#75: CSEA President Josh Isenbarger Talks Job Layoffs at Antioch Unified School District

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On this episode, ahead of layoff notices, I chat with Josh Isenbarger who is the president of the CSEA in Antioch for the Antioch Unified school District (Classified Employees). Due to budget cuts, they are anticipating layoffs all while leadership at the teachers union is requesting a 2% raise. Isenbarger highlights how they hope teamwork can be the priority which would help save jobs.

Later Friday, AUSD will release their proposal on number of layoffs for classified staff in their Board Staff Report.

Episode Overview:

  • 01:42 – Who is the CSEA and what do they do?
  • 02:26 – Governor Gavin Newsom’s May Revise with $7 billion in cuts, LCAP cuts. What does it look like to CSEA.
  • 03:55 – Why should parents care about these cuts? Classified employees will be laid off.
  • 05:16 – Food Services feeding students during SIP – demand more than doubled. If cuts occur, how are local community going to be fed?  At home learning, with distance learning, staff is needed.
  • 07:38 – We talk about the teacher’s union leadership seeking a 2% raise which could cost classified jobs.
  • 11:19 – How has COVID-19 changed job descriptions and effort just to clean a campus and then how going back to school may look like with extra cleaning?
  • 14:18 – What is going on with bus drivers? What are they doing?
  • 16:16 – CSEA has an open contract, not looking for a raise at this time, keep it the same in terms of pay. Concessions and what they get are still being negotiated. Working more to keep as many people as employed.
  • 17:25 – A lot of CSEA live locally, if laid off, less money into the community.
  • 19:37 – Friday, the plan for job cuts will come out. What does the future hold in terms of job loss?
  • 21:16 – a 2% raise for teachers, its not that its not warranted, its just COVID-19 has changed the landscape and the MOU, a raise is not realistic.
  • 22:21 – Where is the teamwork between AEA and CSEA? Where is the State Superintendent Tony Thurmond on all of this.
  • 25:00 – What is the goal once the budget recommendation comes out?
  • 26:30 – Where is the superintendent (Stephanie Anello) and leadership in all of this?
  • 28:15 – What about the school board (Diane Gibson-Gray, Mary Rocha, Gary Hack, Ellie Householder, Crystal Sawyer-White) ? Where are they at?

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18 COMMENTS

  1. Can you say solidarity among unions? Let’s give raises and layoff others. What a crock of sh t. Let’s just go virtual and get rid of the lot of them. I’m sure there’s a company out there thinking they can teach thousands at a time. Put the raises aside and get kids back in the class room.

  2. The statements made during this interview are absolutely ridiculous. This is not the time to pit the two unions against each other. All the teachers have asked is for fair wages that were supposed to be in place for this year. Teachers are NOT greedy and it shouldn’t matter where we live, this whole thing is impacting everyone. The interviewer clearly has absolutely no idea what teachers have been doing during the pandemic. One hour of student contact is not the reality. We have been working overtime to make sure our kids have what they need in order to continue learning. If you really want to inform the community and and bring people together, you would’ve invited the president of AEA to speak instead of stoking anger.

    • Maria,

      I am glad ECT did this interview. It shows how out of touch the teachers are with reality while others are losing their livelihood. Cost of living increase when others are either out of work or have taken pay cuts.

      I thought the interview was fair given who the guest was.

    • I 100% disagree. Distance learning has been horrible. My kid has had a grand total of 2 online meetings with his teacher. Since March, we would be lucky to have an hour of student time. These teachers are just uploading busy work assignments and providing no real learning environment. Teachers should be getting a pay cut if anything. A raise is out of the question.

    • LOL maybe your kids private school (or probably you have no kids)have more than an hour of online learning but the reality is everything is done by “packets”.Teachers love it. I mean making your 80k and kicking back…ummm nice. Of course the Union wants more money. It’s a joke on us because your Democrat Party wants to keep this thing going as long as possible. The kids suffer. So much so that the UC system predicts that kids will be so stupid in the future that there will be no need for the SAT.

