Town Square

Post a New Topic

PUSD Teacher Salary Raises

Original post made by Dark Corners of Town on Jan 23, 2010

The teachers union (Association of Pleasanton Teachers) has weighed in on the definition of a 'raise'. See the APT website budget FAQs here (Web Link). APT says "PUSD teachers only get a raise when the amounts on the step and column table are increased." The teachers union would have you believe that "PUSD teachers did not receive a raise this year."
Any reasonable person knows that if you receive more regular pay in a pay period than before, that constitutes a 'raise'. The PUSD certificated salary table (Web Link) shows the salary raises as a teacher advances through the steps (one step for each year of employment). Further calculation shows that 52% of the FTE staff will receive a raise in the 2010-2011 school year, simply by being employed another year.
Further, the teachers union thinks this is 'confusing', which in framing tactics, means that they think they can re-define the word 'raise'. This lack of intellectual honesty does not help the union's bargaining position.
Question to the community: Would you rather have PUSD cut teacher positions and raise the remaining teachers' salaries, thereby hurting our kids? Or should PUSD hold the line on teacher salaries and save teacher jobs?
What do you think?

Comments (49)

Posted by anonymous, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 23, 2010 at 7:23 pm

Unless it is the first 5 or 6 years of teaching, you can't get a raise on the schedule unless you periodically move over by column. You can only move column when you have completed advanced course work at your own expense. Even though you can go down step the first 5 or 6 years without paying for advanced work, you still have to through BTSA on your own time, which is staff development designed to increase the competency of beginning teachers. You do get some money for experience and once you reach 20 years, you see no raise ever unless there is a negotiated one.

Some teachers did not get a raise this year. Some got additional pay because they earned it by returning to school. Some dropped down a step because they are more experienced. Teachers at the very top of the schedule received no increase at all. The schedule itself is available at the school district's web site.

Teacher's salaries are public information for all teachers in CA. Since the teachers agreed to pay their own benefits in the mid nineties, the cost of health care has increased and mostly eaten up any raise they have gotten. There are many teachers who do not buy their benefits through the district but it can not be assumed it is because they get them somewhere else at no cost, perhaps from a spouse. By not going through the district there is more choices and can get some benefits cheaper with a higher deductible. SOME young teachers are not buying benefits at all because they can't afford to pay rent and buy benefits.

Get the information. Know the facts. Teachers can be fired. The administration just has to do their job and evaluate and document.


Posted by resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 23, 2010 at 7:28 pm

A raise is a raise no matter how you spin it.


Posted by What?, a resident of Downtown
on Jan 23, 2010 at 7:34 pm

Teachers get a "step" raise simply by continuing in the district from one year to the next. They can also improve pay by earning college credits which is commonly referred to as "column" raises.

The union's definition that only when the entire chart is changed to raise the rates for the entire schedule is ridiculous spin on their part.


Posted by Caesar, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jan 23, 2010 at 8:10 pm

There are 15,000 public employees making over 100k in retierement benefits. They go up with inflation and include lifetime medical.
3 billion extra dollars were diverted to PERS to cover increasing pension liabilites last year. The state will go bankrupt.


Posted by Pleasanton Parent, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jan 23, 2010 at 8:36 pm

Teacher's voted on the healthcare issue, and voted so in favor of a higher salary and resulting pension. So lets not pretend that this wasn't something that teachers weren't in favor of.


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Jan 23, 2010 at 8:58 pm

you gotta admit that ya'll got out slicked by some saaaaaaaaaavy teachers...HOORAY!

VIVA TEACHERS! VIVA!


Posted by anonymous, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 23, 2010 at 9:25 pm

Teachers are covered by CalSTRS not PERS. No 100,000 retirements there.


Posted by What?, a resident of Downtown
on Jan 23, 2010 at 9:45 pm

Why is it that PUSD has not been able to perform basic fiscal restraint?

Here from the 2005-2006 budget it shows that revenues received were $4.6 million in the capital improvement budget but the PUSD spent $6.1 million.

Web Link

Even 4-5 years ago, they were spending far more than they were taking in? Why is that?


Posted by anonymous, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 24, 2010 at 8:23 am

Fiscal restraint would not have solved the 2009-2010 problem of the state GUTTING K12 education. WE are talking about millions of dollars in cut backs. The number of students serviced has stayed constant or gone up.


