http://pleasantonweekly.com/square/print/2011/04/29/pleasanton-teachers-receive-27-pay-raise


Town Square

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.
Shame.

Comments

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Posted by Start Afresh
a resident of Country Fair
on Apr 29, 2011 at 10:23 am

Teachers union president was right at the 04/26/11 PUSD school board meeting when he said "If Measure E fails, our schools will be facing Armageddon". (see 3 minute video here Web Link)
Where else is PUSD getting the money to pay for these raises?


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Posted by annoyed
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 29, 2011 at 10:28 am

I'm saddened to hear this, I just voted yes yesterday. I feel let down.

I don't see lack of furlough days as a raise, but I got the impression that if we voted yes, the union would look favorably on this. If they were going to do this before the vote is counted, why didn't they announce the results a long time ago? I am so tired of the games and the timing of this is particularly annoying.


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Posted by NoOnE
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 29, 2011 at 10:34 am

Unacceptable. Where's the transparency PUSD?

If you have not yet voted NO on Measure E you still can:

- DO NOT MAIL THE BALLOT! It may not arrive in time - It must arrive at the Registrar of Voters by end of day Tuesday.

- Instead, drop off your signed envelope with enclosed ballot at the city clerk's office. by Tusday May 3rd close of business (5pm). Address: 123 Main Street, Pleasanton. There is a box where you drop your ballot.

PUSD and the unions need to be sent a strong message that the way to support Pleasanton schools is for PUSD and the unions to adopt serious fiscal reforms. The tax payer well is dry, the community is already hurting enough economically. New taxes are not the answer.


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Posted by Saddened
a resident of Downtown
on Apr 29, 2011 at 10:42 am

The furlough days, eight days in all, were a paycut. So they will not have to take furlough days next year. That is not exactly a pay raise.


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Posted by Start Afresh
a resident of Country Fair
on Apr 29, 2011 at 10:52 am

Saddened - If it's not a pay raise (where 'pay raise' is the opposite of 'pay cut'), then what do you call it?
Fortunately, there is a whole year's worth of blog entries in the PW's computers where teachers and union supporters have adamantly stated that if the pay check is 'less' due to furlough days, then it is a pay cut (and not an unpaid vacation day). Therefore, if next year's pay check is 'more' than this year's, shouldn't it be called a pay raise?


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Posted by sigh
a resident of Country Fair
on Apr 29, 2011 at 10:54 am

It saddens/frustrates me that the unions and the district waited until the end of the election to let the public know that they were giving out these raises. They will be bringing this to a public heard AFTER the election. They know that if they released what has been bargained before this date that people would have been disgusted and more people would vote against the parcel tax. I bet these were negotiated some time ago and they held off releasing this to the public until it was too late for the public to use this data in deciding to vote for the parcel tax.

My hats off to the CSEA union for doing furlough days to partner with the district put the teachers union is no partner at all.

Technically I do not know how this will even work. If the classified employees have furlough days but the teachers will not, you cannot open the schools on those days. No office staff, janitors, etc.

It is obvious that our school board is weak. The taxpayers got nothing out of this contract negotiation with the teachers union. And how Bowser can even be on the side of the taxpayers when his wife is a teacher who will get a pay increase with this new contract. Once again we have a government entity negotiating a contract with a public employee union and there is no representation from the taxpayer.

I hope there are a good group of people who have not turned in their ballot yet that can vote with a No vote (right away). I do not even know what the district can do with step and column raises and salary increases, there would be no money available from the new tax to do anything; just pay the last minute pay increases.


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Posted by NoOnE
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 29, 2011 at 10:56 am

@StartAfresh,

I just watched the video link you posted of the Pleasanton teacher union president and I'm am astounded!

At around 2min 5sec the union boss states: "We've given everything and we can't give any more"!!

How is getting a 2.77% pay RAISE considered "giving"?

How is it that the unions are going to get $15 million in step and column raises over the next four years, yet they are allowing 62 teachers and staff to be laid off? Is the union's definition of "giving" to sacrifice 62 of their own in order to ensure raises for the rest?

The $15M in raises would pay the $60,000 a year salaries of those 62 sacrificed workers for the next 4 years.

Remember, we are not even talking about salary cuts, we're talking about a salary freeze. There are many recently unemployed in our community who only wish they had a job where they were being told their salary was being frozen.

Measure E does not make sense!


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Posted by wb
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 29, 2011 at 11:06 am

LOL. Classic TEA Party math. Down is up. Flat is up.


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Posted by Really?
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 29, 2011 at 12:01 pm

Beware of Start Afresh's accounting skills for those of you who are "shocked" to hear this. She is flat out wrong and purposely misleading this community in an effort to discredit PUSD.

Start Afresh has spent the year trying to tell the community that the voluntary reduction in salary the union gave was NOT a pay cut- now going back to our original salaries is somehow a pay raise- give me a break.

No one will be getting a raise this year, there has been no raises in three years through this recession. Feel free to keep calling S&C a raise- although it is a contract agreement for a salary that we signed when employed- remember that these step increases are paid for by the teachers, and the columns are FROZEN for half of our career.

What a sham job Start Afresh has made this blog into- a full time job actually- she has been misleading you all along. So sad to see so many believe her rather than the ones who know the facts and have proven successful. And all for her political agenda to "win" Sure vote against the schools, you will see who the real losers will be- what a shame you can't see through this.


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Posted by to really
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 29, 2011 at 12:22 pm

"Feel free to keep calling S&C a raise- although it is a contract agreement for a salary that we signed when employed"

You are right, this is a salary raise included in the current contract agreement. Are you saying that because the raise was previously in a contract that you cannot call it a raise? I guess any salary increase in a contract agreement is not a raise to you.

The administration has started that the cost of giving increases to current employees who will work next year is an additional $1,500,000. If those same people are not costing the district another $1,500,000 for the 2011-2012 school year, they were given a raise.

Then you can add on to that the pay cuts they said they took last year in the form of a furlough day (I heard the teachers saying this was a $4,000 "pay cut") will not be there for next year. If this was a $4,000 pay cut last year, and it goes away next year, this is now a $4,000 pay increase.


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Posted by Start Afresh
a resident of Country Fair
on Apr 29, 2011 at 12:24 pm

To 'Really?' -
Not using furlough days for the 2011-12 school year increases teacher salary/benefits expense by $1.8M over last year. Step and Column (and longevity bonuses) will increase expenses by $1.4M. How can PUSD afford a $3.2M increase in expenses? By laying off 62 teachers which hurt the kids, by eliminating CSR, Barton, and more.
I challenge you to show where any of this is inaccurate.
You and many others have been telling the community this past year how the furlough days, and teacher layoffs (due to the elimination of HS 7th period and increased staffing levels) are 'concessions' and 'pay cuts'. You can't have it both ways. So now, with an increase in the paychecks, you are now receiving a pay raise. Again, you can't have it both ways.
And you don't like being called out on it. Sorry.

You are absolutely right. The real losers are the kids.
And the winners are the teachers' pocketbooks.
And if I'm guilty of working hard trying to protect our childrens' education from the onslaught of union propaganda, misrepresentation, and cries of Armageddon, while the teachers protect and increase their paychecks. I stand guilty as charged. Proudly.


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Posted by Sam
a resident of Oak Hill
on Apr 29, 2011 at 12:40 pm

Hey, I hate to interrupt the usual food-fight here, but hasn't everyone already sent in their votes on this? I got my ballot, marked and signed it, and it was back in the mailbox awaiting pick-up the same day. There may be a few stragglers, but it's a pretty safe bet that the Registrar of Voters has already gotten almost all the votes that they're going to get.


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Posted by Start Afresh
a resident of Country Fair
on Apr 29, 2011 at 12:56 pm

Sam - PUSD is leaving $1.8M on the table (CA state waiver of instructional minutes which allows school districts to shorten the student school year by up to 5 days with no loss in ADA revenue). This is manifested in an APT/PUSD agreement which will be voted on by the school board at their 5/10 meeting. This $1.8M could save 25 teachers and several important programs for our children.
Regardless of how Measure E turns out, the ongoing fight for the best education for our students (against the opposing force of union power/tactics for increasing teacher pay and benefits) continues and will only increase.


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Posted by Enough Tea Party
a resident of Downtown
on Apr 29, 2011 at 12:58 pm

Make no mistake about it, the Tea Party mentality inflicting this town has the potential to be quite destructive to Pleasanton public schools. The Conservatives/Tea Party members can give us the old lines about "fiscal responsibility" and "we can't trust the district", but those statements are simply a cover for their fundamental dislike of public education. Perhaps they think home schooling, conservative pixy dust, and Jesus will magically compensate for the lack of funding for our public schools. Of course, much of the animus directed at the PUSD is grounded in fear, hatred, ignorance, and a willingness to advance outright lies. They are taking AM radio/Fox News right-wing ideology of "anti everything" and applying it to our local school issues. I willing to bet many of the No of E supporters are the same people that worship Sarah Palin and believe the Birther conspiracy. It doesn't matter what the district does to accommodate their "outrage", they'll simply move the goal posts, demand more, and spread more misinformation.


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Posted by semantics
a resident of Foothill High School
on Apr 29, 2011 at 1:07 pm

Start Afresh is very good at manipulating the wording of the situation to make the teachers, or at least the teacher's union, look bad.

You can label it or call it what you want: The furlough days reduced salaries for teachers and days of instruction for kids and teachers. The union and district have agreed to restore the salaries and instructional days for next year. It's a "restoration" of what was cut last year, which I guess one could call a raise. But please, it's wrong to make it sound like teachers will be getting more than what they gave up last year. It seems appropriate to call it a restoration of salaries and school days. Isn't this good news?

