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Pleasanton Teachers Give Concessions to Help PUSD

Original post made by PTA Mom on May 12, 2011

Another local paper reported this morning about the concessions that Pleasanton teachers' union gave. (I didn't try to post a link, because I didn't know if it was allowed). I hope those on this site who blast the teachers and think they have an easy job, realize how wonderful our teachers really are.


Thank you to all the Pleasanton Teachers who work so hard, gave up so much, and plan on working even harder next year. Many of us parents who have supported you and the schools through the last 3 years, are thankful for your dedication and love of the job and our children.

Comments (19)

Posted by parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 12, 2011 at 8:13 pm

The CSEA union (non-teachers) are the ones who gave the concessions of furlough days to the district; not the teacher's union. The only items the teacher's union gave were:

# The agreement suspends the collaboration period at the comprehensive high schools for 2011-12. Schools may elect to schedule some class periods from their staffing allotment outside of the regular six period day in order to make some availability for seven period schedules (e.g. A or B period classes.) Estimated budget savings of $448,000.

# Continue the suspension of Voluntary Staff Development Days for teachers and continue suspension of the Teacher Support and Training Advisory Committee and associated teacher stipend for 2011-12. Estimated budget savings of $395,000.

The other item that they say is saving the district the most is allowing the staffing ratios to increase. They don't have a choice on this matter since we have to lay off teachers and have to educate the students of the city so of course the staffing ratios are going to increase. That is a false savings. They say this saves $880,000 but in reality it saves nothing because we have to do layoffs.

Of course there are still step and column raises which are actually more than the concessions of the union.


Posted by Salary schedule, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 12, 2011 at 8:27 pm

Since there are no more APT certificated furlough days for next year (last year there were 5 unpaid furlough days), this means that PUSD will be spending 2.78% more on payroll for APT members than last year. What that means is that in addition to step and column, there is an across the board pay increase consisting of 5 more paid days for each APT member next year. That means in addition to step and column increases, teachers will receive an increase of around $3 million next year compared to the last school year.

So the classified staff came through with furlough days, the certificated staff did not.


Posted by Get the facts:, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 12, 2011 at 9:37 pm

To Salary schedule:

Let's keep our eye on the ball: don't we want the kids to be back in school for those five days? Shouldn't we be thinking about the kids? Many teachers were happy to consider furlough days, but we were encouraged to keep the kids in school, so we found other ways to cut. Is 1.7 MILLION not enough for you?

And I love how you think replacing five lost days is a raise! Talk about spinning the truth! If you want to call that a raise, be sure to include that my health care costs go up every year (which comes out of the teachers' paychecks, the district does not cover that). Is that somehow a raise?


Posted by parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 13, 2011 at 9:20 am

To Get the facts:

There are not 1.7 million in savings from APT. Most of that money is from "allowing" the district to lay off teachers that there is no money for.

Only in government can you have the situation where you have to lay off somebody because of lack of funds and then the union claims that as a concession/savings. The APT union is giving the public a great reason to get rid of public employee unions.


Posted by Davis, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 13, 2011 at 10:20 am

Respectfully, have you not spent the last year shouting from the rooftops that the furloughs were a pay cut? So to suspend them would be a pay raise.

You can't have it both ways just because it now suits your purpose to change your interpretation.


Posted by Arnold, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 13, 2011 at 5:08 pm

Parent,

"There are not 1.7 million in savings from APT. Most of that money is from "allowing" the district to lay off teachers that there is no money for.

Only in government can you have the situation where you have to lay off somebody because of lack of funds and then the union claims that as a concession/savings. The APT union is giving the public a great reason to get rid of public employee unions."

It is difficult to argue with your assesment. Another way savings are articulated is by eliminating unfilled positions. Don't ever expect a straight answer when the unions are involved.

Here is a good article, not from Danieal Borenstein, about Daniel Borenstein and his writings: Here is an excerpt:

By Jane Jamison

Daniel Borenstein of the Contra Costa Times in Northern California continues to be one of the very few TRUTH tellers in the mainstream media when it comes to the financial crisis being caused by public employee pensions.

He deserves a big hat tip for bravely reporting from a blue area in a blue state and throwing the disinfectant of "sunshine" on the facts Democrats and Big Labor don't want you to know. How he has survived his liberal editorial board members, I don't know, but keep writing, Dan.

Here is some very useful information that you will need as a "talking point" to fight the millions of dollars in advertising messages you are going to get from the California public employees. As you might expect, they are LYING like crazy to keep the public in the dark about their fat, overbloated salaries, pensions, health insurance and benefits.


Daniel Borenstein: Public employee pensions much higher than advertised

There's not much more than lip service being paid by Governor Jerry Brown to pension reform in California. After all, they OWN him to the tune of at LEAST $20 million in campaign donations this last go 'round.

