fiscal year and/or the subsequent fiscal year.  In June 2023, SMCOE concurred with the “Negative” certification, designated CUSD as a lack of going concern, assigned a fiscal advisor to the District, and required CUSD to develop a Fiscal Stabilization Plan (FSP).    

At the beginning of the current 2023-24 school year, CUSD’s 2023-24 Budget continued to reflect “Negative” status.  With the assistance of SMCOE’s assigned fiscal advisor, and to address the CUSD’s fiscal challenges, on November 9, 2023, the Board approved an FSP to achieve savings for the current school year (SY 2023-24) and two outyears (SY 2024-25 and 2025-26).  The implementation of the FSP is underway.

This past October 2023, CUSD also learned from its insurance carrier (SMCSIG) that health insurance premiums would increase by approximately 18% beginning January 1, 2024.  Currently, for unit members hired before July 1, 2011, CUSD pays for the premiums of the high plan (including full family and employee +1 plans) of the lowest cost provider.  For unit members hired on or after July 1, 2011, CUSD pays a fixed cap of $11,167.   

On October 19, 2023, CUTA proposed an 8.22% salary schedule increase, and ending salary step at 22 years by reducing the longevity increments from 3 years to 2 years.  On October 25, 2023, CUTA also proposed to raise the current cap of $11,167 to equal the annual cost of covering the employee only of the high plan of the lowest cost provider. 

On November 16, 2023, based on the financial information it had at the time, CUSD proposed a $19,612 cap for pre-2011 unit members.  For post-2011 unit members, CUSD proposed to increase the cap from $11,167 to $11,264, which would cover the 18% increase.  There was no salary proposal at that time.  Taken together, the cost savings achieved by the proposed caps would fund the 18% increase in health benefit costs for all CUSD employees and still allow CUSD to remain cost neutral.

In late November 2023, CUSD received new information from SMCOE of its estimated tax revenues at 2023-24 First Principal Apportionment (P1), which confirmed CUSD’s flip to Basic Aid status and receipt of one-time supplemental taxes.  Thus, on December 14, 2023, CUSD’s 2023-24 First Interim Financial Report was approved by the Board with a “Qualified” certification, which means the District may not be able to meet its financial obligations for the current fiscal year and subsequent two years.

          Current Proposals

On December 20, 2023, in light of the modest improvement in CUSD’s financial outlook, CUSD presented a counterproposal to align with its values in providing reasonable compensation increases while ensuring fiscal sustainability and responsibility:

  • Increase salary schedule by 1% retroactive to July 1, 2023; and

  • Keep the District’s health and welfare benefits at status quo.

The proposal would allow CUSD to meet its 3% economic uncertainty reserve requirement for this and the next two school years.  The proposal is based on the following assumptions, which, if changed, would alter the District’s financial outlook. 

  • 2% increase in property tax revenue in 2024-25 and 2025-26

  • 5% increase in health benefit costs in 2025-26

  • A one-time receipt of $3.8 million in supplemental taxes, subject to change depending upon the number of districts in the County that change to Basic Aid status

  • Deficit-spending in 2024-25 and 2025-26 between $470,000-492,000.

  • Achievement of the estimated cost savings per the FSP

CUTA maintained its initial proposal of an 8.22% salary schedule increase, and ending salary step at 22 years by reducing the longevity increments from 3 years to 2 years.

(2) Article 12, “Teaching Hours”

To further its values in supporting family-friendly schedules and mitigating the impacts of minimum days upon families of younger students by standardizing dismissal times, the District’s current proposal is to establish a uniform student dismissal time for Grades K-3 to be 2:15 p.m. daily, and for Grades 4-5 levels to be 2:55 p.m. daily.  The minimum days for parent conference weeks and the six (6) professional development “Super Fridays” will continue to be minimum days.

CUTA’s current proposal is to eliminate the six (6) professional development minimum days beginning in 2024-25 school year.  In lieu of these professional development minimum days, CUTA proposes the District to provide release days for teacher-selected professional development activities. 

Next Steps

CUSD and CUTA will work with the State-appointed mediator to further negotiate in good faith over compensation, health and welfare benefits, and teaching hours.

CUTA/CUSD Negotiations Update - November 27, 2023

On November 16, 2023, the bargaining teams for the District and CUTA met for a half-day session to further discuss their respective proposals on health benefits.  The teams are committed to continuing further negotiating compensation and benefits, in addition to the other articles that were reopened for the 2023-24 school year.  The District and CUTA are next scheduled to meet on Friday, December 1st to continue their discussions. 

CUTA/CUSD Negotiations Update - October 19, 2023

On October 19, 2023, bargaining teams on behalf of the Cabrillo Unified School District and the Cabrillo Unified Teachers Association met for their first session as part of regular contract reopener negotiations for the 2023-24 school year. During the session, proposals were discussed pertaining to safety conditions, teaching hours, compensation, and health benefits.  The District and CUTA also scheduled additional bargaining dates through the remainder of the calendar year. We are scheduled to meet next on November 16, to continue our discussions, and we look forward to continuing a collaborative and productive process to support employees and students.

CUTA/CUSD Negotiations Update - 2022-23

The 2022-23 District/CUTA labor negotiations cycle concluded with the CUTA bargaining unit filing for impasse with the California Public Employment Relations Board in March of 2023. The California Public Employment Relations Board assigned a mediator who released the parties to fact-finding.  However, neither CUTA nor the District moved to request for fact-finding.  The District and CUTA sunshined their respective reopener articles,
CUSD Reopeners 2023-24 , CUTA Reopeners 2023-24) at the October meeting of the Cabrillo Unified School District Governing Board.  

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