Modesto City Schools impasse denied

naustin@modbee.comMay 14, 2013 

    alternate textNan Austin
    Title: Education reporter
    Coverage areas: K-12 education, Yosemite Community College District
    Bio: Nan Austin has been a copy editor and reporter at The Modesto Bee for 24 years. She has an economics degree from CSU Stanislaus and previously worked at the Merced Sun-Star and Turlock Journal.
    Recent stories written by Nan
    On Twitter: @nanaustin

— The Public Employment Relations Board has ordered Modesto City Schools back to the bargaining table with its support staff, union negotiators said.

Aaron Castro, president of the 1,300-member Modesto chapter of the California School Employees Association, said he got word late Monday that the Sacramento panel denied the impasse.

Craig Rydquist, head of Modesto City Schools human resources, said Tuesday the district submitted a letter to the Public Employment Relations Board to withdraw the request for impasse determination with its support staff union.

"CSEA has stated movement remains possible, and the district looks forward to receiving a complete counterproposal from CSEA at the next negotiations session scheduled for later this month," Rydquist said via email.

The district declared negotiations at impasse in April. In its initial bargaining proposal, it asks employees to continue furloughs and salary cuts for three more years, eliminate reimbursement for steel-toed shoes and revise grievance, evaluation and overtime procedures.

Castro said contentious issues span "everything under the sun." Among them, he said, the district wants to eliminate rotation of overtime for after-hours events and create procedural hurdles to reduce the number of grievances.

Also on the table is a dress code prohibiting janitors from wearing shorts, said Castro, who is a janitor and said he often wears shorts in hot weather.

Bee education reporter Nan Austin can be reached at or (209) 578-2339, on Twitter, @NanAustin,

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