California Educator

October 2015

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 43 of 63

Bargaining Roundup Details of these stories at S A N TA M A R I A E D U C AT O R S F I G H T F O R P R O F E S S I O N A L R I G H T S The Santa Maria Joint Union High School District Faculty Association continued bargaining in September with the district on salary and professional rights issues. Despite a more than $11 million revenue increase this year, from $77 million to $88.8 million, the district is offering no salary increase to its educators. It is also proposing to eliminate department heads in an effort to thwart the current practice of having those positions elected by their col- leagues. Faculty Association President Mark Goodman says the district can and should do much better; the association is seeking an 8 percent raise. District administrators have already given them- selves and other district employees a raise, but they are holding firm to no raise for teachers. S A N J O S E T E A C H E R S O K C O N T R A C T A newly ratified contract means stu- dents will benefit from the restoration of smaller class sizes while educators' salaries will increase — a boost to mo- rale in San Jose's East Side Union High School District, the largest high school district in Northern California. "The perseverance of our members really paid off with a win-win con- tract for students and all educators," says Marisa Hanson, president of the 1,200-member East Side Teachers Association. "It took a bargaining im- passe and two state mediation sessions for this district to finally understand that S A N L O R E N Z O T E A C H E R S D E C L A R E I M PA S S E , T RY T O S T E M H I G H T U R N O V E R San Lorenzo Unified School District educators declared a bargaining impasse Oct. 13 as Superintendent Fred Brill continued to shortchange students and educators at the bargaining table despite the district's windfall of millions in new state funding. Teachers are asking for lower class sizes, especially for English learners and students with special needs. The school board and Brill have refused to agree to lower class sizes, even for the neediest students. The 10,000-student district is offering only a 1.5 percent salary schedule increase and is unwilling to provide teachers with the same health benefits package provided to ad- ministrators. Teachers are asking for a 6.2 percent salary increase and health benefits parity. This year, school started with more than 25 unfilled educator vacancies, four times as many as two neighboring districts in Castro Valley and San Leandro. More than 70 educators left the district at the end of last school year — 30 of them went to higher-paying jobs, and another 30 were let go at the end of the year for not meeting standards for quality teaching. "How can a district with more than a $25 million windfall not provide a highly qualified teacher in every classroom from day one of the school year?" asks Donna Pinkney, president of the 580-member San Lorenzo Education Association. Pinkney says San Lorenzo has a windfall from the state's Local Control Fund- ing Formula of more than $25 million in the last three years and an increase of ongoing revenue for this school year of more than $8 million. Spending on cer- tificated management has increased by $1.4 million during the last three years. Brill is one of the highest-paid superintendents in Alameda County. "San Lorenzo teachers are among the lowest paid in Alameda County, result- ing in the district being unable to hire teachers, and students being hurt by high teacher turnover," Pinkney says. "The school board and Superintendent Brill are refusing to make a long-term investment in teachers by making competitive salaries a budget priority, and that's harming the students and the community." On Oct. 1, hundreds of educators held informational picketing at all 15 school sites, to mobilize parents as well. (See photo above.) "The San Lorenzo Education Association is standing up for students and fighting for the future of the San Lorenzo Unified School District," Pinkney says. "There is no more important expenditure than investing in a stable and highly qualified team of educators to work directly with our students." Pinkney says the union was planning an Oct. 20 protest rally at the school board meeting if no settlement was reached. See updates online at 42 Advocacy

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of California Educator - October 2015