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Issue date: October 27, 2000

Teachers, school staff get 9.45 percent raise Teachers, school staff get 9.45 percent raise (October 27, 2000)

Large salary increase puts Pleasanton teachers at top of state

by Stephanie Ericson

The Pleasanton Unified School District ratified new three-year contracts with both its teaching and classified employees at its board meeting Tuesday.

"This represents monumental pay raises that put salaries among the best not only in the state, but, I would say, the nation," commented Bob Kroetch, assistant superintendent for human resources, at the meeting. Kroetch also said that beginning teachers are now the highest paid in the state. The new salary schedule range is $49,590 to $80,000.

Teachers salaries rose by 9.45 percent. With compensation for adding three mandatory staff development days, two this year and the third the next school year, teachers salaries increased a total of 11.1 percent.

"The board really wanted to do this for staff to help them live closer to where they work and to thank them for the quality work they are doing with our kids," said school board President Cindy McGovern in an interview.

"We appreciate the fact that the district got money from the state and was therefore able to pass some of it on to the teachers, because some districts aren't doing that," said Sonya Howes, president of the Association of Pleasanton Teachers.

The district also raised salaries for summer school teachers and teachers of after-school remediation programs to $26.50 an hour, a jump of 30 percent. The previous rate of around $20 was considered low compared to other nearby districts and thought to have caused staff shortages this past summer.

Kroetch said the APT and administration negotiating teams "clarified" in their bargaining notes the school board's authority to make educational programming changes without bargaining over them with APT unless they affect working conditions. This will make changes in high school programs, which the board is reviewing this year, easier to accomplish, he said.

The Classified School Employee Association took advantage of a "me-too" clause in their contract to obtain the same 9.45 percent raise as the teachers. This increase was applied to both salaries and benefits, which, unlike teachers' pay, are calculated separately.

CSEA President Alex Sutton described the mood among classified employees as "ecstatic" over the raise. He said 20-year employees have told him the increase is the largest they ever had and that all employees especially appreciated the benefit increase, which would help them "endure the rise in HMO costs." <@$p>

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