Raises OK’d for PUSD classified staff, management

Also: Arkin appointed as board president, first interim budget, renegotiated contract with HKIT for high school portables

The Pleasanton Unified school board unanimously approved a series of pay raises for classified staff and management Tuesday night.

In line with the recently approved agreement with the Association of Pleasanton Teachers, the approvals featured a 2.5% salary increase for members of the Classified School Employees Association, management/confidential employees, and for unrepresented classified employees. All raises are retroactive to July 1, 2018.

“We did make budget reductions, in order to be able to afford the 2.5% raise ... We stayed away from the classroom, we stayed away from the schools, although some of the reductions will have an impact,” deputy superintendent of business services Micaela Ochoa said. “They were in district office budgets.”

In total, the reductions to accommodate the raises came out to about $4 million over the course of three years, Ochoa said. For the collective bargaining agreements up for approval at Tuesday’s meeting, funds would come from state Local Control Funding Formula revenue and the ending fund balance, according to the public disclosure agreements.

After this latest round of pay raises, all district groups except for the executive leadership team have had salary adjustments during the 2018-19 negotiation cycle, according to staff.

According to a county analysis, if PUSD’s average daily attendance numbers align with demographer’s projections, the district should be able to afford the pay increases.

“But if we do not have materialized the projected increases in our enrollment, there is a possibility of being led to another $1.5 million in 2021 in reductions,” said Julio Hernandez, assistant superintendent of human resources, summing up the county’s assessment.

Although the board approved the bargaining agreements, Trustee Joan Laursen commented on staff’s prior statements that the cuts would be outside of the classroom.

“I’m very, very happy that we’re able to offer this raise to our employees,” she said. “I just want to make sure that we’re all aware, the public is aware, that any time that we’re cutting, it affects our students.”

In other business

* The board kicked off the meeting with their annual reorganization meeting, during which time they selected a new president and vice president and determined which trustees would represent the board on which committees.

Trustee Valerie Arkin, who sat as vice president this past year, was appointed as board president, while Trustee Steve Maher moved into the vice president post.

In the committee representation shuffle, much remained the same, though there were a few shifts: Laursen and Arkin will be representatives to the Tri-Valley Special Education Local Plan Area Board along with the Regional Occupational Program Joint Powers Board; all members will represent PUSD for the Alameda County School Board Association; Maher, Arkin and Trustee Mark Miller will serve on the City of Pleasanton Liaison Committee; Maher, Miller and Trustee Jamie Yee Hintzke will be representatives for the Audit Committee; Yee Hintzke and Arkin will serve on the Economic Vitality Committee; all members will be representatives for the Tri-Valley Education Coalition; Yee Hintzke and Maher will serve on the Facility Subcommittee; and Laursen, Yee Hintzke, and Arkin will take on the Board Policy Subcommittee.

* The board honored Sarah Banholzer, an Amador Valley High School student, for being named a Tri-Valley Hero by the Pleasanton Weekly this fall.

* Board members approved the summer programs for 2019.

Programs will be held at Amador Valley High School and Walnut Grove Elementary School, and are set to begin on June 12. The projected cost of operating summer school is $503,633.

* The board unanimously approved a positive certification of the first interim budget.

According to staff, the general fund’s ending balance for June 30, 2019 is expected to be $17.4 million, of which $15.8 million is unrestricted and $1.6 million is restricted.

* Trustees unanimously approved a request for allowance of attendance, due to the district’s school closures on Nov. 16 because of poor air quality from the Camp Fire. The request will now go to the county and state for review, and if PUSD qualifies, it will not be penalized for the lost school hours in terms of funding or need to make up instructional time.

* Two community members were appointed to the Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee: Arne Olson and Louis Asbury.

Olson, who served one term on the Pleasanton City Council that ended that same Tuesday, was not present as he was at his last council meeting, receiving a commendation.

Asbury, though, a retired businessman who moved to Pleasanton 19 years ago “mainly because of the schools,” offered a few words.

“In my years as a businessman, I’ve crunched a lot of numbers over the years, and I thought this was something I could do to help,” Asbury said.

* The board terminated existing contracts with HKIT Architects for portable replacements at Amador Valley and Foothill high schools, and then approved new, renegotiated design contracts with the same firm that include science lab upgrades along with the portable replacements.

The Amador contract comes out to $677,000, while the Foothill contract is $783,000, both from Measure I1 bond funds.

* Trustees received a report on the 2017-18 capital funds financial report.

* Board members unanimously approved a contract with CPS HR Consulting to conduct a classification and total compensation study, for a total cost of $99,010.

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Like this comment
Posted by MC
a resident of Stoneridge
on Dec 17, 2018 at 12:36 pm

Of course the district office found extra money in their big district office budgets! I though LCAP was implemented to do a better job with underperforming students. Has the district explained to the public how the pay raise might affect those LCAP spending commitments. So, are raises from the LCAP part of an amendment that was made after a public hearing? Staff need raises for sure, but it should de done with public transparency that the money is coming a fund for helping underperforming students. Believe me, the leadership will quietly take their "me too" raise as soon as this is approved. They want you to think they won't be taking a raise. They take a raise that other people have to work to negotiate and they just sit back and get a raise. You wouldn't have to spend almost $100K for a classification and total compensation study if you district kept up with cost of living and changes to job descriptions. That money would be better used to help fund the raises. Seriously, the district should not have to contract this out. A district office management employee should gather data, share data publicly, and determine what is fair with the union at no expense to the district office budget (tax-payer funded money).

Like this comment
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Dec 17, 2018 at 9:58 pm

.....and new school is where?

Like this comment
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Dec 18, 2018 at 10:50 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Meeting tonight; looks like Donlon. Other article says $61MM. I’m still trying to make sense of that. There is no land to purchase.

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

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