Also, what if the union had decided to continue with furlough days next year? Then people would be complaining about that.


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Posted by Texas Jim
a resident of Parkside
on Apr 29, 2011 at 1:18 pm

"what if the union had decided to continue with furlough days next year?"

Let me handel that one. WE all know how devious the teachers are. Furlow days were taken to kick sand into OUR eyes. I personelly know many teachers who used furlow days to take eksotic vacations. They are all a bunch of lazybones. I dont' know how in the world PISD schools rank so highly as they do. Probrably luck. The best way to deal with teacher greed and corruption and incompitence and communism is to keep your kids at home.


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Posted by Sam
a resident of Oak Hill
on Apr 29, 2011 at 1:20 pm

OK, "Start Afresh", but to balance all of your criticisms against the PUSD let me offer one item before I go. Here it is: An announcement of one of the "Top 100 Best Places to Live" on CNN/Money's list of "America's Best Small Cities". (Web Link). Can you guess the name of this local city? OK, here's a hint: It starts with the letter "P". No, not Petaluma! Try again. Nope, not Pittsburg either. Yea! You got it!

Here's what CNN/Money says about Pleasanton in the first paragraph of their description of Pleasanton: "A family-oriented town an hour from both San Francisco and Monterey, Pleasanton has one of the strongest school districts in California."

So you see, it's not all "doom and gloom" here. If you're going to criticize the PUSD for all of the perceived failings that you have raised, then don't you think that it would be fair to credit PUSD some for the fact that Pleasanton has (and I quote from CNN/Money) "one of the strongest school districts in California" ? I know that you're a fair-minded person, so of course you would! So relax. Go have a cup of tea. It's nice day outside. Go enjoy the day in one of Pleasanton's great parks.


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Posted by Arnold
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 29, 2011 at 1:23 pm

Why did the PUSD board agree to a contract that they can't afford? They knew/know that the state budget is running a deficit, and they knew/know that their Own Pension Plan is in shambles and will require significant additional funding.

How do you approve a contract that begins in 2010, that requires a parcel tax to help fund, which will probably lead to additional layoffs while ignoring the elephant in the room - the additional pension contributions/costs that are coming. It doesn't make sense and will only put an additional strain on a school system that, while doing a good job compared to other CA schools, is falling in the world rankings. If it doesn't make sense the CTA is probably behind it. It is all they know. This ill-fated drive to increase compensation at all costs will only HURT the school system in the long run.

People keep talking about school teachers salaries. After reviewing the salary numbers provided by the Contra Costa Times, it appears the numbers PUSD has been projecting were understated. What people fail to realize is that those numbers don't tell the entire story.

Here is what the LAO said about the cost to fund teachers pensions (part of teacher's compensation):


"In the final analysis, the system's unfunded liabilities as of its June 30, 2009 valuation--$40.5 billion--will require far larger additional payments from the state (taxpayers), school districts (taxpayers), and/or teachers (doubtful) than those required by Section 22955(b) in 2011-12 and future years. As of that valuation, actuaries determined that the system needed contributions equal to an additional 13.9 percent of teacher payroll--over $3.8 billion per year--from some source, beginning immediately, to retire its unfunded liabilities over 30 years, thereby preventing additional intergenerational transfers of teachers' compensation costs. (The TRB's decision to lower its assumed average annual rate of investment return to 7.75 percent in December 2010 will affect these calculations in future valuations. In this recent board agenda item, actuaries estimated this would increase the additional funding need from 13.9 percent of payroll to 15.1 percent. At that time, CalSTRS staff had recommended instead a drop in the assumed investment return rate to 7.5 percent, which would have increased the estimate of additional funding need even further to 16.8 percent of payroll.)"

The unfunded liability has grown to over 54 Billion even using the flawed assumptions of CalSTRS. The real unfunded liability is probably almost double that number. And, therefore, the additional pension contribution of 15.1% is grossly understated. The 15.1% of payroll is in addition to the current 12% that taxpayers already pay (teachers pay 8%, although they have only paid 6% over the past decade with the other 2% diverted toward retiree health care as part of a perk they received a decade ago (that expired Dec. 31, 2010)). So if you are looking at compensation for teachers & administrators you need to add at least an additional 27% to their compensation numbers. A 100K salary really costs a minimum of 127K (the 27K is just deferred compensation with a taxpayer guaranteed rate of return of 7.75%).

The district can't afford the cost structure that they've built into the contract & budget. These actions are irresponsible and will negatively impact the school district/education.


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Posted by John
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 29, 2011 at 1:45 pm

Hi Arnold,

Where did you go on that other thread. You said that Measure E created a "structural deficit". I said

"The raises will happen with or without Measure E. Are you denying that? Are you saying the step and column raises won't happen if Measure E fails?"

and

"It is not an opinion. There is no increase in pension liability under Measure E. It is a simple fact. Measure E does not "enable" raises. The raises happen either way. Can you understand that? Are you disputing that?"

Am I to assume that you not properly conclude that Measure E does not add to any pension liability for PUSD?


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Posted by teacher
a resident of Deer Oaks/Twelve Oaks
on Apr 29, 2011 at 2:27 pm

Last year we were criticized for taking furloughs because it "only hurts the children". This year we didn't take furloughs and we are criticized because it "only hurts the children".

I'm not getting a raise in my pay next year. I'm going back to what I was originally getting paid BEFORE I voluntarily took a paycut in the form of furloughs.

We just can't win in this community it seems. Don't spread false rumors though.


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Posted by annoyed
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 29, 2011 at 2:42 pm

We're over 2 million worse off than last year as a result of this negotiation. That's a lot of programs. And I just voted to give more tax money - not happy.


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Posted by dubious
a resident of Canyon Meadows
on Apr 29, 2011 at 2:49 pm

Yeo annoyed, I don't believe you.


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Posted by Arnold
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 29, 2011 at 3:05 pm


"Hi Arnold, Where did you go on that other thread."

…John, I asked you what you wanted. You, being the hall-monitor of this topic, have certainly seen my comment.

"You said that Measure E created a "structural deficit"

…nothing has changed, and I stand by that statement.

""The raises will happen with or without Measure E. Are you denying that? Are you saying the step and column raises won't happen if Measure E fails?""

…No, I'm not saying that. I'm saying that if Measure E passes it will help fund raises (long term costs) that are funded by short term revenue. What happens at the end of year four when the annual costs escalate to 6 million while the parcel tax revenue goes from two million annually to ZERO? Answer: it creates a structural deficit (unless the district thinks they can continue the parcel tax indefinitely while increasing the dollar amount of the tax intermittently). The district can't afford the costs that are built into the contract and, therefore, they create a structural deficit. If they could afford the raises there would be NO need for the parcel tax.

"Are you saying the step and column raises won't happen if Measure E fails"

…I'm saying that if the district gives step & column raises while they're lying off teachers and closing programs it will expose the CTA, PTA, PUSD school board for who they really are. Let's just look at some of the recent transgressions: Cash out re-financing of Bond Debt, conflicts of interest on the school board, changing ballot measure language after the fact, approving raises they can't afford, approving a contract they can't afford, pretending they don't know that the pension costs are escalating while approving raises, protecting/ bringing back favored members that were laid-off so their friends could maximize their pension benefits because they have a history of taking care of each other while ignoring that the reductions in force were to conserve funding in the first place, budgeting based on a need for additional revenue that is subject to voter approval, and do they even know what their state funding is?.

John, what are they going to do when the pension contributions increase? What are they going to do when the parcel tax expires? What will happen if the parcel tax fails? What happens if the voters don't approve an extension of state taxes? Given those uncertainties, how can the PUSD approve a contract that increases compensation? Can you answer these questions for me?

I'm pretty sure the unions and the district will continue to come back to the taxpayer well, while crying wolf, and claiming it's all about the children.

Finally, I'm not comfortable being put in a position that requires me to be critical but it obviously, to me anyway, needs to be done. I'm sure a lot of people are doing excellent work, the results are there, but decisions are being made that will destroy the future of education. It is already happening.


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Posted by Mike
a resident of Del Prado
on Apr 29, 2011 at 3:52 pm

You can still drop off ballots at the registars office on Main St. until May 3rd for those of you who haven't voted no. Those who want to vote yes can drop off their ballots on May 4th.

I found that 4 of my neighbors (total of 8 votes) didn't vote so they signed their ballots and said I could vote anyway I wanted becasue they do not have any kids and rent their homes so it doesn't affect them too much.


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Posted by annoyed
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 29, 2011 at 4:43 pm

Absolutely true. I voted yes yesterday and went to the post office to mail it. I don't know if I would have changed my vote, but I honestly am stunned about this decision (and the timing, the day after we were told was the last day to vote).

It means class sizes could go up and jobs lost. We've been told we're in financial trouble, that's why there is a parcel tax . . . How are they going to justify a CORE campaign when they left this kind of money on the table?


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Posted by Casual Reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 29, 2011 at 5:14 pm

Not being a regular, I'm not sure what the proper etiquette is on these matters - specifically "horning in" on an ongoing conversation as is occurring between John and Arnold.

I do feel a need to raise some questions for Arnold. Surely you don't believe that America's educational "decline" relative to some other countries is because school districts like PUSD aren't up to standard, do you? I ask this because you paint a dire picture of the educational system, and do so while appearing to ignore other factors -- e.g., American diets (specifically: fats and sugar), mind-numbing technologies that are designed to destroy kids' ability to concentrate for sustained periods, and the very persuasive private sector corporate advertising which attempts (through a panoply of deceptive means) to turn kids into consumerist mini Lindsay Lohans and Paris Hiltons. Ah yes, the beauty of capitalism! Other factors I can think of, off the top of my head: inadequate parenting as a consequence of parents working long hours with scant vacation time (compared, say, to most W. European countries) that might be more ideally spent with the kids. If you have a fear, like you say, that something is out to "destroy the future of education" as you so soberly announce, I would think there are many factors such as the above that are far more destructive than PUSD's excellent educational standards and practices.

