News


School board to consider employee raises

Lydiksen furniture proposal, audit report also on Tuesday's agenda

The Pleasanton school board is set to consider raises for classified and management/confidential employees at its regular meeting Tuesday night.

The proposed new collective bargaining agreement with the California School Employees Association includes a 2% increase to the 2017-18 salary schedule, retroactive to July 1. CSEA members would also receive a one-time bonus equal to 1% of their salary this school year, to be calculated after the 2% increase is applied.

The agreement itself is for July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2020.

The proposal comes after the school board in November approved a collective bargaining agreement between PUSD and the Association of Pleasanton Teachers with the same raises for its members.

The district’s agreement with APT took effect retroactive to July 1, 2016 and runs through June 30, 2019.

Meanwhile, trustees will also consider a comparable salary increase being proposed for management/confidential employees.

The board will also be presented with initial collective bargaining proposals between the district and APT for 2018-19.

The meeting will get underway in the district office boardroom at 4665 Bernal Ave. at 7 p.m. following closed session at 6 p.m.

In other business

* The board will discuss administration’s recommendation that MeTEOR Education be selected as the furniture vendor for the bond-funded Lydiksen Elementary School modernization and rebuild.

MeTEOR was one of four firms that responded to a Request for Proposals issued by the district in October.

If approved as the furniture vendor, the district would purchase pilot furniture for up to three existing classroom prototypes -- kindergarten, grades 1-3 and grades 4-5. Students and staff would test different furniture styles and configurations for at least one full school year before a bulk order would be made for all classrooms. The pilot furniture selection will influence the design of new classroom buildings, PUSD staff wrote in Tuesday’s board packet.

Pilot furniture would be installed in the summer for use next school year.

The estimated furniture budget for the project is $400,000 in Measure I1 funds.

Pending board discussion, administrators plan to return to the board on Jan. 30 to request approval of a contract with MeTEOR.

* Trustees will review the June 30, 2017 audit report.

The California State Controller’s Office requires school districts to have an independent financial audit completed by Dec. 15 of every year. Gilbert Associations conducted the audit, which included a review of districtwide financial statements and a mandated management discussion and analysis.

The auditor issued an unmodified opinion, according to district staff.

“An unmodified opinion is where an auditor expresses an opinion that financial statements are presented, in all material aspects, in accordance with applicable financial reporting framework,” staff wrote in Tuesday’s board packet.

* The board will discuss and consider approval of three new courses and 32+ revised secondary courses proposed for the 2018-19 school year and beyond.

The proposed new courses are vocal jazz ensemble, advanced STEAM and Mentoring Through Agriculture.

Any courses not approved Tuesday would be resubmitted in the spring.

* Trustees will receive a mid-year update on the Student Inter-Schools Action Council.

* As part of the consent agenda, trustees will be asked to approve a contract with Black Tie Transportation for district charter trips at a cost not to exceed $100,000 through June 30, as well as a contract with Pearson Education for $57,000 in instructional materials.

* In closed session beginning at 6 p.m., trustees will consider appointing a substitute assistant director of special education, as well as one case of employee discipline, dismissal or release. They will also discuss anticipated litigation and existing litigation -- Luis Mercado vs. PUSD -- with legal counsel.

Mercado, a skilled maintenance worker for PUSD from August 2008 through mid-April 2013, filed a wrongful termination suit against the district in October 2015. He alleged in his complaint that he was “screamed at, ridiculed, threatened and otherwise chronically harassed” by supervisors, and as a result became clinically depressed and unable to work.

After notifying PUSD in March 2013 that he was sick, Mercado said he later received a letter from the district stating, “If you do not request the opportunity to demonstrate good cause to excuse your absence by close of business on Monday, April 15, 2013, you will be deemed to have voluntarily resigned from your employment with the district.”

Mercado claimed in his lawsuit that he did not receive the letter until April 19, 2013 and that PUSD “wrongfully terminated his employment for his absence due to mental disability.”

The case was dismissed in July, and in the fall Alameda County Superior Court awarded the district $10,000 for attorney’s fees and $2,500 in other costs, according to court documents.