      • from CBS News 05/23/2020
        The University of California system will no longer require students to submit ACT and SAT test scores as a part of their college application requirements. Akil Bello, the senior director of advocacy and advancement for The National Center for Fair and Open Testing, joined CBSN to discuss. The video is on youtube

  3. Hope the teachers are happy. 29 layoffs. AEA leadership has failed the District and are not being team players. Valorie Luke should resign.

  4. Problems with the budget huh? Well maybe the District will have an excuse to stop the insane practice of door to door bus service for these retarded students. Every morning (pre lockdown) the roads are clogged with these buses ferrying 2 or 3 kids to school that’s only a few blocks away.

    • Seems like having to be in the presence of your kids is really kicking your parental butt. Visit a school and SEE what teachers do. I raised my kids and have seven grand in schools. They need a BIG raise just to put up with these bad ass, disrespectful, kids. If anything, you should see they are underpaid. They educate our future. Things changed rapidly and you want perfection,immediately. Stand in front of deer valley and just check kids with no bookbag(books)….daily. Go to the school and see your rude,rowdy,unprepared student…you could see their grades and missed assignments online,but you would rather complain here. Much school improvement needed,but it ain’t the teachers!!!

  5. Wow.. the comments are unfortunately, not surprising. I’m sorry if your experience with other teachers has been less than desirable according to you, but I can only speak from personal experience. I don’t just kick back and collect a check, and I know a lot of other teachers who are busting their tails every day. Whether packet or live instruction, it takes time and planning to put things together for our students. To look at the work, contact students and parents, it takes time. To put the blame entirely on the teachers is a real shame. We are not the bad guys here. We’re actually on the same team. Oh and no, my kids don’t go to private school, but thanks for your blanket assumptions. Hope you have a great day making assumptions and calling disabled students names..

  6. Actually, teachers should give up tenure for any raise. Raises should be based on merit. There are too many children not getting the proper education due to tenure. If parents were given a choice of any school For their child to attend, I guarantee the entitlement of automatic raises would change and our children would receive the education deserved to be a productive successful citizen. Public employee unions should be outlawed.

  7. How many people at the district level been cut? I’ll answer that, they have cut no one, they have just reassigned a few people. In terms of people bashing teachers, distance learning is no easy task. The whole way we deliver instruction changed overnight.
    We have not been trained to be online teachers so we had to adapt and learn quickly. Many of our students are also not experienced at using technology and we have spent hours and hours trying to help them navigate through this. It is also not easy to try to grade student work and provide feedback while squinting for hours at a small laptop screen. There isn’t a teacher that I know that doesn’t spend their own money on their classrooms and students. There isn’t a teacher I know that doesn’t participate in the cleaning of their own classroom. The field trips we plan and run are done on our own time. We work off the clock a lot. We are not paid overtime or paid at all for working off the clock. A colleague of mine just spent a good two days developing a slide show for our eighth graders, this is outside of her regular workload, which trust me is far more than one hour a day. That is just one example but there are so many more.In terms of Josh badmouthing AEA’s leadership, he IS badmouthing teachers as they ARE teachers. I find his comments about our leadership extremely offensive. Perhaps, he would like to clarify exactly who he is referring to. I also find it interesting that everyone who is not a teacher thinks they know what it is like to be a teacher. I can’t imagine making myself an expert as to what it means to be a doctor as I would have no idea. We have families too who have lost jobs due to the COVID situation. We are supporting our families as well. Many teachers are fresh out of school, not making enough money, and have families to support. Stop bashing teachers and stop bashing our leadership. We respect and value our classified staff, we are committed to our students and their families but we must take take of ourselves too. The 2% raise we were promised was agreed to at the bargaining table. The district should honor their word as they were completely funded by the state for the 2019-2020 school year.

  8. Sara, here is an interesting idea for you, a teacher of our children. Plug your laptop into your TV and stop squinting. It’s real easy!

  9. ECT should have held this interview until after the staff report was released. Most of it makes much more sense now. I like the idea of Josh Isenbarger pushing for a uniform approach where everyone is sharing in cost cutting. He carried himself very well and made complex topics very easy to understand. Teachers union leadership is off the mark and should get everything coming to them in the form of the negative comments. I would also like to see administration take a pay cut, board members take a pay cut and do whatever they can to save jobs. I may not agree with everything Burkholder said in the interview but I found it very educational.

Comments are closed.