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L.A. TEACHERS BREAK W/UNION & SUPPORT PAY CUTS

Original post made by doglover on Apr 9, 2009

In the April 6, 2009 issue of the Los Angeles Times, reporter Howard Blume reports that the L.A. School Board Chief, Monica Garcia, met with teachers willing to break with their union to support pay cuts and thereby save the jobs of their colleagues.

Garcia said "The concern is that there are schools that are disproportionately impacted by the seniority rule,"

At one school, Garcia noted that teachers are saying that they are willing to take on the shared sacrifice so their colleagues whom they described as "the future generation of teachers and school staff" can keep their jobs.

To see the complete article, visit the L.A. Times website, www.latimes.com



Comments (9)

Posted by Sandy, a resident of Mohr Park
on Apr 9, 2009 at 5:22 pm

Here's the link:

Web Link

Do I understand correctly that some teachers at a few schools are volunteering to make additional voluntary furlough days? Or are they trying to convince the other members of the union to all take more furlough days?

I don't know the history of negotiations between the LAUSD and the teachers union, so it's hard to interpret. It sounds like some teachers are in a position to be very generous -- giving back two weeks of pay. Others, as seen in the comments, are vehemently opposed to additional furlough days.

As an aside, I noticed that the commenters at the LA Times call each other names, too, even though registration is required to comment and comments are moderated. I'm not sure how I feel about that... I hope that the current trend toward more civil disagreements on the blogs here continues.


Posted by doglover, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 9, 2009 at 5:52 pm

It is interesting to read the blogs on other newspapers. Some of them make the PW blogs seem very gentle in comparison.
Not trying to make sense of the history of the teachers' union and L.A. school districts. But considering how strong the teachers' unions are, the idea that any teachers would go against their union to save the jobs of the "next generation" - that's pretty incredible.
It's also interesting to see how there is discussion, even among teachers, about the problems with the seniority system.
But mostly, it's just nice to read about people who behave generously.


Posted by Get the facts, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 9, 2009 at 8:14 pm

Sandy and doglover:

Did you know that the PUSD teachers have agreed to a two-day lay-off (unpaid days) next year? So give credit where credit is due. We have seen the postings and such asking for a shared sacrifice, and we are offering it up. And those of us teachers who also live in town will also be paying the tax, a double-whammy.

And let's be clear on the terminology, a furlough day is a paid day, basically a vacation day. The days that the PUSD administrators are taking this year and next year are layoff days, or unpaid days.


Posted by meaningful concession, a resident of Harvest Park Middle School
on Apr 9, 2009 at 8:29 pm

The Pleasanton teachers Union concession is absurd.
Step and column raises make up more than 6 million of the projected shortfall over the next four years.
The teachers concession will will only give back $700 thousand if the parcel tax passes....which it won't .....so they give no concession...... and they let their colleges lose their jobs.
If the teachers union wants to make a meaningful concession they would freeze step
& column. That would save teachers jobs!


Posted by Pleasanton Parent, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Apr 9, 2009 at 9:44 pm

Get the facts

"Did you know that the PUSD teachers have agreed to a two-day lay-off (unpaid days) next year? So give credit where credit is due. We have seen the postings and such asking for a shared sacrifice, and we are offering it up."

"And those of us teachers who also live in town will also be paying the tax, a double-whammy."

The concessions offered by the teachers are a welcome first step. It at least shows that they are sensitive to the issues facing our community and willing to negotiate. Unfortunately two days is not enough in my opinion. Asking the community for money during the deepest and longest economic recession while planning on taking step and column increases is insulting. I personally don't believe the teachers need to take pay cuts, but they should forfeit step and column increases.

Your last comment is an interesting one to say the least. I have heard arguments that favor support of the parcel tax because Pleasanton residents benefit from an increase in property values. In this case, teachers that happen to be Pleasanton homeowners would also benefit in this case. I have also heard arguments stating that teacher's will be taking an additional hit. Which is it? Is the parcel tax beneficial to Pleasanton homeowners or a penalty?


Posted by Pleasanton Parent for the Parcel Tax, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 9, 2009 at 10:10 pm

What's sad is the response to the teacher's concessions by this community. "Unfortunately two days is not enough in my opinion." PUSD teachers, I have come to the conclusion that no matter what you do it will not be enough for this community, and I can't understand why!

When it is another district the response is:

"But considering how strong the teachers' unions are, the idea that any teachers would go against their union to save the jobs of the "next generation" - that's pretty incredible."

I remember reading the blogs that said "when teachers agree to feel the pain, I will vote for the parcel tax" So where are your comments now?

Double whammy seems to me like teachers who will pay the equivalent to 4 years of a parcel tax in one year (up to $1,00 per teacher), plus a parcel tax each year....and still get the comment of "its not enough".

Our teachers are deserving the credit for listening to the residents of Pleasanton and sharing the sacrifice. You can't turn it around now and say...not good enough when you are not willing to "share the pain" at all.


Posted by Pleasanton Parent, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Apr 9, 2009 at 10:59 pm

I have come to the conclusion that no matter what you do it will not be enough for this community, and I can't understand why!"

I personally will support the parcel tax if teachers agree to forfeit step and column increases.


Posted by Sandy, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 10, 2009 at 7:21 am

Thank you for the reminder, Getthefacts. I especially appreciate the distinction between furlough days and the elimination of two professional development days.

I wrote a letter to the editor this week, applauding the teachers' willingness to step up and be a part of the solution to the state budget cuts. I don't have my copy of PW yet, so I don't know if my letter will appear in print.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Apr 10, 2009 at 7:41 am

Get the facts: A furlough IS an unpaid day; a temporary layoff. Think of it as a donation back to the district. For STRS and PERS purposes, your salary stays on the books for calculation of retirement even though two days of pay are withheld.

Giving up two days of staff development is unfortunate. Others on both sides of the issue have pointed out there is a value to teachers and their students to that professional learning. I will acknowledge it is a sacrifice by APT, but it is not the best choice and it disappears if the parcel tax fails.

Long-term solutions are needed and not even the parcel tax offers that.


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