I note too that you speak of structural deficits while you seem to insist on playing on a rather restricted playing field. Why the seeming zero sum game? Why not agitate for higher state, fed and city taxes upon those corporations that are contributing to the dumbing down of America? Why do you want to go after and punish educators when most of them stand at the very vanguard of defense against corporate capitalists' efforts to colonize our kids' minds and lifeworlds? There are so many large problems in our society, effected by truly destructive forces, and yet you wage your crusade against teacher salaries. This seems contradictory to me, almost silly. Compare, for example, teachers' salaries against those of CEOs of Nabisco or General Mills or Nike. Or the CEOs for the large oil companies which pay virtually nothing in taxes. It strikes me that it is not the educational system which needs critique, but the corporate forces that make it increasingly difficult for teachers to teach our kids. I can understand why someone would want to 'punish' corporations for the way they pollute our land and water and air and corrupt our children. I cannot understand why someone seems to want to penalize our excellent educational system. You say the system is unsustainable, but this charge fails to resonate when you consider the position of PUSD as situated within and feeling forces from systems that are far more pernicious when compared to the kinds of "shortcomings" you are claiming beset our schools.

If the system is in as much trouble as you note, doesn't it follow that our tax revenues are going to need to be increased? $98.00 per year seems pretty reasonable to me, and I'd have been willing to go considerably higher than that. P is a very wealthy town, as you know, and Cali is a very wealthy state. Instead of treating our esteemed teachers like punching bags, shouldn't we perhaps mobilize in support of higher taxes from those who are best suited to pay?


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Posted by Winston S.
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 29, 2011 at 5:28 pm

Many will find this to be sickeningly and maddeningly deceitful. There's no accident that Measure E was timed to happen before the union contract information was available. This trick was done with Measure G also. This is how taxpayers get mocked and taken for dumb suckers. For anyone out there who has not yet voted, deliver your NO on E vote in person immediately !!


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Posted by less annoyed
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 29, 2011 at 5:50 pm

I read this in more detail and it hasn't been approved by the board yet. They should be able to deal with this as the kids have to be their first priority. The state has given us the furlough day option for a reason - so the kids programs and teacher's jobs don't get taken away.


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Posted by Get your Facts Straight
a resident of Birdland
on Apr 29, 2011 at 5:51 pm

I'm sorry, but where did you find your information about pay raises????? I read the info (also posted below) from the PSUD website and didn't see anything in the negotiations about a pay increase. Please enlighten me where you found this information!


Tentative agreements
The Pleasanton Unified School District has reached Tentative Agreements (TA) for the 2011/12 school year with both the Association of Pleasanton Teachers (APT), representing certificated employees, and California School Employees Association #155 (CSEA), representing classified employees. Both agreements have been accepted by association membership and will come to the Board of Trustees for approval on May 10.


Highlights of the TA for APT are as follows:
■The tentative agreement is a one-year agreement for the 2011-12 school year. The agreement would generate an estimated $1.7 million in budget savings for the District. The agreement contains language that would reopen negotiations immediately if the District experiences a reduction to the Base Revenue Limit (BRL) that is greater than $399 (the amount of reduction that the Board has already planned for in terms of necessary budget reductions.)
■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.
■The agreement continues the increased secondary staffing ratios that were implemented for the 2010-11 school year. The staffing ratios at middle school would remain at 27:1 and at high school at 28:1 in 2011-12. Estimated budget savings of $880,000.
■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.


Other Items for 2011-12
■Open House (suspended in 2010-11) would be returned to the schedule in 2011-12.
■Elementary Parent/Teacher conferences (limited to at-risk students is 2010-11) would be scheduled for all parents in 2011-12.
■The current five year limit on job share assignments would be lifted.
■Continue to allow staff to utilize one additional of their sick leave days for personal necessity reasons.
■Continue additional evaluation year cycle for permanent teachers with 10+ years performing satisfactorily.
■Continue that science fairs and family math nights will be site-based decisions.
■Continue that the District writing sample is to be conducted with sites responsible for coordination.

Highlights of the TA for CSEA are as follows:
■The agreement would generate an estimated $258,000 dollars in savings that would be used to avoid reductions to needed classified support positions currently on the budget reduction list. These are: four (4) site and district office positions; the Health Services Liaison; and an Instructional Assistant position. The agreement contains language that would reopen negotiations immediately if the District experiences a reduction to the Base Revenue Limit (BRL) that is greater than $399 (the amount of reduction that the Board has already planned for in terms of necessary budget reductions.)
■The agreement includes five (5) unpaid furlough days for 11 and 12 month classified employees and three (3) unpaid furlough days for 10 month and Kid's Club employees in the 2011-12 school year.


Other Items for 2011-12
•Changes existing language related to classified layoff procedures to clarify that layoff is not a voluntary demotion or reassignment.
•Continue to allow unit members to carry over two (2) more days of accrued but unused vacation days to use in the next school year (this is necessary because it may be difficult for employees to schedule their earned vacation days along with furlough days in the school year.)
•Continue the existing agreement that in the absence of program need, the District will not employ substitutes, consultants, or short-term employees to perform bargaining unit work.
•Continue the existing agreement that the District will not pay employees overtime except for urgent or emergency situations, facility use agreements (e.g. church services, etc.) and transportation for outside-funded work furlough programs.
•Continue agreement that there shall be no District-initiated reorganization or reclassification that would result in a range increase for a bargaining unit position.
•The furlough days will result in a one-time reduction in the classified work year.


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Posted by Winston S.
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 29, 2011 at 5:58 pm

As others are saying, we have a board in search of a backbone. They are so weak that they approve anything put in front of them. Want a raise? Approved! Want a fatter pension? Approved! Want to expel kids that drag down test scores? Approved! Stop this madness by contacting a board member now and tell them to not approve this crazy deal. Can't we get a better offer that doesn't eat all the parcel tax money and critical program?


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Posted by JORDAN
a resident of Hart Middle School
on Apr 29, 2011 at 6:05 pm

Get your Facts Straight,

If what you've presented is true, then that makes Start Afresh, Arnold, and their little dwarves nothing but scoundrels and liars, doesn't it? Sounds like purdy low behavior to me. I'm sorry our teachers have to be subjected to these kinds of abuse. They remind me of the curmudgeonly wife of the grocer on Little House on the Prairie; always accusing or insinuating that customers were trying to take advantage of her, and always then suffering embarrassment after being proved wrong. The only difference is that here, with these cats, they know no embarrassment but when presented with facts simply sidestep and continue to scrawl their community-polluting teaparty graffiti up on the wall.


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Posted by Get Your Facts Straight
a resident of Birdland
on Apr 29, 2011 at 6:09 pm

I copied and pasted exactly what was on the PSUD website, so yes the person who started this topic is giving readers false information. Not surprising, they probably have a No on E sign on their front lawn!


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Posted by Get Your Facts Straight
a resident of Birdland
on Apr 29, 2011 at 6:16 pm

@ Winston S.

"Stop this madness by contacting a board member now and tell them to not approve this crazy deal." What are your referring too???


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Posted by Arnold
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 29, 2011 at 6:19 pm

Casual Reader,


"I do feel a need to raise some questions for Arnold. Surely you don't believe that America's educational "decline" relative to some other countries is because school districts like PUSD aren't up to standard, do you?"

…I did say, "I'm sure a lot of people are doing excellent work, the results are there..." I do believe the district and parents are doing a good job educating our children. Unfortunately, based on the recent actions of the PUSD, I think the continuation of these results will become increasingly difficult. The school system was designed to provide our children with the best education possible. Somewhere along the way the original goal has been flipped upside down. 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. How else do you explain programs being cut, class size increases, and periods eliminated while teachers are getting raises? If teachers don't believe they are paid enough, for the amount of hours they work, then they should explore private sector options.


"I note too that you speak of structural deficits while you seem to insist on playing on a rather restricted playing field. Why the seeming zero sum game? Why not agitate for higher state, fed and city taxes upon those corporations that are contributing to the dumbing down of America? "

…We are the second highest taxed state in the nation, soon to be the highest taxed state in the nation. Enough is enough. Spoken like someone that would rather increase taxes than work within the confines of a budget.

Maybe you can answer a few questions for me. What are they (PUSD) going to do when the pension contributions increase? What are they going to do when the parcel tax expires? What will happen if the parcel tax fails? What happens if the voters don't approve an extension of state taxes? Given those uncertainties, how can the PUSD approve a contract that increases compensation? Can you answer these questions for me?

I've stated in the past that this is a math problem. It is a math problem that the PUSD has flunked, IMO. The problem is that it isn't JUST a math problem.


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Posted by Really?
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 29, 2011 at 6:58 pm

"Education has really become secondary and I think that's sad." I find this even more insulting than the lies Start Afresh posts. I sure wish you would spend some time in our classrooms, volunteer or just observe for an extended period of time. I think you would be amazed at what is really going on.

Where did the teachers say they felt they needed more pay? This isn't in the negotiations. Their salaries are being restored after they voted for a pay cut. The amount they gave is significantly higher than any donation amount from this community and higher than any community member would ever pay for a parcel tax. Yet this isn't ever mentioned.

How many times, how many years is the community going to come to the teachers expecting them to pay for this town's education system?

