Pleasanton Teachers Receive 2.7% Pay Raise
Original post made
by Start Afresh, Country Fair,
on Apr 29, 2011
After a year of complaining about voluntarily taking a pay cut, the teachers union has succeeded in negotiating an across the board 2.77% pay raise for all teachers. Teachers receiving a step increase, will receive the usual 3% increment for a total of almost 6%.
See PUSD website for highlights of the agreement (Web Link
How this works. PUSD and the teachers union have agreed to NOT use furlough days in the 2011-12 school year, thereby leaving on the table $1.8M of state funds that could have been used to retain 25 of the 62 laid off teachers. The salary schedule will revert back to the higher schedule prior to the furlough days.
Of course, PUSD will not mention this since this flies in the face of their appearance of fiscal responsibility.
This 2011-12 one-year agreement is a continuation of last year's MOU, minus the furlough days. Compare the 10-11 MOU (go here Web Link
and click on 'MOU'), with the 11-12 highlights listed on the PUSD homepage.
Bottom Line? PUSD and the teachers union continue with their goals of maintaining and/or raising teacher salaries at the expense of laying off teachers and eliminating student services. Hurting our kids to protect and raise their salaries.
They continue to use one-year band-aids and do nothing to solve the long term expense structure that produces annual deficits. Next year, after the federal jobs stimulus dollars have been used up, and the annual $1.4M step and column salary increase needs to be covered, there will be another 'crisis' and the annual drama will continue.
Posted by Casual Reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 29, 2011 at 7:45 pm
Your passing compliment of teachers for their excellence comes across as being a bit disingenuous -- especially when a few lines later you go on to malign our teachers and administrators: "It certainly appears, to me anyway, the primary purpose of the school system is to provide high paying jobs to union teachers & administrators. Education has really become secondary and I think that's sad."
If what you are saying is true, then I can see why you've painted the fantastic doomsday scenario you have. But I don't think you really believe that education has "really become secondary." Ironically, it wouldn't surprise me, given your emphases, that that is what defines your position: greater concern about unions and salaries than about quality of education. I'm not certain what kinds of valid criteria you'd apply in order to make such a seemingly wild claim; but I am going to go out on I think a pretty steady limb and surmise the likelihood that you are not a teacher, and that you know very little about the demands of teaching in the classroom. It strikes me as verging on preposterous that you feel you can so brazenly malign our "union teachers" as you refer to them while standing on the outside as you are. (Your ignorance about matters educational -- truly educational -- is implied by your remark about teacher salaries: "for the number of hours they work.") In brief, given PUSD's performance in the recent past, I have every confidence that these hard-working professionals know more about their profession than you do. So, too, your remarks about teacher raises. Are you still banging the drum of falsification that Start Afresh started banging earlier today? For I don't see evidence of any raises stipulated. Or are you claiming that often experience- and expert-related performance S and C raises are not valid? Again, it isn't apparent to me that you have much awareness of what goes into the profession of teaching.
In all honesty, it almost seems like you're intent to fetishize this whole matter of teacher salaries. Compared to other excellent school systems in CA, the salaries are not at all excessive; given the cost of living in the Bay Area, I'd be happy to argue they should be even higher. (I've read some teachers posting here state that their salary does not permit them to buy a home in P-Town.)
You seem not to want to entertain any of my above contributions with respect to the pernicious corporate onslaught against our kids' minds. I don't know what to make of your silence on this matter. Given your seeming hyper-critical attacks upon "union teachers" as you refer to them so disparagingly, I'm tempted to conclude that you disagree with me; that in fact you find P's "union teachers" more of a problem than corporate influence upon the minds of our children. If I'm right, then this strikes me as an unfortunate blindness on your part. P-town's "union teachers" are so much more a problem than the kinds of crap in the grocery store that our kids are being told to buy and ingest? It begs the question: Where man is your sense of proportion?
You apparently don't want to consider raising taxes because, I guess, you find sticking to a budget more important than the wealthy not contributing their fair share in these hard times when our educational institutions call for greater monetary assistance. You say CA is soon to be the highest taxed state; but I'm not sure that really is saying much. First, what taxes are actually paid after loopholes? And, second, the U.S. does after all have one of the lowest corporate tax rates among developed nations. You seem to be comfortable with this and -- my hunch -- you seem unphased by corporate behavior that preys upon our young.
So, you clearly don't want to step beyond the restricted playing field that you've constructed. You conclude by asking: "Given those uncertainties, how can the PUSD approve a contract that increases compensation?" Well, in matters such as this I tend to defer to Max Weber's ideas on bureaucratic organizations: specifically, they are designed to cultivate and reward professionals who are assigned the task of doing actuarial science and applied economics. Such professionals, with their knowledge and expertise, are to be valued precisely for their resistance to ignorance-based popular sentiment. They are, in a word, more trustworthy than the activist zealots who think they know more than the professionals do. They are part of a rational system that withstands attacks from parts of society that get lathered up by a black man's birth certificate or an excellent teacher's salary.
From my passing perusals of the posts here, I'd venture to say that PUSD can approve such a contract because, unlike your own apparent tendency to reduce any and all educational problems to that of numbers/math, there are many considerations to be factored into their determinations. Keeping the PUSD competitive, keeping PUSD operating at a level that produces sustained excellence in teaching, maintaining high morale among teachers (a critical ingredient that we want in every classroom -- and that seems to be lacking in your consideration as you persist on your political crusade), and promoting fairness in light of prior contractual obligations. I'm certain there are others, but it is now well past my nap time, so I'll end it here, except to say that I'm a bit disappointed that you seemed not to want to address the significant role of our teachers, and educational system generally, in educating our children in an increasingly corporatized, Lindsay Lohan kind of environment. In other words, I think the kinds of concerns you are raising are obviously misplaced, and are producing destructive effects upon our teachers, our schools, and our community.