Posted by Caesar, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jan 24, 2010 at 8:50 am

Yes, teachers are in Calstrs not Pers.

However, taxpayers are responsible for those pensions in the event
they Calstrs is underfunded.

It is currently underfunded and the city must now pay more every year
to maintain benefits. Unlike the private sector, public pensions are guaranteed by the taxpayers.


Posted by a reader, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 24, 2010 at 9:00 am

"Fiscal restraint would not have solved the 2009-2010 problem of the state GUTTING K12 education. WE are talking about millions of dollars in cut backs. The number of students serviced has stayed constant or gone up. "

Yes, that is true. Add to that that the many teachers have actually taken a pay cut when you adjust for inflation (2.7% in 2009). Many teachers received no step or column increase last year, so their inflation adjusted wages dropped by 2.7%. Some who received step increases barely kept up with inflation. Others say no increase. Step increases are roughly the size of inflation, but are not given every year. On the average, Pleasanton teachers saw a pay cut in inflation-adjusted dollars in 2009.

Web Link


Posted by Joe, a resident of Downtown
on Jan 24, 2010 at 11:02 am

semantics!? methinks
"Tis but thy name that is my enemy;...that which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet;...." (Wm.Shakes.)
That which we call a "raise" by any other name would still stink.


Posted by a reader, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 24, 2010 at 11:40 am

To Joe,

People have been posting here about a 1.6% decline in inflation adjusted wages in 2009 as a way to show that teachers got a raise when the average worker didn't. But it shows just the opposite. Those posts show that teachers got a raise only if they DON'T get adjusted for inflation, but they want to compare to an overall 1.6% decline that in WAGES that DO get adjusted for inflation. It is not an "apples to apples" comparison. If you use raw numbers, or adjust both for inflation, the numbers show that teachers haven't done any better than average. They have sacrificed just like the rest of us. According to the Fox news article and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average worker saw a 1.1% increase in pay in 2009, when not adjusted for inflation. That is right in line with what teachers got.


Posted by Mary, a resident of Downtown
on Jan 24, 2010 at 12:09 pm

You know teachers DO NOT get social security only CalSTRS.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jan 24, 2010 at 12:27 pm

STRS retirement is based on the average of their three highest years of pay. Administrators are also in STRS (most are former teachers). So a teacher in PUSD who stays at the top step and column (and the scattergram shows there are 123 FTEs in that slot), has their retirement based on the $98.000ish plus some other factors. Administrators do retire at $100,000 and more, which was shown under a previous posting. Scattergram for certificated: Web Link Others are at Web Link

Benefits costs are increasing for everyone. It is correct that rolling the benefits onto the salary schedule was negotiated and precisely because it increased retirement benefits. It is also true that something like half decline benefits (to do so, it is required that you have benefits through a spouse or whatever, but you have to provide proof the last I heard).

Yeah, you can evaluate out a bad teacher, and it purposefully is a daunting and expensive task to undertake, particularly because the unions back the teacher, even if they know they are dealing with a bad teacher. The real culprit doesn't necessarily end up being S&C; it's tenure.

There is another topic on recognizing a great teacher. Great article. So, how do we recognize the best, hang on to them, support them, have them coach other teachers, and compensate them well?


Posted by Mary, a resident of Downtown
on Jan 24, 2010 at 12:41 pm

BASED on 98,000. It is NOT 98,000. It is a percentage based on the number of years you have been teaching and your age. It is NEVER 100% of the base.


Posted by anonymous, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 24, 2010 at 12:48 pm

Misinformation!

The above post makes it sound like a teacher retires at 98,000. Go to the STRS website and plug that in. A teacher who retires at 55 (minimum age) with 30 years, receives $54,456 a year. That is 50% of the annual gross and includes a $200 longevity bonus that goes away this year for subsequent retirees.

Have the discussion but at least do it with factual information.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jan 24, 2010 at 12:57 pm

Mary, I didn't say 100%; and I did said based on three highest years of pay and other factors. I know people who are making 80% of their salary and administrators making over $100,000 (someone else posted a list out here once). Hard to make $100,000 in retirement if you never made more than that in the first place. Even PERS is based on highest year of pay, age, years of service, carry the two :o) . . . and it's like 30% for someone who hits the formula right. PERS beneficiaries do, however, pay into and receive social security benefits; assuming there will be any left to feel secure about.