Comments

15 people like this
Posted by Taxpayer
a resident of Downtown
on Jan 12, 2018 at 6:50 pm

No raises for anyone until all employees pay the entire contribution to their pensions. As long as we remain on the hook for these unrealistic and unsustainable pensions every spare cent needs to go to paying down that debt.


11 people like this
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jan 12, 2018 at 9:25 pm

Amazing......bond for new school gets approved.

No new school but money for raises suddenly found


Like this comment
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Jan 13, 2018 at 9:38 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

PP, “where there’s a will, there’s a way.” I am fine with the will to pay our teachers well. Our board just has to show the same will for operating a new school.


8 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 13, 2018 at 11:11 am

2%? Barely covers inflation not to mention health care. People are opposed to this?? Pensions are a manageable issue that can be resolved for our community.


4 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Jan 13, 2018 at 11:41 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Anon, Yes, two percent misses CPIU by 1.2%, but there was a 1% off-the-salary-schedule "bonus" provided as well. That approach is closer to the CPIU figure and is a good approach to trying to keep pace without adding to the pension burden. Pensions, however, cannot be resolved locally--it is a state level problem that our Governor is trying to manage. Unfortunately, he lost his most recent attempt in court and will likely end up at the CA Supreme Court along with two other issues on this topic. Here is an article from yesterday: Web Link


Like this comment
Posted by SHale99
a resident of San Ramon
on Jan 13, 2018 at 1:18 pm

SHale99 is a registered user.

These employees, they are in the union? If so, why on earth do union members get a bonus? Thot when you signed on the dotted line to be a union member you kinda give up on bonuses? SRVUSD does the same....bonuses to all....


Like this comment
Posted by Teachers should get fired or a pay cut
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 13, 2018 at 3:25 pm

Given that the parents and tutoring centers in town are doing all of the teaching, there should be no raises. Instead there should be a 20% cross the board pay cut. Or the teachers and administrators should be fired.

This flipped classroom model where students are supposed to watch home internet videos is in fact no instruction. All you need is some sort of classroom monitor, not a teacher.

Videos should be a support tool, not a replacement for teaching when zero instruction is done by a teacher.

Why can't Pleasanton hire decent teachers?

Basically, the community is having to pay for private tutors. There are at least 2 or 3 in every shopping center in all of Pleasanton.

Also when students are required to do detailed notes from science internet sites, this is more like being in a correspondence school rather than being in an actual educational setting.

My neighbors just moved to San Mateo county and they don' seem to have all of the problems that Pleasanton has.

No raises. And bonuses are absurd given most of the instruction is being done by parents and tutoring centers.


6 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Jan 14, 2018 at 11:25 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

SHale, it’s not really a bonus; it’s just a way to acknowledge cost of living without adding to the pension contributions.


3 people like this
Posted by SHale99
a resident of San Ramon
on Jan 14, 2018 at 1:44 pm

SHale99 is a registered user.

Oh, Kathleen....really? Splitting hairs? A 'one time' bump IS a bonus by any other name. And that bump is AFTER their July raise. Union workers really should not get a bonus....ever... They have a 3rd body negotiating their salary. Not even sure how 100% of the staff could justify getting a bonus. They went above and beyond? Every one? Think not.

Their raise is COL; no need for more. Seems, at least around here, school districts really do enjoy giving bonuses.

Oh, the lucrative pension. Another issue, another thread.


4 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Jan 14, 2018 at 3:24 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

SHale, Potato tomato? These bonuses, if you insist, are a relatively new thing, and I know it's because of pension contribution encroachment.

What I am hoping will change is the notion that we can give, roughly, $3MM in raises/bonuses and still say we can't have a new school because there are no funds to operate it. That would be my "really?"


2 people like this
Posted by SHale99
a resident of San Ramon
on Jan 14, 2018 at 4:48 pm

SHale99 is a registered user.

I insist since it is the truth; not Fake News. hahahaha

I'm all for raises for teachers and such. BUT lose the union if they want to get in line for a bonus and provide performance that entitles one to a bonus. No doubt there are more than a few folks who believe bonuses should be automatic, no matter what.

And since there is a teacher shortage, a signing bonus is AOK, but not for staff.


2 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Jan 14, 2018 at 5:21 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Even agreeing with you on the last two paragraphs, I can’t see where either idea will happen any time soon.