My salary has been frozen for years, I took a $4000 pay cut- willingly and happy in order to save programs, I have never received the types of bonuses the private sector experiences during good economic times, yet annually you expect me to continue to pay for the public service I provide? Then turn around and say I'm not about educating the kids?

This mentality is really changing this community. I am sorry you are truly missing out on what a good thing we have going on here in education.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 29, 2011 at 7:04 pm

"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."

can they really do this? which students get selected for potential openings? which criteria is used to have one student enroll in the 7 periods he/she requested but then turn around and deny the same opportunity to another student whoalso requested 7 periods?

Some seleted students would be more competitive for college than others.... equality issues?

btw I voted yes on E but this idea of granting 7 periods to some but not to others does not sound like a good idea


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Posted by Casual Reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 29, 2011 at 7:45 pm

Arnold,

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.


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Posted by Arnold
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 29, 2011 at 8:11 pm

"How many times, how many years is the community going to come to the teachers expecting them to pay for this town's education system?"

Really,

The taxpayers pay for education. While I'm sure you contribute your tax dollars any increase in parcel tax represents a net gain to your income assuming you are a teacher, live in Pleasanton, own a home, and won't receive a senior exemption. If you don't live in Pleasanton it is just a gain. I find your comments troubling.

When the cost of your pension increases by over 15% of your salary (+ the 12% that is currently paid by taxpayers) are you going to pay for that since it goes toward your retirement? Probably not, right? The taxpayers pay for that and the increased costs will ultimately come from the same budget that funds education. The net effect is decreased dollars in the classroom. It is a significant budget issue that hasn't been addressed.

Can anyone refrain from attacking the messenger long enough to answer a few simple questions? There may be reasonable answers. So far, even though I've received several responses, I haven't got a single response to any of my questions. Maybe you can provide some answers:

What are they (PUSD) going to do when the pension contributions increase? What are they going to do when the parcel tax expires? What will happen if the parcel tax fails? What happens if the voters don't approve an extension of state taxes? Given those uncertainties, how can the PUSD approve a contract that increases compensation? Can you answer these questions for me?




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Posted by Careful Reader
a resident of Civic Square
on Apr 29, 2011 at 8:23 pm

Arnold,

Maybe you should read or re-read CAsual Reader. I think she did a better than adequate job addressing your questions. If all you were able to understand from her message was 'attacking the messenger', then, to use her word, you're being 'disingenuous'. In the extreme.


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Posted by tryon
a resident of Birdland
on Apr 29, 2011 at 8:23 pm

Ok, let's get this clear. Post after post last year said that furlough days were DEFINITELY NOT a pay cut (usually they called it an unpaid vacation). So how can not taking furlough days be a pay raise? Please somebody explain.


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Posted by tryon
a resident of Birdland
on Apr 29, 2011 at 8:27 pm

"When the cost of your pension increases by over 15% of your salary (+ the 12% that is currently paid by taxpayers)"
Where did you get these numbers? I thought he district paid about 8% of teacher pensions?

"The net effect is decreased dollars in the classroom."

Teachers work in the classroom. The dollars spent on teachers are directly implemented in the classroom.


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Posted by Yelena
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 29, 2011 at 8:29 pm

tryon It is like lil' chicken little I think. It doesn't need so much to explain. It a matter of screaming sky is falling down. We value education and we vote yes on the measure E.


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Posted by tryon
a resident of Birdland
on Apr 29, 2011 at 8:31 pm

Can you answer these questions for me?

yes. There are many things that can be back up for negotiation. This isn't set in stone an everybody knows it.

If the parcel tax fails, some more cuts will need to be made.

As far as the parcel tax expiring, as with most things, that's in the future so they will worry about that when the time comes. I'm not saying that is a good thing, but it is reality and the answer to your question.

PUSD did not increase compensation. The compensation model stands exactly as it did years ago.


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Posted by Arnold
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 29, 2011 at 8:35 pm

Arnold,

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?...."

I'll buy & read the book later. In the meantime maybe you can answer a few simple questions that I have already asked you:

What are they (PUSD) going to do when the pension contributions increase? What are they going to do when the parcel tax expires? What will happen if the parcel tax fails? What happens if the voters don't approve an extension of state taxes? Given those uncertainties, how can the PUSD approve a contract that increases compensation? Can you answer these questions for me (directly)?

I'm not trying to be unreasonable. I'm just asking simple questions and not getting any answers. They're not trick questions!


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Posted by JORDAN
a resident of Hart Middle School
on Apr 29, 2011 at 8:36 pm

@tryon.....

Liars and scoundrels count on you not raising the question. Everything they are saying is a lie. They hate teachers, don't you get it? They think they are lazy and overpaid. They would have you believe PUSD is the worst school district in the world. Its a cryin' shame! (Sorry - don't mean to sound so harsh :,) ... and I'm sure you DO GET IT!!


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Posted by Usir
a resident of Castlewood
on Apr 29, 2011 at 8:45 pm

For those keeping track, the annual median income of Pleasanton has continued to rise throughout the past recession years. From 2006 - 2010 the average median income rose from $115,944 to $134,282 (a 15.8% increase - source: Money Magazine).


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Posted by Careful Reader
a resident of Civic Square
on Apr 29, 2011 at 8:46 pm

Arnold,

I read Casual Reader. What book are you talking about? You site Casual Reader's first few paragraphs, don't address what she said, and then pretend you didn't read the rest of her post. You're being disingenuous. It is blatant to me and I bet most other readers as well.

You avoid the arguments and continue to trot out the same old hackneyed questions and wildly inaccurate stereotypes you always do. People are criticizing you not as the messenger, but because YOUR responses to pointed criticisms are to deflect them by 'playing the well-intentioned inquiring fool'. You're not fooling anybody.


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Posted by Arnold
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 29, 2011 at 9:01 pm

"Where did you get these numbers? I thought he district paid about 8% of teacher pensions?"


Here is what the LAO said about the cost to fund teachers pensions (part of teacher's compensation):


"In the final analysis, the system's unfunded liabilities as of its June 30, 2009 valuation--$40.5 billion--will require far larger additional (ADDITIONAL) payments from the state (taxpayers), school districts (taxpayers), and/or teachers (doubtful) than those required by Section 22955(b) in 2011-12 and future years. As of that valuation, actuaries determined that the system needed contributions equal to an additional 13.9 percent of teacher payroll--over $3.8 billion per year--from some source, beginning immediately, to retire its unfunded liabilities over 30 years, thereby preventing additional intergenerational transfers of teachers' compensation costs. (The TRB's decision to lower its assumed average annual rate of investment return to 7.75 percent in December 2010 will affect these calculations in future valuations. In this recent board agenda item, actuaries estimated this would increase the additional funding need from 13.9 percent of payroll to 15.1 percent. At that time, CalSTRS staff had recommended instead a drop in the assumed investment return rate to 7.5 percent, which would have increased the estimate of additional funding need even further to 16.8 percent of payroll.)"

The unfunded liability has grown to over 54 Billion even using the flawed assumptions of CalSTRS. The real unfunded liability is probably almost double that number. And, therefore, the additional pension contribution of 15.1% is grossly understated. The 15.1% of payroll is in addition to the current 12% that taxpayers already pay (teachers pay 8%, although they have only paid 6% over the past decade with the other 2% diverted toward retiree health care as part of a perk they received a decade ago (that expired Dec. 31, 2010)). So if you are looking at compensation for teachers & administrators you need to add at least an additional 27% to their compensation numbers. A 100K salary really costs a minimum of 127K (the 27K is just deferred compensation with a taxpayer guaranteed rate of return of 7.75%).

You can paste any part of the quoted text into a google search to see the origin of the information.


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Posted by tryon
a resident of Birdland
on Apr 29, 2011 at 9:02 pm

Th sad part is that I am a republican, yet I'm disgusted by the immediate hatred of teachers because they have a union. I would certainly prefer they don't (have a union), but let's get real, teachers are not the overpaid elite wealthy many on this board would like to make them out to be. Most are hard working, care intensely about the children, and take many extra hours to do things to help the students. (One example is that every club at every school needs a teacher volunteer)

The step and column system has been in place for many many years and maybe it is time for a change, but it is not the source of all evil in modern society.

More taxes are probably not the answer, at least not long term, but also making teachers out to be the bad guys is not going to solve anything either.


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Posted by Highly Amused
a resident of Happy Valley
on Apr 29, 2011 at 9:03 pm

Careful REAder, Let me take a stab at it. When Arnold said he'd buy and read the book later, I think he was talking about Max Weber. And if I'm correct, Arnold is admitting he has not read any of Max Weber's books. Here we're talkin about the most famous theorists of state organizations in the past 2 centuries, and the teaparty critic Arnold hasn't even read him! What a shock. I guess maybe its because Weber was German and, not being a Founding Father, must not have had anything important to say about teh US? Or maybe Arnold is displaying that good old patriotic teaparty ignorance. Sure, Arnold in all his ignorance has a lot to say about our educational institutions. Based on? Nada. What a joke.


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Posted by Really?
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 29, 2011 at 9:08 pm

Arnold, please reread the the following agreement, especially the portion explaining BRL. I assumed you understood this means that once the revised budget is presented, the contracts will again be renegotiated with the teachers again taking the brunt of the cuts if the numbers increase.

"■The tentative agreement is a one-year agreement for the 2011-12 school year. The agreement would generate an estimated $1.7 million in budget savings for the District. The agreement contains language that would reopen negotiations immediately if the District experiences a reduction to the Base Revenue Limit (BRL) that is greater than $399 (the amount of reduction that the Board has already planned for in terms of necessary budget reductions.)"