Posted by Pleasanton Parent, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jan 24, 2010 at 1:28 pm

Reader -

I didn't get a raise, cost of living adjustment, inflation adjustment, bonus, or any other sort of additional pay or otherwise equivalent "contractual compensation" (i.e. S&C) last year either. In fact, I took a 7.5% pay cut (before accounting for inflation). So whether you want to compare trends before inflation or after inflation the fact remains the private sector took a much larger hit. And while I don't expect the public sector to necessarily mimic the magnitude of the private sector, I do expect that the public sector to understand the reality of the situation and adjust accordingly. Public sector wages and benefits are partly responsible for the financial problems our schools are having. Failing to address these items before coming to the community for more money is irresponsible.


Posted by question, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 24, 2010 at 1:43 pm

This has been said before...

back when the economy was on the up....teachers were only receiving step and column. They weren't getting rich like some other professional areas.


Posted by Rat Turd, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 24, 2010 at 2:21 pm

That is a truly amazing amount of money to get for the rest of your life and benefits at that. I only get whatever is left in 401K. So much for all of you thinking people in the private sector getting rich. No wonder the state is bankrupt and the teachers want more money? What a joke.


Posted by Dark Corners of Town, a resident of Country Fair
on Jan 24, 2010 at 2:41 pm

To 'question' - it has been shown before on these forums that teachers have received COLA to the entire S&C schedule when the 'economy was on the up'. PUSD had the figures on their website but it appears it may have been removed. Please show the data to back up your claims.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jan 24, 2010 at 3:05 pm

Question, Not true. At the time the parcel tax was placed on the ballot, the impact of three years of unsustainable raises (2005-2008) placed on the salary schedule would have used up the proposed $18 millionish in income over the four years of the tax.

S&Cs cost are now projected to be $1.6 million (the reductions in staff dropped the cost from $2 million). So if we use Luz Cazares' $1.6 million figure to carry increases in S&C this year, you roll $1.6 million onto the 10-11 budget (this year's cost), and ADD $1.6 for projected S&C increases next year as well. In 2011, that becomes $3.2 million plus $1.6 million. And so on. Barring all staff members in the last column retiring en masse, the impact of those decisions multiply and are with us for years to come.

I don't think anyone wants to pay low wages for educators, but the current system contributed to our being broke. Finding a solution--whatever that may look like--has to begin somewhere and soon.


Posted by Einstein, a resident of Mohr Elementary School
on Jan 24, 2010 at 4:13 pm

Einstein is a registered user.

It is impossible to correlate teachers salaries and the level of education received by our kids. Just freeze their salaries until it lowers to the average salary of teachers in the bay area.


Posted by a reader, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 24, 2010 at 4:27 pm

To Einstein,

"Just freeze their salaries until it lowers to the average salary of teachers in the bay area."

Wonderful. I don't think Pleasanton parents would like to see there schools strive for being average.

"It is impossible to correlate teachers salaries and the level of education received by our kids. "

This is given without any justification. As the CEO of a major corporation, don't you owe your readers a little more than that.


Posted by Rat Turd, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 24, 2010 at 5:18 pm

Reader,

You really are intimidated ny Einstein aren't you? You have made yourself almost irrelevant on these posts by your inconsistent positions and your mind numbing "parcel tax" rants. Please contribute on these blogs or sign off.


Posted by a reader, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 24, 2010 at 5:23 pm

"You really are intimidated ny Einstein aren't you"

Why would you make remarks like that? Is that really helpful?


Posted by Rat Turd, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 24, 2010 at 6:11 pm

Reader,

Because his comments are well thought out and in the past he used to one up you so like a child you act out at him and make some cutting remark that is why. It just diminishes your statue is all. You should debate his opinions if you disagree. He really does seem to have a good grasp on the economics in this state.


Posted by Mary, a resident of Downtown
on Jan 24, 2010 at 8:06 pm

Mary

Teachers can't collect social security in CA even if they have paid into the system. It is against the law...


But that brings up something else, you pay into SS and expect to get what you were promised when you are old enough. Teachers pay into STRS and, oh yes, expect to get what they were promised when they retire.

Is there anyone advocating cutting back on SS???? Now that is a drain on our tax dollars! (said with sarcasm!)


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jan 24, 2010 at 8:28 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Mary above wrote: "Teachers can't collect social security in CA even if they have paid into the system. It is against the law..."