2 people like this
Posted by FalseNews & AlternativeFacts
a resident of Mission Park
on Jan 15, 2018 at 4:26 am

Why do the teachers need to be unionized?


Unions where established to protect workers from un-safe work conditions, and from employers who took advantage (12 hr+ days, child labor, etc.)

I do not see either applying to teachers currently.

John


1 person likes this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 15, 2018 at 6:42 am

Pension/Bonus/Raises are all just part of the total compensation for teachers. How can people have the contradictory views that we should cut one form of compensation and that we need better quality teachers?

If we want better quality teachers, we need higher compensation.


8 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 15, 2018 at 6:58 am

Teacher Pensions: Teachers do not get Federal Social Security. I don't know how that decision was legal. Social Security will always be there because the Federal government can not go bankrupt. State's/Municipalities can go bust. Gov. Brown just said that state pensions will be adjusted at the next recession.

Put yourself in a teacher's shoes. You don't get Federal SS. Your state pension might get cut in the near future. You get attacked for a measly 2% raise and 1% bonus which are way, way below the private sector. In Pleasanton you don't get health care.

Why would you take that job?


2 people like this
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jan 15, 2018 at 7:16 am

Anon.

Simple
Take
total comp (lifetime)/total teaching hrs

Compare

Total comp (lifetime) total hrs worked

Guess which rate is outrageously weighted higher?


2 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 15, 2018 at 8:32 am

total classroom teaching hrs .ne. total teaching hours worked.

Lowering Teacher Compensation .eq. lower quality teachers.


5 people like this
Posted by taxpayer
a resident of Downtown
on Jan 15, 2018 at 8:42 am

Teachers get no SS because they don't pay into it. They also pay little, if anything, into their STRS fund. I have paid tend of thousands of dollars every year into SS and will be taxed on 85% of it if I even get any. If means testing is put into place I will get nothing only because I have always saved for my own retirement. No raises, NONE, until they pay the full contribution into their pensions.


5 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Jan 15, 2018 at 9:56 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Teachers can get SS *if* they paid into SS for 40 quarters via some other position. It does impact their pension or their pension impacts the SS--I'd have to verify which way that goes.

Teachers get benefits. The challenge is they rolled the $10,000 onto the salary schedule in 1986 (a move to boost the pension calculation for a then very senior staff). What gets ignored is every raise received on the salary schedule since 1986 has increased the value of the $10,000. I just update a spreadsheet I did a couple years ago, that $10,000 is now $22,505 based on raises to the salary schedule alone. I then took that same $10,000 and compared it to the CPIU (San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose) according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That $10,000 has increased to $25,355. So teachers are behind about $2,800 (if we ignore the bonus approach). Additionally, the last time I checked, two other factors are important: about 40% of teachers take benefits; the others put it in the bank; and the teachers get their benefits from one of the most expensive providers in the state. I don't know if they are Cadillac plans or just outrageously expensive.

It would be great to be able to pay our best teachers more and to remove our worst teachers more cheaply and easily (after failing any intervention we can provide). As long as the union has a stranglehold on Sacramento, I think we need to look at what we can do locally.


5 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 15, 2018 at 10:04 am

"It would be great to be able to pay our best teachers more and to remove our worst teachers more cheaply and easily (after failing any intervention we can provide). As long as the union has a stranglehold on Sacramento, I think we need to look at what we can do locally."

Totally agree with that. I wish the union would realize that their charter shouldn't be to protect ALL members at all costs. Bad teachers bring everyone down.


8 people like this
Posted by Teacher
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jan 15, 2018 at 10:15 am

Taxpayer:

"Teachers get no SS because they don't pay into it" ... interesting comment. I have been teaching for 29 years. I also work at two different tutoring schools and have held a variety of other part-time/summer jobs during my teaching career. I work these other jobs to pay the bills - to raise my family in a community like Pleasanton despite the fact that I will never own a home here. At each of those other jobs, I pay into SS - despite the fact I will never get to collect any social security. I get no health care, no stock options, no performance bonus - but I do pay (and have always paid) a percentage of my salary to help fund my pension.

Pensions are going to go away - hopefully I will still get mine after a lifetime in education, but they will disappear in the future. It will be interesting to see how public education fares then - no heath care, no stock options, no performance bonus - but maybe then they too will look forward to retirement with social security. I'm sure that will attract the best and brightest to teach the next generation.