"The taxpayers pay for education" I wish this were true for our schools, yet the last year your money- paying for public education guaranteed minimum levels through Prop 98- was met was in 1995. Just read the short description and chart to see this significant decrease in your money actually funding the schools. Web Link

For all the points you post, I'm really troubled that you didn't even know this. That this information, readily available, can be ignored and school districts can still be blamed for poor fiscal management. The number of students has increased, the needs have increased, while the funding- your tax dollars- continues to decrease. And yet you expect me to continue to pay for it year after year when I have already contributed significantly more than Measure E is asking of this community. Measure E was created in order to ensure that your tax dollars are actually being spent on what you say- education in your community.

Your questions are being answered, maybe it's an issue of not hearing what we are saying.


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Posted by tryon
a resident of Birdland
on Apr 29, 2011 at 9:16 pm

"You can paste any part of the quoted text into a google search to see the origin of the information."

I did as your directed (I did a copy and paste of your entire quoted paragraph) and the first three sources were the Pleasanton Weekly the rest of the top ten involved stuff from other states.

By the way, you make some very unsubstantiated leaps in the math in your post. The 15.1% is not paid by anyone at this point and is a hypothetical number. Also you say that the CalSTRS assumption is flawed even though they are the ones lowering the rate of return, so are you the only one with the correct calculations?


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Posted by normal voice here
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 29, 2011 at 10:42 pm

I told my husband about this. We have moved here recently and contributed in time and money. We are not happy with this news - we will move to private or move.


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Posted by curious
a resident of Foothill Farms
on Apr 29, 2011 at 10:59 pm

"normal" says "We are not happy with this news - we will move to private or move." What "news" are you talking about? You mean the shameful lies that launched this post? And so you intend to move on account of this? Are you actually dumb enough to think anyone would believe such a statement?


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Posted by normal
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 29, 2011 at 11:22 pm

No, we're not stupid, we're making sure we're making the best decisions for our kids. And like lots of people last year we're moving our time and commitment to a private school.


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Posted by curious
a resident of Foothill Farms
on Apr 29, 2011 at 11:45 pm

Okay "normal," maybe I'm the one who's stupid. Please tell me what it is that you've learned here on this post, as you attest, that made you and your husband decide to move your kids into a private school. You do realize that at least as many private school teachers are making a higher salary than those in PUSD don't you? And you both will be comfortable paying many thousands more for your kids' educations ... why? Please convince me that I'm the stupid one. And you do realize that this entire Start Afresh-instigated post was meant to be forwarded as an utter lie, don't you? But so, given the lies spewed by Start Afresh, Arnold, and others who write uncannily like the registered S, you've decided to move your kids to a high-priced private school? Wow! Now that's gullibility in the extreme. Do you donate to the tea party clown club by chance?


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Posted by normal voice here
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 29, 2011 at 11:54 pm

I'm going private, yes I'm lucky to afford it! Thanks for your interest.


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Posted by heel spurs pete
a resident of Foothill Farms
on Apr 30, 2011 at 12:13 am

"I'm going private." Didn't you mean to say "We're going private?" And you do realize that if Measure E passes, you'll still have to pay that whopping $98 for that awful PUSD? Wow, that'd really suck wouldn't it? Have you thought about home schooling your kids like other posters have warned us they're about to do? I'd bet you'd be a really good home school teacher. (You guys have had kind of a rough night on the PW post sites haven't you?)


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Posted by George
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 30, 2011 at 9:05 am

"No, we're not stupid, we're making sure we're making the best decisions for our kids. And like lots of people last year we're moving our time and commitment to a private school."

Good luck with that. We tried both Carden West and Quarry Lane. We got more than our share of bad teachers, and they're still there. Then you have to deal with the other students, many of whom didn't do well in public schools for one reason or another. And you're paying over $10,000 per year per student plus all the additional tutoring and after school help your children may need. We've had much better luck with PMS and AVHS. That's been my experience.


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Posted by Start Afresh
a resident of Country Fair
on Apr 30, 2011 at 9:54 am

Wow. I never thought one post showing how PUSD is increasing salary expense for the next school year would bring out such vitriol. Here is a summary of last 24 hours:
"misleading political agenda tea party mentality destructive pixy dust Jesus magic animus fear hatred ignorance Fox News Sarah Palin Birther outrage goal posts manipulative little dwarves scoundrels liars scrawl community-polluting teaparty graffiti malign Lindsay Lohan hate teachers evil in modern society good old patriotic tea party ignorance joke funny man lil chicken little flied away utter lie tea party clown club."

So, I will again state the following:
Not using furlough days for the 2011-12 school year increases teacher salary/benefits expense by $1.8M over last year. Step and Column (and longevity bonuses) will increase expenses by $1.4M. How can PUSD afford a $3.2M increase in expenses? By laying off 62 teachers which hurt the kids, by eliminating CSR, Barton, and more.

I challenge any of you to show where this is inaccurate.
And I challenge you to not use any of the words above that have nothing to do with how a government entity allocates scarce taxpayer funds to provide the best education for our children.


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Posted by Phil
a resident of Danbury Park
on Apr 30, 2011 at 10:27 am

It is amazing to me that in a city where the teachers have the highest salary in the state at a time when the economy is in the dumps we are giving them raises when so many are hurting. The pastor at St Augustines on Easter was saying that in the 12 years he has been in Pleasanton he has never seen so many out of work and so many homes in foreclosure so I think it is easy to see why so many people are upset of measure E. My relative is a Pleasanton teacher and she says that they have plenty of money in the district but if you go to the teachers lunchroom all the teachers do is sit around and complain about their students, parents, and their spouses. Sounds like a pretty unhappy bunch so maybe if they want more money they should try a job which makes them more happy.


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Posted by George
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 30, 2011 at 10:48 am

Phil,

90% of teachers in the district pay their own health and benefits. Plus it is one of the best districts in the state. It is not too late to vote:

YES ON MEASURE E.


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Posted by Get Your Facts Straight
a resident of Birdland
on Apr 30, 2011 at 10:50 am

[Portion removed]

ĄThe tentative agreement is a one-year agreement for the 2011-12 school year. The agreement would generate an estimated $1.7 million in budget savings for the District. The agreement contains language that would reopen negotiations immediately if the District experiences a reduction to the Base Revenue Limit (BRL) that is greater than $399 (the amount of reduction that the Board has already planned for in terms of necessary budget reductions.)

I don't see any info about step and column and pay increases

Not using furlough days for the 2011-12 school year increases teacher salary/benefits expense by $1.8M over last year. Step and Column (and longevity bonuses) will increase expenses by $1.4M.-REALLY??????


I challenge any of you to show where this is inaccurate.- I challenge you to show this is accurate!


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Posted by annoyed
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 30, 2011 at 11:01 am

The whole point is that the state has allowed furlough days as a way to keep teacher's jobs and programs for the students. We've now negotiated that we don't want to use this (and I don't think it's a pay rise, it's going back to where we were before, but we can't afford it). So if the parcel tax does not pass, students and newer teachers will lose out and they didn't have to.

We also have a 7 million shortfall projected for the following school year. So if the parcel tax does pass this year it's going to be pretty meaningless for the programs we're trying to save in 2012/13, so a couple of furlough days would put money in the bank for next year - how about that for forward thinking!


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Posted by Start Afresh
a resident of Country Fair
on Apr 30, 2011 at 11:22 am

George - Please call the PUSD District Office. They will tell you that 39% of the employees participate in the district medical plans.
Get Your Facts Straight - Read last year's APT MOU for the cost savings of the furlough days. Read all of Luz Cazares' reports this fiscal year for the cost of S&C. If you need help with links, go here Web Link


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Posted by Nurse Shark
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Apr 30, 2011 at 5:09 pm

Start Afresh,

The MOU clearly, CLEARLY states that the furlough days were a temporary agreement. That agreement has expired, so the reduced pay has returned to normal, without any increases.

Your attempt to make a return to normal into a raise is ridiculous. I can only assume that you're not serious. Are you satirizing the rabid Tea Party stereotypes or something?


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Posted by exactly
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 30, 2011 at 6:06 pm

Yes the previous furlough days were a temporary agreement although the unions and district knew the problems with the state were not going to be resolved in a year. Neither the district or union is working on bringing us reform to deal with the unsustainable raises and high administrative pensions (up to $175,000/year after retirement).

Step and column raises continued during the temporary agreement; costing us $1,500,000 not only for last year but that additional cost over each upcoming year. They also have step and column raises of $1,500,000 each of the following year. The step and column raise for just last year is actually costing us $7,500,000 over a five-year period. Then we are increasing the pay by an additional $1,500,000 per year.

If the parcel tax passes, it will bring in about $2,000,000 in the first year. That covers just a little more than just the raises in the first year. In the second year of the parcel tax we will have another $2,000,000 but the salary expenses will be $3,000,000 higher that year because of step and column. The parcel tax does not even pay for the raises in the second year of the tax, and it gets worse in the third and forth year of the tax.

While some feel just fine paying an additional tax that just goes towards raises, I do not. I would like money for the programs listed on the parcel tax but no money will make it to those programs after paying the step and column raises. The unions removing the furlough days is making our problem even worse.

To Nurse Shark, what "Start Afresh" is saying is the teachers union, and the teachers, are saying they took a $4,000 pay decrease because of the furlough days. If they can say they took a pay decrease for adding furlough days, then the opposite is true that removing the furlough days is the same thing as a pay increase.

I am deeply disappointed in the contract the teachers union has brought forward. I think it should be rejected. The CSEA union acknowledged the problems and took furlough days to help the district. The teachers unions said they do not care about the kids or the district. They just want their entitlements and their step and column raises every year. If that means the new teachers have to be fired (i.e., having to eat their young), so be it. If this is the way the union will be, I hope the district remember this and makes all future raises temporary. That way they can be taken back when needed.