California teachers who have worked at another job that pays into Social Security _and_ have worked long enough to obtain the requisite number of SS credits CAN collect SS benefits, although Windfall Elimination Provision (Web Link) reduces the amount (the SSA website explains why). If someone has never paid into SS or has paid into SS but doesn't have the qualifying credits can't collect benefits. California is one of 14 states that don't pay into SS for public employees because they have their own pension system. CalPERS (and I think CalSTRS too) has a higher return than Social Security, something like 8% versus 4%.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jan 24, 2010 at 8:39 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Read these and then talk about fairness with regards to Social Security...

Here's info about the "why" on Windfall Elimination Provision Web Link
"Social Security benefits are intended to replace only a percentage of a worker's pre-retirement earnings. The way Social Security benefit amounts are figured, lower-paid workers get a higher return than highly paid workers. For example, lower-paid workers could get a Social Security benefit that equals about 55 percent of their pre-retirement earnings. The average replacement rate for highly paid workers is about 25 percent.

Before 1983, people who worked mainly in a job not covered by Social Security had their Social Security benefits calculated as if they were long-term, low-wage workers. They had the advantage of receiving a Social Security benefit representing a higher percentage of their earnings, plus a pension from a job where they did not pay Social Security taxes. Congress passed the Windfall Elimination Provision to remove that advantage."

And here's the "why" on Government Pension Offset Web Link
"Benefits we pay to wives, husbands, widows and widowers are "dependent's" benefits. These benefits were established in the 1930s to compensate spouses who stayed home to raise a family and who were financially dependent on the working spouse. But as it has become more common for both spouses in a married couple to work, each earned his or her own Social Security retirement benefit. The law has always required that a person's benefit as a spouse, widow or widower be offset dollar for dollar by the amount of his or her own retirement benefit.

In other words, if a woman worked and earned her own $800 monthly Social Security retirement benefit, but she also was due a $500 wife's benefit on her husband's Social Security record, we could not pay that wife's benefit because her own Social Security benefit offset it. But, before enactment of the Government Pension Offset provision, if that same woman was a government employee who did not pay into Social Security, and who earned an $800 government pension, there was no offset, and we were required to pay her a full wife's benefit in addition to her government pension."


Posted by a reader, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 24, 2010 at 8:59 pm

"A teacher who retires at 55 (minimum age) with 30 years"

It does seem a little strange that retirement at 55 is even an options. I wonder how much we would save if that were raised to 60 or 65?


Posted by Get Educated, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 24, 2010 at 10:15 pm

Posted by Pleasanton Parent, a resident of the Pleasanton Meadows neighborhood, 8 hours ago

"I didn't get a raise, cost of living adjustment, inflation adjustment, bonus, or any other sort of additional pay or otherwise equivalent "contractual compensation" (i.e. S&C) last year either. In fact, I took a 7.5% pay cut (before accounting for inflation). So whether you want to compare trends before inflation or after inflation the fact remains the private sector took a much larger hit."

Hey Pleasanton Parent- I didn't get a raise, cost of living adjustment, inflation adjustment, bonus, or any other sort of additional pay or otherwise equivalent for the past 2 years. (Frozen S&C) In fact, I took a 7% pay cut over two years due to an increase in my medical benefits. So whether you want to compare trends, the fact remains that the public sector took a hit as well. I expect the private sector to understand the reality of the situation- the state is no longer funding public education- and this is my fault? How is my personal situation any different from the story you posted? Yet you want more from me?


Posted by Just Wondering, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 24, 2010 at 11:50 pm

"Get Educated" sure does post a lot at many hours of the day, 7 days a week. I am wondering if they are actually a political consultant like the Pleasanton firm listed here Web Link . I wonder if the Pleasanton teachers' union or Pleasanton PTA Council has hired a political consultant like this firm to post on this forum all the time.


Posted by Sheila, a resident of Castlewood
on Jan 25, 2010 at 7:12 pm

I don't think our teachers are paid enough!


Posted by Rat Turd, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 25, 2010 at 7:53 pm

Sheila,

Nice try trolling and we both know they make way to much money.


Posted by Hey Rat Turd, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 25, 2010 at 8:44 pm

Posting to yourself again... Nice. Classy.


Posted by Rat Turd, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 25, 2010 at 9:17 pm

Hey RT,


??????????????


