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School district, faculty shed some light on negotiations

While the weather might be overcast and gray, CUSD has entered into a period of sunshine. As part of an annual review of the collective bargaining agreement, CUSD and Claremont faculty are sunshining negotiations of the California Faculty Association contracts for next year. Sunshining is meant to keep transparency during negotiations.

Class sizes continue to be an issue due to the increased number of students in the district. According to David Chamberlin, president of the Claremont Faculty Association, faculty is concerned that students will begin to suffer if class sizes continue to increase. In the past, the state provided funding to allow for smaller class sizes, but when budgeting was cut, class sizes increased.

The district was able to sustain smaller class sizes for a short time after the cuts, but soon had to increase the number of students.

“We’d like to find ways to reduce those numbers a bit to create a better atmosphere in the class room and a little bit more going on between student and teacher,” Mr. Chamberlin said.

The regularly reviewed items include welfare, benefits and compensation. The Educational Employment Relations Act (EERA) guarantees teachers their right to organize and negotiate over policies affecting wages hours and other terms of employment. The sunshining period allows the public to weigh in on the articles selected.

The initial proposal is available to view at the Richard S. Kirkendall Education Center and the Claremont public library. The public hearing of the district proposal will be at the February 20, 2014 meeting.

—Christina Collins Burton

storribio@claremont-courier.com

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