I am glad I waited till the end to turn in my ballot. Since the teachers union is not helping at all, removing the furlough days, and still taking step and column, I cannot support the parcel tax now. I turned in my ballot today. To others who have not turned in their ballot today, make sure you vote No and bring the ballot to the city clerks office at city hall by Tuesday . We have to let the teachers union know that we will not tolerate their actions. Bad enough they are still getting automatic step and column raises costing us $15,000,000 over the life of the parcel tax (and the district has finally confirmed that number being correct at the last board meeting; albeit pretty late), they are removing the furlough days that we also needed.

Vote No on the parcel tax right away. Supporting the tax says that you agree that the union members should be making more money now from an additional tax from you.


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Posted by Sorry to say
a resident of Downtown
on Apr 30, 2011 at 8:09 pm

[Post removed because it addressed another commenter and not the topic.]


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Posted by Sam
a resident of Oak Hill
on Apr 30, 2011 at 8:21 pm

Based on the fact that I see "YES" signs on lawns everywhere but have yet to see a"NO" sign on any lawn, I'm guessing that the Measure will pass.


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Posted by Tim
a resident of Castlewood
on Apr 30, 2011 at 8:31 pm

Writes Dave Eggers in today's NYTimes,

'At the moment, the average teacher's pay is on par with that of a toll taker or bartender. Teachers make 14 percent less than professionals in other occupations that require similar levels of education. In real terms, teachers' salaries have declined for 30 years. The average starting salary is $39,000; the average ending salary — after 25 years in the profession — is $67,000. This prices teachers out of home ownership in 32 metropolitan areas, and makes raising a family on one salary near impossible.'

He goes on to speak of the low morale many teachers suffer through, and how a large number of teachers don't make it past their 4th year.

As a remedy, Eggers argues we need in this country to assist teachers by giving them, among other things, a higher salary, increased resources to work with, and more respect from their respective communities.

Yes, Pleasanton teachers' salaries are higher than teachers' salaries in Mississippi, North Dakota, or Texas. But not in real terms. Cost of living is so much higher here, and if you don't believe me, go to Auburn, Alabama, where you can buy a million dollar Pleasanton home for 120K. Yet we hear all this griping from a vocal minority in the community. But this vocal minority, mean-spirited, every one of them, is not representative of the majority of Pleasanton. Like me, I believe the majority of Pleasanton is embarrassed and repulsed by the kinds of negativity we so often see on these pages. Good job Pleasanton Teachers! Thanks for doing the excellent job you do! You Rock! :~)


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Posted by Julie
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 30, 2011 at 9:02 pm

Julie is a registered user.

Nice post, Tim!


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Posted by Agreed!
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 30, 2011 at 9:08 pm

I agree with Sorry to Say and Tim. Too much negativity being directed at valued members of our community. Same tired old arguments, day in and day out. I feel like I read @exactly's arguments last week, and in March, and in Jan, and every month last year. The arguments get refuted, and then the same bad movie begins running again. I wish they'd adopt a new cause that was constructive instead of being so negative and destructive.


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Posted by jill
a resident of Birdland
on Apr 30, 2011 at 9:33 pm

I guess I don't know any bartenders making $100K+ per year for 180 days of work. And since most teachers live in the Tri-Valley according to a survey done by the school district a few years ago, home ownership does not seem to be a big problem.

I believe our teachers do get a lot of respect in the community although when they are taking raises while asking us for more money in taxes, that does work against them.

Sam, I guess I drive around different neighborhoods than you. I see both Yes and No signs. We will have to wait until Tuesday night to see which side prevails.


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Posted by Sam
a resident of Oak Hill
on Apr 30, 2011 at 9:44 pm

Jill, I honestly haven't seen a single "No on E" sign on any lawn. I don't doubt that someone has a "No" sign on some lawn in Pleasanton, but based on my observations on the neighborhoods I regularly pass through, the ratio of YES to NO seems rather lopsided. If you are seeing a more equal ratio of YES and NO signs, please let me know which neighborhoods. I'm curious to see some actual NO signs.


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Posted by Pete
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 30, 2011 at 9:52 pm

There's Jill telling another wopper again. "they are taking raises"
Really? That's a lie. A case of negative bias overcoming one's sense of moral obligation to tell the truth.

What IS it about these people that possesses them to lie and take the low road as they do? How miserable they sound.


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Posted by Julie
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 30, 2011 at 10:18 pm

Julie is a registered user.

Perhaps we should post everyone's salary and benefits package online so that we can dissect it, judge it, feel jealous (or the opposite), etc. I'm going to bet their aren't that many teachers making 100k/year (esp. factoring in those items teachers here have said they pay for).

You would be surprised what bartenders, servers, etc. and the like make. A few years back I knew a teacher in SF who was subbing, but made WAY more money working at a coffee shop. And besides, nothing against bartenders....but last I checked they didn't need a college degree, PLUS a post graduate credential to mix you a drink!


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Posted by Julie
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 30, 2011 at 10:19 pm

Julie is a registered user.

Sorry, didn't edit before submitting...I meant: "I'm going to bet THERE aren't that many teachers...."


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Posted by Sam
a resident of Oak Hill
on Apr 30, 2011 at 10:51 pm

I just came across this interesting op-ed piece in the New York Times titled "The High Cost of Low Teacher Salaries". It's a good essay to ponder over: Web Link


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Posted by Worked for High College Tuition
a resident of Walnut Hills
on May 1, 2011 at 12:14 am

Bartenders and waiters/waitresses in good restaurants can make triple-figure salaries while working 2-hour lunch shifts and 3-hour dinner shifts, for total of 25 hour weeks. Some of the idle complainers around here maybe should quit bellyaching and try waiting tables. It's an honorable profession and no degree necessary. From what I read around here, they probably have higher esteem than our punching bag teachers.


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Posted by Really?
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 1, 2011 at 8:18 am

Great reading Sam-

"Compare this with our approach to our military: when results on the ground are not what we hoped, we think of ways to better support soldiers. We try to give them better tools, better weapons, better protection, better training. And when recruiting is down, we offer incentives."

When it comes to military, it seems unquestionable to make cuts, yet in this similar scenario the opposite is true. I think it really says something about our priorities today. How have we lost sight of the value of education, and how did educators become the enemy? We are constantly compared to other top performing nations, yet not treating the professionals in education the way they do:

"Turns out these countries have an entirely different approach to the profession. First, the governments in these countries recruit top graduates to the profession. (We don't.) In Finland and Singapore they pay for training. (We don't.) In terms of purchasing power, South Korea pays teachers on average 250 percent of what we do.And most of all, they trust their teachers."

Why is it that when we see something that works- we can be compared to its standards, yet not follow the approach, seems like we are looking for the bargain instead of the investment. This nationwide negative view of all public sector workers is so indicative of many attitudes in our country today. No wonder we struggle.


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Posted by Head Shaker
a resident of Dublin
on May 1, 2011 at 9:37 am

I also liked the opinion piece in the NYTimes. By the way, because I'm such a fiscal conservative about some things, I go to the NYT page, see what looks like interesting articles, then google those articles via google news. No cost that way!

The analogy between our nation's military and our teachers is apt. Even more apt, I think, might be an analogy between our teachers and border patrol agents. Taxpayers are now funding the largest armed law enforcement agency in the country, which I believe now has over 15,000 agents patrolling our southern borders in thousands of high-tech, 70+ thousand dollar SUVs. Talk about not working a full-time job! Much of the time they sit in their SUVs staring at dirt. Yet many if not most earn substantially higher salaries than do our teachers.

Since I began contributing to these PW discussion boards, I have never seen a single anti-teacher poster complain about the enormous expense involved in keeping five shifts of border patrol agents in donuts and coffee. I think this comparison is even more apt, because at least our military is fighting a real enemy ... and generally winning their battles. So too our teachers are fighting a real enemy that takes the form of ignorance and stupidity. Border Patrol? No so much.

I'm with Tim. Our Pleasanton teachers rock!


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Posted by jill
a resident of Birdland
on May 1, 2011 at 9:45 am

Julie,

For salaries, yo can go to Web Link and select Pleasanton Unified School Dist. and select Total Cost of Employment (TCOE), and you will see 279 employees in the Pleasanton Unified School District costing over $100,000. The TCOE includes all their perks, stipends, and pensions. The salary database is a fantastic community service.

But getting back to the original discussion, I do not feel our teachers are overpaid or underpaid. What I have objection to is asking the public to pay more taxes so we can pay for raises right now.


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Posted by Julie
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 1, 2011 at 10:00 am

Julie is a registered user.

Hey Jill. I think I did look at the salaries a while back, though I didn't memorize all of them. So, I'm not asking snidely...I'm truly wondering (since I don't feel like taking the time to research this and obviously some of you have taken the time)...are all of those 100k salaries teachers? I seem to recall many of them held administrative roles as well (e.g. principal, vice principal). And I honestly don't know - 279 out of how many total?

I don't recall the website giving any other information other than salary and title. Therefore, if we don't know the employee's length of service, educational level, overall experience (here and elsewhere), additional units, etc. how can people possibly be making judgments as to if those salaries are reasonable or not? Perhaps you have not made such judgments, Jill, but many have. Therefore I disagree that the salary database is a "fantastic community service". Since many people don't know how to analyze information and since many people are simply angry and looking for scapegoats, that website has done no service in my view!