Posted by Anonymous, a resident of Downtown
on Jan 26, 2010 at 6:45 am

"Because his comments are well thought out and in the past he used to one up you so like a child you act out at him and make some cutting remark that is why."

Rat Turd, Just substitute "reader" for every time you say "he" and "him" and you are doing the same thing you are accusing reader of doing.


Posted by Dark Corners of Town, a resident of Country Fair
on Jan 26, 2010 at 3:49 pm

Getting back on point......

Question to the community: Would you rather have PUSD cut teacher positions and raise the remaining teachers' salaries, thereby hurting our kids? Or should PUSD hold the line on teacher salaries and save teacher jobs?


What do you think?



Posted by Jackie B, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 26, 2010 at 4:00 pm

Think of some of the classified employees and administrators who spend 2 full lunch periods outside or inside supervising and keeping your children safe. The children have the option to go indoors to the gym, multipurpose room and library where they can talk to their friends, play basketball or study. Also, think about the students that leave all their garbage at the tables for the adults to clean up. Maybe more than worrying about their cold little fingers, we should worry about their lazy habits.


Posted by T.R. Ollman, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 26, 2010 at 9:12 pm

I wonder how much good could be accomplished if our two most dedicated teacher-bashers stepped away from their computers and went out to do something positive and constructive to help fund our schools. Just imagine if they took just one day off a week from shrieking and wailing against educators and instead accomplished something productive. Makes you wonder what teachers ever did to them--was it like in Pink Floyd's "The Wall?" You know, "if ye don't eat yuir meat, ye can't have any pudding!"

I'm sure they're reading this, thinking, "I suppose I could put down the chain saw and help out. Naahh!"


Posted by a reader, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 26, 2010 at 9:53 pm

To "Dark Corners",

"Would you rather have PUSD cut teacher positions and raise the remaining teachers' salaries, thereby hurting our kids? Or should PUSD hold the line on teacher salaries and save teacher jobs?"

But the choice you present is a false one. We raising money, both and aggressive fund raising drives like San Ramon, and levying a parcel tax, we can use the extra revenue to close the gap and maintain quality schools. We need to work together to accomplish this.


Posted by Dark Corners of Town, a resident of Country Fair
on Jan 26, 2010 at 10:18 pm

To 'a reader' - Look at the PUSD's latest proposal. It cuts certificated and classified positions and raises teacher's salaries thereby hurting our kids. Now who is presenting the false choice? Who has the power to implement that false choice?


Posted by a reader, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 26, 2010 at 10:26 pm

"Look at the PUSD's latest proposal. It cuts certificated and classified positions..."

That's my point. With more fund raising, we don't need to follow that proposal.


Posted by Dark Corners of Town, a resident of Country Fair
on Jan 27, 2010 at 6:22 am

To 'a reader' - I agree with you that a fund raising campaign that generates $600 per student would raise almost $9M and take care of the budget gap. Is that likely to happen before March when the district needs to hand out layoff notices? Will it happen before June when PUSD needs to finalize the budget? Will it happen before August when the district needs to make the final staffing choices and start school?
Would you be willing to go with the first proposal so the district can keep all the teachers/programs/services/site funds? And then whatever funds are raised would go into a salary pool to be distributed equitably to PUSD employees?


Posted by a reader, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 27, 2010 at 7:36 am

To Dark Corners,

To Draconian for me, and I think that even after the budget is finalized, there may be ways to bring back programs if new money comes in, but I could be wrong about that.


Posted by Dark Corners of Town, a resident of Country Fair
on Jan 27, 2010 at 1:03 pm

To 'a reader' - So if fundraising can't raise enough funds before the June budget deadline, and if PUSD says a parcel tax won't help until the 11-12 school year, then what is your proposal to bridge $8M by June?


Posted by a reader, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 27, 2010 at 9:26 pm

To Dark Corners,

I like the idea of a hurry-up fund raiser. I don't how much it could raise. It might be surprising. It could be sold as bridge to get us through this most difficult year. Maybe teachers would agree to a freeze of step and column also. The real unknown is how much we could raise if parents see how much may be cut.


If you were a member and logged in you could track comments from this story.

Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: *

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Circumstances without Pomp
By Roz Rogoff | 3 comments | 1,065 views

‘Much Ado’ or is it Adios for ObamaCare?
By Tom Cushing | 28 comments | 768 views

Political posturing about water
By Tim Hunt | 3 comments | 654 views