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Saturday, January 19 , 2019, 1:48 am | Fair 47º


Despite Union Rejection, Santa Barbara School District to Reorganize IT Department

The Santa Barbara Unified School District plans to “reorganize” its Information Technology department soon even after the California School Employees Association membership rejected the latest negotiated proposal.

The Board of Education approved new job descriptions for many of the positions a few months ago, and the district reached agreement with CSEA’s bargaining team about the reorganization plan. The membership voted it down last week, according to CSEA labor relations representative Mark Moore.

“We’re not going to negotiate any further,” Santa Barbara Unified Superintendent Dave Cash said.

He wouldn’t specify details, but said he will discuss alternatives at Monday’s weekly meeting with district leaders.

“What we can’t do is wait a year or six months. We need to get the process moving quicker than that,” he said. “Our schools need support, our students need support and we’re going to support them.”

The benefit to the proposal was adding a job tree with room for promotion, and some employees had a job description that more accurately portrayed what they do every day, Moore said.

However, there are four employees “who the district identified as not qualified for any of these new positions, so with Education Code they can be laid off,” Moore said, adding that these people say the new jobs aren't that different than the ones they perform now.

Another issue is pay — the new positions are at a lower salary range than some of the current employees.

The CSEA wants to go back to the bargaining table, since the membership was clearly sending a message to take care of those four people, CSEA chapter president Paul Rooney said.

There have been different ideas over the years to centralize IT and to have site-based people, and now it seems the idea is to bring all positions under the district’s wing, Moore said.

“We just want them to be fair,” Rooney said.

Cash said the reorganization changes are likely to be implemented by the end of 2013, and he hopes to start the one-to-one iPad pilot program in January.

“It’s a different ballgame essentially for all of us,” he said, adding that new wireless networks on every campus and moving content to the cloud mean new roles for the IT department. “It’s a different skill set than requires someone to go out and restart a computer, launch new software and download a printer driver.”

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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