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Posted by Head Shaker's Facts?
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 1, 2011 at 10:09 am

Head Shaker doesn't quite have it right. There are now more than 20 thousand BP agents. They earn an average of 63 thousand. And that means they make 4 thousand less than our nation's public school teachers average. But the BP websites boast that most agents can expect to add another 25% on top of their salaries, thus putting the average salary closer to 80 thousand. Moreover, 20 years of service allows one to retire at age 50 with full pension benefits. These facts add proportion to the argument. And people complain that we spend too much on our teachers? And don't get me started on Jill's deceptive statement about raises in teacher salaries. Yeah, I too think Pleasanton teachers rock. I guess people like Jill don't and probably never will. I bet if she had the education to be a teacher and became one for a while she'd think differently instead of stewing in her anger all the time.


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Posted by jill
a resident of Birdland
on May 1, 2011 at 10:33 am

Julie, the database does not make it easy to select just teachers. The number I posted covered all employees which includes administrators. That is why I posted the link so if people were interested they can see who these people are and their positions.

You should be able to figure out the length of service since teachers are on a salary schedule that pays every teacher with the same experience the same amount of money. There is no discretion to pay good teachers more or bad teachers less. The salary costs include stipends for extra degrees, department heads, coaching, etc., so that is why some teachers make more than the highest step and column on the salary schedule. And you are right, I have not made such judgment as if each is reasonable or not. Actually I did state that I did not think our teachers in general are under or overpaid and I was not upset with salaries, only raises going our when they do not have the money. This database is a fantastic database on the cost of providing services that we pay for with our tax dollars. If you think there are variables missing then I advise that you contact the district and have them post the salary information with the additional information you would find useful. What the database has is a great start in educating the public on the costs. However, it is only a start. Resources like this and the pension $100,000 club at Web Link are invaluable resources and show the taxpayer what actual costs and benefits are. It is our tax money and we have a right to know how it is spent.


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Posted by Really?
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 1, 2011 at 10:58 am

The database is very deceiving- for example what Jill posted - the Total Cost of Employment (TCOE) has nothing to do with a teacher's take home salary- that number is far from what teachers actually take home in pay. It also does not show the deductions for medical benefits, dental, vision, disability etc. That takes the actual take home number significantly less.

It also gives the illusion that a teacher has been earning that salary for years which is absolutely not true with S&C. It has taken me 20 yrs to reach that number and now I'm frozen on the schedule. I've been at that number for only two years.

I also must add, I'm happy with what I earn- never once complained. I even voluntarily gave back $4000 last year to save my colleagues, without complaint. It is the misleading of the facts that I have a problem with. And the fact that even this post will most likely not be believed.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on May 1, 2011 at 11:52 am

Stacey is a registered user.

From the NYT article: "WHEN we don't get the results we want in our military endeavors, we don't blame the soldiers. We blame the generals, the secretary of defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff. No one contemplates blaming the men and women fighting every day in the trenches for little pay and scant recognition"

- The No on E arguments do, in fact, blame the planners. That's what it has always been despite attempts to distract from that message. When calls are made to the planners to freeze raises being given out at a time when revenue is being cut and the planners instead do something else like negotiate furloughs that take away from teacher take-home pay and then lay off some teachers, that's blaming the planners. When calls are made to the planners to stop using one-time money for ongoing costs because that practice is unsustainable, that's blaming the planners.

- The article is a nice, feel-good attempt to show where society's priorities are by comparing the military organization to an education organization, but the comparison falls short. We can easily compare society's priorities based on the amounts of revenue allocated to each organization and that's where the comparison ends. The organizations are vastly different. The military has a clear command and control structure with built-in accountability that simply does not exist in a school district. Soldiers are not members of a union with which a general must negotiate. It is very easy to hold generals accountable for results. Individuals in a military, from generals to the lowest private, are routinely rewarded and punished based on the merit of their performance. Teamwork is of paramount importance in the military and such merit-based discipline does not lessen the ability of individuals to work in teams.


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Posted by Julie
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 1, 2011 at 1:25 pm

Julie is a registered user.

I don't need the salary database to provide more information. I just wish that when people get all up in the idea that "Teachers are earning 100k" and act like that's a bad thing, they would realize that a) they DON'T have all the information and b) quit bashing what teachers make simply because they are angry with the parcel tax issue. I don't know - is there a database for all public servants salaries for whom our tax dollars are used?

I've actually heard on these boards that teachers are "greedy". I can't argue that "no teachers are greedy". However, how many of you would sit at negotiations with your boss and seek to get less pay? I'm sure many of you have taken pay cuts (volunteer or forced) as have the teachers. Not wanting a pay cut doesn't make you "greedy" though. It's as if because teachers work with children they are supposed to be more willing to give concessions. I bet a lot of teachers have children and families too...just like us.


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Posted by jill
a resident of Birdland
on May 1, 2011 at 1:50 pm

"Really?", we are talking about the costs here and the database is accurate. When I hire somebody in the private sector, the salary we offer is not the same as their paycheck. There are a lot of deductions. Besides State and Federal, we have Social Security, Medicare, Disability, etc. . I remember my daughter getting one of her first jobs and looking at her check with this big disappointment. "Is this all I get?" was her statement. So it is the same on private and public sector jobs; there are governmental deductions. As a teacher, you also have a deduction for the union payment. If you do not want to join the union, the union has negotiated with the district that you have to pay the same amount as the dues but make it to another approved entity.

Stacey is right that most of us are blaming the leaders. Yes there are some people doing teacher bashing but many of us, like myself, are more concerned on the structural problems. Don't know how many times I have said that I support the teachers, and the salaries they make. It is the raises when we do not have the money, and then asking the taxpayer to chip in more to pay the raises that I object to.

To me the database was good since we have data. We had many false statements previously on salaries and costs. Some saying the teachers made much more (although that was easy to dispute because of the previously released salary schedule) but some tax supporters were giving out much lower salaries in their arguments. I believe many of those indicating that teachers are earning 100K are not saying this to make it sound like the teachers are overpaid. Instead, it was said to indicate the teachers were not underpaid.

Of course none of us wants a pay cut. But if many of the employees are getting a step or column raise, to pay for that something has to be cut, since we are not getting more money from state. I have worked at companies that were going through financial problems. We were not able to negotiate a pay cut. We were told we were given a pay cut in order to keep the company going. Those who did not like that could always look for another job. I have been at a company that had to lay people off, existing people had a pay cut, and those staying had to do more work because there was less people available to do the necessary thing. Of course this was not a welcome event but a requirement to keep the business going. We could not ask our customers to pay more for the same service. There were other companies that would have taken all of our customers if we did that. Since schools do not have a real competitor, the situation here is different. While I am not an advocate for school vouchers, that would change the environment for the families, teachers, and administrators.


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Posted by Bing!
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 1, 2011 at 1:51 pm

Thank you Julie for turning on a lightbulb in my head. You've hit on something that may be important. Could one of the main reasons why people are so opposed to teachers making a fair salary is because most teachers are women and thus aren't SUPPOSED to make a fair salary? Is it because they think that a female-dominated profession doesn't DESERVE to be treated with respect? Very interesting. This attitude/bias undoubtedly is still out there, held by men and even some women too. Thanks again for the insight.


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Posted by Blame the Teachers
a resident of another community
on May 1, 2011 at 3:08 pm

Much easier to blame teachers and their union for the condition of the U.S. educational system. Reviewing the braven and course remarks posted on this forum regarding teachers, it is easy to understand why teachers need a union, they are attacked by the state, local school administrators, their principal, parents, and the public at large.

Web Link

Interesting NY Times article highlights that we are blaming the wrong people, we all know that, but blaming teachers is much easier.


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Posted by Julie
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 1, 2011 at 4:21 pm

Julie is a registered user.

Bing!, I do consider society's attitude toward women as part of the issue with teacher salaries. I think I mentioned on another thread...why do you think more men are not teachers? Because the pay is *relatively* low and in general men want/need to be breadwinners. And, why is the pay low...? It's circular. It is a female dominated profession, at least at the lower grades. Also, because it's a profession that involves children, such a person pursuing such a career likely has a certain personality trait (e.g. you are nurturing, loving, patient...motherly...). We expect those types of people to think only of others and not of themselves. In other words, we expect them to volunteer for pay cuts, to not fight to keep their pay, etc. We get mad when they don't behave as we expect.


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Posted by Bing!
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 1, 2011 at 5:18 pm

Thanks again, Julie. I realize that women face continually an uphill fight. As a male I can feel free to walk a few blocks at midnight to a 7-11 in order to get a munchy. A woman still can't feel free in that respect: she is still targeted by violent sickos; and many still hold the presumption that an unescorted woman walking the street at midnight must be a woman of the evening. We have so much farther to go....

More to your point, we have seen traditionally male-dominated jobs go drastically downhill in terms of salary scale once they became opened up to females. College professors is another area where an increased influx in females implies that the jobs are no longer as important as they were when dominated by males, and this too is reflected in salaries. I hear you 100%.

The light bulb effect is that this post's regular complainers about our teachers have largely succeeded in steering the conversation in a way such that everything teacher-related gets reduced to a financial equation. It is much more difficult to raise the claims they do and have any legitimacy once additional human factors are brought into consideration. Teacher morale is but one such factor. But your comments expand our horizons such that we need to consider the prejudicial forces that may well be driving the anti-teacher complainers' agenda. Good show!


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Posted by Or
a resident of Del Prado
on May 1, 2011 at 6:27 pm

Or rather than gender discrimination could it possibly be that it is not that hard to do, requires part time work, and you get the summers off? Good job for someone who wants stability with minimal probably of getting fired for poor performance.


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Posted by Sam
a resident of Oak Hill
on May 1, 2011 at 7:45 pm

"Or" said:"Or rather than gender discrimination could it possibly be that it is not that hard to do, requires part time work, and you get the summers off? Good job for someone who wants stability with minimal probably of getting fired for poor performance."