But even the tiniest bit of public resistance and discussion about touching public employee pensions is being shouted down by the unions and even by another of their sobsister-on-payroll apologists, Treasurer William Lockyer.

The public employees are trying to tell California that they really are just poor, hard-working public servants who are scraping by on an average of $27,000 a year in retirement. Have you heard that figure being used? Of course you have....

True or false?

Reporter Borenstein says without a doubt, FALSE.

In fact, CalPERS data shows the average career public employee, who put in at least 30 years of service and retired in the 2008-09 fiscal year, collected a starting pension of $67,000 a year, or 2.5 times the advertised figure. The higher number is buried deep in the retirement system's financial statement and never makes it to the promotional material CalPERS hands out.

The pension numbers are even higher for the separate local retirement systems that cover employees of the two East Bay county governments. The average was $85,500 for career workers who retired in 2009 from the Contra Costa system, and $83,000 from Alameda County."


More here: Web Link


Posted by really?, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 13, 2011 at 10:20 pm

To show how crazy its getting w/ state employees and unions did anyone read about the Newport lifeguard who gets to retire @ the age of 51, receive a government retirement of over $108,000 per year for the rest of his life?

He will make well over $3 million in retirement if he lives to age 80!

I hope I posted the link correctly. If not, you can google. It was on Real Clear Politics recently. well worth a read.

Web Link


Posted by Me Too, a resident of Foothill Farms
on May 13, 2011 at 10:33 pm

Yeah, I read that article. The guy's name was David Hasseldorf.


Posted by Really?, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 13, 2011 at 10:59 pm


Lifeguarding in OC is totally lucrative; some make over $200k


"High pay and benefits for lifeguards in Newport Beach is the latest example of frustrating levels of compensation for public employees. More than half the city's full-time lifeguards are paid a salary of over $100,000 and all but one of them collect more than $100,000 in total compensation including benefits...Newport Beach, lifeguards are compensated all too well; especially compared with the county annual median household income of $71,735."


"Brent Jacobsen, president of the Lifeguard Management Association, defended the lifeguard pay in Newport Beach: "We have negotiated very fair and very reasonable salaries in conjunction with comparable positions and other cities up and down the coast"

- Of course the compensation seems reasonable compared to unreasonable compensation from other comparable cities up and down the coast. That's how it works. Unions neglect the reality of private sector compensation by only bargaining based on the highest compensation of their overcompensated counterparts.

"Lifeguard salaries here are well within the norm of other city employees (note: are other cities paying attention)." And therein is the problem: Local public worker pay has become all too generous and out of line with private sector equivalents."

"Lifeguards are organized as part of the fire department."

- Of course. Why not hitch your wagon to some of the highest paid public servants on the planet.



Posted by Teacher too, a resident of Vineyard Hills
on May 15, 2011 at 4:32 pm

Please don't continue to lump teachers' pensions with the ones you that cited. My pension would be $38,400 at 55 after 31 years of teaching with no medical coverage. I am looking at my STRS paperwork right now. Medical coverage would cost at least $12,000 a year, so of course I won't even consider retirement at 55. Luckily I still love my job. But, I guess I should have continued lifeguarding if I wanted a earlier and larger pension. I didn't realize so many public employees had benefits, salaries, and pensions far superior to teachers until reading this blog. And to those who say I should contribute to a 401 like the rest of you, I do and have since my second year of teaching.


Posted by Jason, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on May 15, 2011 at 5:39 pm

A $38K pension isn't lucrative but it's 38K more per year than I will get after 31 years in the private sector. I haven't had a raise in 3 years and my medical costs have gone up every year.

Teachers should not receive guaranteed salary increases (step & column) while we are eliminating positions, reducing school days and increasing class sizes. While Pleasanton has many exceptional teachers, current economic realities don't warrant raises.

PUSD needs to make some tough choices (contract support services, freeze teacher salaries). Also, those who voted no on E need to recognize that poor choices by the State will result in significant funding reductions to our schools, regardless of what actions the school board takes.


Posted by To: Teacher too, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 15, 2011 at 8:01 pm

"Please don't continue to lump teachers' pensions with the ones you that cited. My pension would be $38,400 at 55 after 31 years of teaching with no medical coverage."

What state do you teach in? No teacher with 30 years experience in Pleasanton will retire with less than 54K, and the number will be much higher for most. Maybe I'm missing something but I beleive CA Teachers receive a pension beginning at 60, and receive 2% of their pay for each year worked based on final salary. If they work until age 63 they receive 2.4% of compensation times years worked. Teachers have also been diverting 2% of their pension contribution toward retirement health care for the past decade, with a taxpayer guaranteed minimum rate of return, so they do receive some retiree medical coverage.

