Trustee Peraza calls for resignation of SUHSD chief Ed Brand

Written by: Jaime Pronoble / News Editor

03/14/2014

pullquoteAs the Sweetwater Union High School District careens toward a possible March 18 teachers strike, Southwestern College Trustee Humberto Peraza called for the immediate resignation or termination of the district’s superintendent, Dr. Ed Brand.

“This superintendent should be fired right away,” said Peraza. “We should not wait and just sit there for his contract to run out (in November)when he’s completely destroyed this district and continues to do damage to it on a daily basis.”

Peraza said he is “disgusted” by Brand’s handling of the negotiations with the district teachers and his use of threats and bullying tactics.

“Ed Brand was supposed to come in to help fix the situation from what was a corrupt regime,” said Peraza. “I don’t know who in this community thought that it could be any worse than what (former superintendent Jesus) Gandara did, but somehow, someway, Ed Brand has found a way to make this situation far worse than it was.”

DrEdBrand
Brand

Community leader Stewart Payne also called for Brand’s immediate resignation saying he has made conditions at the district “unhealthy.”

“(The district) had issues before he came back,” Payne said, “but (Brand) has certainly made conditions and the environment in the district worse.”

After more than a year of unsuccessful negotiations between the district and the Sweetwater Education Association (SEA), the teacher’s union, classroom teachers are gearing up to strike as early as Tuesday. SEA President Roberto Rodriguez said the district is not negotiating in good faith and has not cooperated with state mediators.

“(The district) has been showing up for mediations, they have been here every meeting,” said Rodriguez, “but after four sessions of mediation, we got our first proposal from them at the last session, and it wasn’t a credible proposal from our point of view.”

Peraza, said the situation at SUHSD has gotten out of hand.

“The fact that the leadership of this district has allowed this to come to a point where they are about to strike and leave a lot of kids without an education for who knows how long is unbelievable,” said Peraza.

Rodriguez said striking is not what the teachers want to do, but most have indicated they feel they have no choice.

“Our goal isn’t to strike, it is to settle the contract with the district as soon as possible,” he said. “However, we want to make sure the district understands if they keep dragging their feet the way they have been, our members are ready to take the ultimate action.”

Photo by Sun Staff
Peraza

A letter from Brand said it is unlawful for the SEA to threaten a strike while engaged in impasse mediation, but Rodriguez said his claim is not true.

Rodriguez said the SEA filed an unfair labor practice with the Public Employee Relations Board (PERB) on a contract violation by the district. He said district negotiators changed the amount of money the district contributes toward teacher health benefits.

“We negotiated an agreement last year,” said Rodriguez. “In October, the district unilaterally announced they were going to contribute less money than had been negotiated. By changing the condition of the contract unilaterally, that is a violation of contract.”

District negotiators denied any violations.

Peraza acknowledged that it might seem unusual for a trustee of the community college to call for the resignation of the superintendent of the high school district, but he said he could no longer stand by quietly.

“Sweetwater has a lot of great teachers and dedicated employees, but the place is a train wreck and Brand is driving the train,” he said. “We owe it to the kids in our community to fix this mess and we can’t start to do that until Brand is gone. He needs to leave right now.”

3 Responses to “Trustee Peraza calls for resignation of SUHSD chief Ed Brand”

  1. sosocal

    And it is just like Brand to try and claim that the teachers cannot strike…he loves to sow disinformation and deceit.

    Reply
  2. palomo

    As a SUHSD teacher, I am appalled that this man is in charge. The corruption runs deep. Teachers are NOT striking for a pay raise–we haven’t had one in seven years, and in fact, took a 9% pay cut–we are not striking for a COLA–Haven’t had one of those in seven years or so–we are not striking for lost money on furlough days–the money isn’t the issue. The issue is Upper Management breaching a valid and viable contract. The District is trying to gain the upper hand through deceiving the public.The District, through Ed Brand’s “leadership” wants implement strategies to to up the amount of students per class. Most classes are completely inundated with a plethora of students. Nothing like having 41 students in a math or English class!–this equates to approximately 39 seconds of individual teacher to student interaction per day under the best of circumstances. There are other issues–the board voting for a 30 million dollar new building, pink slipping non-tenured and tenured teachers to save a few bucks here and there, and of course there is the whole Charter School debacle. Obviously, students are not at the forefront of the Board’s collective minds–Greed rules the day and these people are the epitome of Grinch color green.

    Reply
  3. sosocal

    Let us remember that this is not Ed Brand’s first rodeo. He was also the Superintendent of Sweetwater prior to Gandara, and left town in a big hurry when there was talk of a Grand Jury investigation of his goings-on at that time.
    The history at Sweetwater is a bad one: before Brand’s first time around, there was Trujillo, who sold district computers to contacts in Mexico. Trujillo, from Texas, ended up as Gandara’s mentor–no joke. It was not an accident that Gandara was brought in, probably because he had been made familiar with what was seen to be the status quo in Sweetwater. Then Gandara goes too far–and Brand returns…is has been a crooked lot for quite some time. All of which needs to change.
    The students and teachers here deserve people in charge who are there for the right reasons, education! Building a better future! Encouragement and training of young people! Helping people see where their opportunities are for better lives!

    Reply

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