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
“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.”