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District settles with union

Molly Shore

Twelve custodians will get $2,000 for overtime work they weren’t

allowed to perform, following a settlement between the Burbank

Unified School District and the California School Employees Assn.


The union filed the grievance in July after it was learned that

non-union workers and possibly volunteers performed eight hours of

overtime work at John Burroughs High School, a violation of the

union’s collective bargaining agreement with the school district,


union representative Dvora Mayer said this week.

The settlement was reached in August, but custodians weren’t paid

until Sept. 12, Mayer said.

District Supt. Gregory Bowman acknowledged the overtime work was

given to “substitute custodians” who are not permanent employees, and

should have been offered to full-time custodians.

“It came at a time when people were attempting to save the

overtime costs,” Bowman said. “It came right after the budget


discussion, and it was thought that overtime was not allowed.”

In the future, the district plans to have a designated short-term

employee so that jobs such as moving furniture will be done by them

instead of substitutes, Bowman added.

According to Mayer, a substitute under the legal definition has to

be someone who is out on leave. What the district did was bring in

non-bargaining unit employees, which could also mean that they were

volunteers, she said.


“Essentially, they brought in subcontractors, outsiders,” Mayer


“Under the education code, they certainly aren’t considered to be


Mayer also contends that a short-term employee cannot perform the

custodian’s work.

“A short-term employee is supposed to be brought in for a special

project with a start and end date,” she said. “They cannot be doing

our bargaining term work.”

School board member Dave Kemp said that regardless of how it was

perceived, the union felt that its employees were entitled to the

compensation and the district believed it was obligated to pay the


“I know it’s a small amount,” Kemp said. “But we’re in such a

crunch that it’s an unfortunate situation.”