I make more money than I ever thought I would as a teacher - yet I still work multiple jobs to make sure I'm saving something for an uncertain future. I love working with kids - and I think I do it well - but please don't think teachers are getting rich off their 2% raise.

Lastly, thank you to Anon for reminding us that total classroom teaching hours does not begin to equate with total hours worked. That's like arguing that Tom Brady works 16 hours a year .... an hour for each of 16 games.


12 people like this
Posted by Joe
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Jan 15, 2018 at 12:45 pm

Since the focus of the majority of the posts has been teacher focused...a comment about Classified employees. My spouse is a Classified employee in the district. There was a receptionist position recently listed on the PW with a starting salary of $50K + benefits. My employer has just hired a new receptionist at a salary of $55K + benefits. With many years of service and excellent appraisals she is making significantly less than that. They handle budgets, confidential information, deal with grossly over-protective helicopter parents whose children can't take responsibility for their behavioral actions, and volunteer their time. Is the district remotely competitive from a salary standpoint-no. Will this change-no. This community should consider themselves fortunate that she, and so many of the other Classified employees, work for the district. Don't begrudge these employees their 2% -they deserve a hell of a lot more.


4 people like this
Posted by The snowflake teacher generation
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 15, 2018 at 2:35 pm

For a set of teachers that demand a superintendent get dismissed for a downward glance and an offhand comment of "why you can't be that old" and spend their time getting offended over trivia, this means the sorry lot of union hacks deserve nothing. Also if the teachers were actually teaching there would be no need to moonlight in tutoring centers.

The snowflake teachers don't teach, have peers of the kids in class grade papers including essays and can't be counted on except for same old work to rule behavior. Meanwhile they ask parents to provide gift cards for Best Buy , Amazon , Starbucks and Target to the teachers.

Quite a sleazy operation...

Each tutoring center even have vans to transport the kids from the schools to the tutoring centers. The tutoring business has practically exploded in the last decade. They need to get rid of the union completely.


2 people like this
Posted by BobB
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 15, 2018 at 3:42 pm

BobB is a registered user.

"Teachers get no SS because they don't pay into it."

Just a clarification. Nobody "pays in" to Social Security. People pay Social Security taxes. Just like any other taxes. They going in to some kind of retirement fund that the payer eventually gets back.

Social Security is an entitlement, like any other kind of welfare. Current Social Security tax payers fund current retirees, not themselves.


4 people like this
Posted by Get the Facts
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 15, 2018 at 8:26 pm

Get the Facts is a registered user.

To Joe: Well said, and thanks to your spouse for their service.

To snowflake: The teachers didn't get the superintendent dismissed, in fact we are all still wondering what happened. He knows, the school board knows, and probably a few others, but no teacher knows, and we all wish we did know.

As Teacher pointed out in his/her post, we are paid well but no new teacher can afford to purchase a home in this community. Any you're going to begrudge us a 2% raise?


2 people like this
Posted by Educated
a resident of Foothill High School
on Jan 16, 2018 at 12:25 am

To Get the Facts...I know MANY people who have worked in high tech for many years who also can't afford to purchase a home in this community. I've been an accounting and IT professional for 25+ years here, but if I were moving here now, I doubt that I'd be able to afford one either. It's not just teachers.

Oh, and my company's standard raise is normally 2-3% a year.


4 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Jan 16, 2018 at 8:35 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Teacher, if you are working and contributing, you should check your eligibility. There is an online process for getting your summary.

GtF, I don't think anyone begrudges the 2%; its the idea that everyone gets the same raise, best and worst. Every child depends on what a teacher provides for his/her future, and that should be recognized with commensurate pay for the best. Parents know the bad teachers; teachers know the bad teachers. I think what parents need is a commitment by the best teachers to remove the worst teachers. And that takes the will of your union majority best to create that change. Maybe the answer is simply tenure at five years or more; maybe not.

The point is we all know the problem people exist, it hurts 30-120 students year after year, parents spend considerable money on tutors to compensate, and nothing ever changes. And so the resentment shouldn't be a surprise when those who can change teaching and learning for the better don't.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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