Am I wrong about that?


Posted by Teacher too, a resident of Vineyard Hills
on May 15, 2011 at 10:10 pm

Wrong, I'm looking at my statement...and I teach in Pleasanton. I could have a reach a higher pension if I teach 35 years and retire at 60.


Posted by Teacher too, a resident of Vineyard Hills
on May 15, 2011 at 10:14 pm

Oops grammatical mistake. I could reach a higher pension at 60 years of age and 35 years of teaching. Many of you assume things that aren't true.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on May 16, 2011 at 7:46 am

Web Link
This is a page at the CaSTRS site so everyone has the same information. It is important to note that few teachers are eligible to also collect from Social Security, even if they contributed.


Posted by Teach Elsewhere, live Pleasanton, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 16, 2011 at 9:34 am

"Teachers should not receive guaranteed salary increases (step & column) while we are eliminating positions, reducing school days and increasing class sizes. While Pleasanton has many exceptional teachers, current economic realities don't warrant raises."


Posted by Teach Elsewhere, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 16, 2011 at 9:51 am

"Teachers should not receive guaranteed salary increases (step & column) while we are eliminating positions, reducing school days and increasing class sizes. While Pleasanton has many exceptional teachers, current economic realities don't warrant raises."

As a teacher in the Bay Area comments like the one above truly frustrate due to a couple of points below.

1. With all the furlough days we have taken the past couple of years, even with my step and column moving up I have still taken a cut of approximately $1200/year. So, for those arguing you haven't gotten a raise in the public sector neither have we. In fact we have taken cuts to our pay. Spin it whatever way you would like but I know the facts of my paychecks and tax documents.

2. When we were fighting districts for a 2-3% COLA (Cost of Living Adjustment)the state passed down 7+ years ago to offset living costs such as healthcare (that was going up MUCH more than 2% yearly)what was going on in the private sector? People were walking into their bosses office and negotiating raises of 10+%.

When times are good, we are not getting raises like those in the private sector, we know that, accept it and move on. We would like at least the respect deserved of cost of living adjustments that the state provides. Even then some districts try to hold on to the money and we fight it. For a measely 1, 2, 3%. We rarely/never find ourselves in the situation of a double digit pay increase percentage. We know it is a trade off to more job security (although such security is not what it once was).

We are certainly not expecting any COLA right now. It is unrealistic, but when the state is doing well and people in the private sector are getting huge bonuses, vacations, etc. we are still working for your children to educate them, create contributing members of society and being pretty much forgotten by many others. The economy starts to go south and we are the evil enemy bilking all the money out of the state. I know that people are more educated than this, the teachers unions did not cause the current financial situation anywhere in the country. Maybe people need to look a bit closer to their own private sector employers for the cause.


Posted by Property Perspective, a resident of Ironwood
on May 24, 2011 at 9:20 am

With great respect to the commentator above, a $1200 reduction in a year's pay is much less a loss than many in the private sector have taken. I have seen jobs reposted at 25% less money, and this has been talked about a lot in the news recently. As for the idea that private sector people walk into the office of the boss and negotiate a 10% raise, I have no idea where that notion comes from, but it's fiction for the past 10 years. To do something that foolish is just asking to be classified as a disgruntled employee and let go at the next opportunity. I have been in private sector business quite a few years and I have not seen raises in the private sector more than 3% which is being described by teachers as "measly". Given that many people deal with flat or falling pay these days, I'll take the "measly" 3% with humble gratitude and appreciation of actually having a job. On the idea that there are "huge bonuses and vacations" for those int he private sector, please send the goodies over to me. I have had no fancy vacation and no huge bonus in a decade. If you think that Wall Street outrages are representative of the private sector, that is mistaken. They are a bizarre exception and have been so for a very long time. And finally, the suggestion that when times are good the private sector races ahead is missing two considerations: it isn't true, and it doesn't account for the compensating job security. Try an at-will private sector job some time and let us know how it feels to be dismissed or offshored on little or no notice with a child and a mortgage! At least teaching as tough as it is has a lock-in employment security for the duration of the school year.

So, here's an alternate vision to replace the whining about lost COLA and all the other complaints I have seen: be ever thankful to live in America where there is freedom, opportunity, and hope!


Posted by Jake, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 24, 2011 at 10:09 pm

"Property Perspective",

The "private sector" work you do must not be in silicon valley. I work in VLSI design, and 10% increases are not unusual at all these days. I know a lot of the same competition for workers exists in many of the software fields as well. We have had to give emergency raises and bonuses to stem defections, and it is not just our company. Google, Apple, and others are all facing this.


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