SEIU Local 99 members on the Special Education Labor Management Committee met with LAUSD on January 24, 2024 to discuss the implementation of the 7-hour positions for Special Education Assistants and other issues impacting members in Special Education.
Implementing 7-Hour Positions for Special Education Assistants
According to our contract, LAUSD was required to begin the process of offering Special Education Assistants the opportunity to work 7-hour shifts on January 1, 2024, and ensure that the process is fully implemented by July 1, 2024. However, the district did not provide our union or school sites with a concrete plan prior to January 1, leading some sites to offer the 7-hour position and creating confusion on how members will be impacted. We brought this to the district’s attention and they agreed to provide us with a plan on how the process will be implemented. The first step will be for the district to send a survey. The district has notified members that a survey will be sent to special education assistants assigned to 6 and 6.5 hours informing them that “their position will be automatically increased to seven hours by July 1, 2024 and giv(ing) them the option to remain at their current assigned hours.” According to the district, the survey will be sent “toward the end of February.” SEIU Local 99 Members on the Labor Management Committee will review the survey before it is sent to ensure it is clear on the process.
What about Special Education Assistants Who Choose to Remain in 6 and 6.5-Hour Positions?
Special Education Assistants who voluntarily choose to remain in 6 or 6.5-hour positions, will continue on part-time status. They will not lose any hours or benefits. The 6 and 6.5-hour positions are not being phased-out. Members who chose to remain in these part-time positions now will also have the option of accepting a 7-hour position in the future.
Expanding 7-Hour Positions to Health Care Assistants
Our union is pushing forward to ensure that Health Care Assistants are also included in the 7-hour positions. We will be bringing this issue directly to the LAUSD school board and Superintendent Carvalho at their February 13 meeting. All HCAs are urged to sign the petition currently circulating urging the board to expand the 7-hour positions to Health Care Assistants. For a link to the petition, please contact Jeanette Verbera at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Behavior Intervention (BII) Differential
Members on the Labor Management Committee also pressed LAUSD to provide us with a clear plan on the BII Differential. According to our contract, Special Education Assistants assigned to provide additional behavioral intervention support duties to a specific student(s) through the IEP process will be paid a 5.5% differential during the period of the assignment. The district’s implementation of this differential has also been haphazard. Members alerted the district that many paraprofessionals have not received payment and there is no clear process for distinguishing and documenting BII work. The district said it will provide our union with plans on how BII work will be distinguished from Special Education Assistant assignments and provide a code for documenting that work. Stay tuned for updates.