Well, "Or", thank you for your views. I think that what you said above wonderfully exemplifies the attitude of "No" voters on teachers and education.


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Posted by Or
a resident of Del Prado
on May 1, 2011 at 8:01 pm

Sam,

My husband and I both voted yes on E to help the kids.


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Posted by jill
a resident of Birdland
on May 1, 2011 at 8:19 pm

"it is easy to understand why teachers need a union, they are attacked by the state, local school administrators, their principal, parents, and the public at large."

I think people are supportive of the teachers but not of the union. I don't think the teachers need a union. I believe they would do better without one. To me there is a huge difference between a teacher and the teachers union. Teachers do care about our kids. Unions only care about getting as much money as possible.

The Teachers union has created the adversarial relationship.


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Posted by Fact be Known
a resident of Danville
on May 1, 2011 at 8:45 pm

@ Jill

"The Teachers union has created the adversarial relationship." -- Jill

What came first the chicken or the egg? Did the teachers actually create the adversial relationship, and their need to unionize.

There are always two sides to a pancake, and it does take two to Tango.

If people were always fair, there would never be a need to unionize.


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Posted by Julie
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 1, 2011 at 10:36 pm

Julie is a registered user.

"Or", I am wondering - how many years have you been or were you a teacher? If you aren't or haven't been a teacher on what are you basing your assessment of the job? I'd also be interested in what you do for a living. I have actually worked as a teacher when I was getting a multiple subjects credential. It was neither easy or part-time.


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Posted by Really?
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 1, 2011 at 10:40 pm

For all the explaining of my paycheck Jill, you certainly didnt understand a word I said. Yes I understand about deductions from my paycheck, this is not my first one. I said the data base is deceiving and I see that I was correct, you were deceived by it yourself.

What you missed was the fact that you posted: "For SALARIES, yo can go to Web Link and select Pleasanton Unified School Dist. and select Total Cost of Employment (TCOE"

You see this number is not our actual salary. It is the total cost of employment- not a salary-as mine is $10,000 less BEFORE the deductions you so kindly explained to me. After these deductions- it is a total of $30,000 less. A bit of a difference from the numbers you pointed out to people in your posts. Am I now required to turn in my W2 as proof, are you an employee of the district to know this as a fact?

The data base is deceiving on purpose, why else would they print it? More fuel for the assault against public "servants" and it seems to have worked on many here. These numbers go $10,000 beyond the actual salary schedule! Trust me, no stipend is even close to coming to that number!


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Posted by Bing!
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 1, 2011 at 10:43 pm

I don't feel at all as if the teachers union is in an adversarial relationship with anyone. The union does what unions are expected to do: they engage in collective bargaining in order to enhance the quality of on-job and off-job living of teachers, and this as part and parcel of delivering the strongest education possible for our children.

Chronic malcontents in this community, unfortunately, have set themselves up as teachers' adversaries, and I think have done so in a way that does a great disservice to our teachers and our community. Depending on which evening it is, or which post one reads, these self-proclaimed adversaries have directed their nasty jabs at teachers, "union teachers", administrators, school boards, school board members, contributors of Measure E, supporters of Measure E, and just about anything else associated with PUSD's unarguable position of excellence when it comes to educating our children.

Thank you Pleasanton teachers for the job you do. And thanks to your union officials for helping to keep you strong against a small minority of misguided malcontents within the community.


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Posted by Rita
a resident of Downtown
on May 2, 2011 at 10:04 am

Anyone know when we will get the results on E?


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Posted by Start Afresh
a resident of Country Fair
on May 2, 2011 at 2:39 pm

The NYT article referenced above says "The average starting salary is $39,000; the average ending salary — after 25 years in the profession — is $67,000."
In Pleasanton, the starting salary for 2011-12 for a teacher with at least a BS and teaching credential is $60,371 and after 20 years is $98,045. These salaries are ~50% higher than the national averages listed in the article.
So who will write the article entitled "The High Cost of High Teachers Salaries"?


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Posted by Calvin
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 2, 2011 at 3:02 pm

Start Afresh,

These comparisons aren't equal, apples to apples comparisons. Were you aware Pleasanton teachers pay their own medical and dental benefits? Bet you didn't know that. Did you know that Pleasanton is one of the best districts in the state? Did you also compare Pleasanton teacher salaries with average salaries for homeowners in Pleasanton?


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Posted by Start Afresh
a resident of Country Fair
on May 2, 2011 at 3:21 pm

Calvin - Only 39% of Pleasanton teachers pay medical. The other 61% pocket the medical premiums that are in their salary.


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Posted by Julie
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 2, 2011 at 7:15 pm

Julie is a registered user.

The NYT article referenced above says "The average starting salary is $39,000; the average ending salary — after 25 years in the profession — is $67,000."

"In Pleasanton, the starting salary for 2011-12 for a teacher with at least a BS and teaching credential is $60,371 and after 20 years is $98,045. These salaries are ~50% higher than the national averages listed in the article."

In both cases after 2+ decades the salaries haven't even doubled. Yikes. In 20 years my rate has almost tripled and I took 8 years off to raise my kids. And the median cost of a house in the U.S. in 2010 was under $220,000. Median home price in Pleasanton...around $660,000. The housing here is 3x the average in the US, which would translate into a starting salary here of 117k, instead you report it is just over 60k.

So who will write the article entitled "The High Cost of High Teachers Salaries"?

More like "the high cost of living in the Bay Area".

There are 57 PUSD employees who have *salaries* over 100k and 37 of those are administrators. So, 20 teachers have *salaries* of over 100k, 85 have *salaries* between 90-<100k, 41 earn between 59k and 89k, 9 earn <49k. Not an out of line curve. Many of the names I saw have been in the district a minimum of a decade...when we entered. None of this seems out of line to me. Seriously, bartenders probably do earn more on average.


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Posted by NO! Voter!
a resident of Parkside
on May 2, 2011 at 10:37 pm

Is it to late two send in the 6 votes from my house? No teacher IS lworth MORE then I am.


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Posted by Calvin
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 3, 2011 at 9:42 am

No, it is 90% of teachers who pay their own medical/dental benefits. 10% get theirs through spouse. So there it is. You cannot compare salaries that way.


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Posted by Julie
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 3, 2011 at 4:10 pm

Julie is a registered user.

6 votes from one house? 6 legal adults living in a single residence? Hmmm.

Someone needs the help of a teacher to brush up on: to/too/two and then/than.


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Posted by Johnny
a resident of Del Prado
on May 3, 2011 at 4:23 pm

Julie,

There are 6 votes from my home. Me, wife, daughter, son in law, son, daughter.




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Posted by Arnold
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 3, 2011 at 4:51 pm

"Arnold, please reread the following agreement, especially the portion explaining BRL. I assumed you understood this means that once the revised budget is presented, the contracts will again be renegotiated with the teachers again taking the brunt of the cuts if the numbers increase."

If the contracts need to be renegotiated then they weren't really negotiated in the first place.

I'll read the web link: Web Link

In the meantime maybe someone can directly answer these questions:

1) What is the district going to do when the pension contributions increase, and where is the additional 15% of payroll coming from?

2) What will the district do when they've added 6 million to compensation in year four and the parcel tax revenue expires/goes to Zero at he end of that year?

3) What will happen if the parcel tax fails?

4) What happens if the voters don't approve an extension of state taxes?

5) Given those uncertainties, how can the PUSD approve a contract that increases compensation?

6) A repeat, what is the district going to do when the pension contributions increase, and where is the additional 15% of payroll coming from?

Can someone please answer these questions? And no, they haven't been answered yet.


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Posted by For everybody
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 3, 2011 at 8:05 pm

Faulty Public Pension Accounting: A Problem too Big to Ignore

"One reason the ongoing debate over collective bargaining for government employees has been so loud is that the stakes are so high — for unionized government employees on one side and for taxpayers on the other.

For years, public sector collective bargaining enabled government employee unions, especially at the state and local level, to aggressively lobby for generous compensation in exchange for political support for the politicians who grant such largess.
Those politicians, seeking to avoid taxpayer wrath today, deferred many of the costlier elements of that compensation well into the future, including pensions. To make matters worse, states underfunded those pensions for years, and the accounting methods they used hid the funding gaps.

Today, however, much as the budget crises affecting state government around the country has brought public attention to the bad bargain for taxpayers that is public sector collective bargaining, state pension accounting standards face considerable public scrutiny, from across the ideological spectrum.

The Pew Center on the States made headlines with a new entry into this debate this week. State employee pension funds are underfunded by at least $1.26 trillion, according to a new Pew study. Staggering as that figure is, some analysts have noted that it may in fact be too low, because it is estimated based on state pension managers' faulty accounting methods — which helped obscure the extent of underfunding for years in the first place.

However, now the critique of the numbers is gaining wider attention. As The Washington Post reports:………"

The problem is too big to ignore — so much so that many Democratic politicians are taking on their states' government unions in order to rein in runaway costs. Even in deep-blue Massachusetts, lawmakers voted this week to curb public sector collective bargaining Political support can't do you much good when you're broke ((what is Jerry Brown and California waiting for?).


Meanwhile, government employee union leaders' response to date has been simply to blame the recent stock market downturn and say there's nothing to see here. American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees head Gerald McEntee told The Washington Post that state pension funds " are not only persevering but are well on their way to full recovery." If you believe that, I've got a bridge to sell you.

Web Link


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Posted by Start Afresh
a resident of Country Fair
on May 5, 2011 at 11:55 am

And now back to the regular program of fighting for our kids education.
At the next school board meeting 05/10, the PUSD board of trustees is expected to approve the one year agreement that increases all teacher pay by 2.7% over last year by eliminating the cost saving furlough days.