Pleasanton Unified School District classified staff will see a 2.75% pay raise after the trustees finalized a labor contract last week, but they agreed to table the matter of salary increases for executive cabinet members until next month.
The board unanimously approved the deal with the Classified School Employees Association (CSEA) at its May 21 online meeting.
According to public documents, CSEA -- the district's bargaining unit for non-certificated staff members -- will be retroactively paid as of July 1, 2019. In total, CSEA members will be compensated at the value of about $808,638, including salaries, cash in lieu and health benefit contributions.
In January, PUSD reached a unanimous agreement with the Association of Pleasanton Teachers as well for a 2.75% increase in salaries, and also updated the employee bereavement policy.
Under an existing "me too" clause in CSEA contracts, whatever salary or benefit compensation that APT members receive is also granted to CSEA. It is typically offered across the board, to all district employees, as well.
Assistant superintendent of human resources Julio Hernandez called it a "significantly complicated negotiation" reached after 27 meetings over a seven-month period, and resulted in new classified job descriptions and a classified study. That study, which was conducted by an outside consultant, "did an overview of neighboring school districts and similar districts" and how their salaries compared to the tasks actually performed and not just the titles of positions, Hernandez said.
"This company went out, studied the (job) functions across school districts -- because different functions may have different names -- and they compared those functions to our school district, and then made a determination of which classifications were being paid at the median and which classifications were not," he continued.
The study found that some classifications had "created a disjointedness" in certain groups; for example, Hernandez said child nutrition at one site had two types of cooks but the person doing more hazardous work around the ovens earned less than their coworker. This ultimately led to creating the new job descriptions for classified service.
However, Hernandez said, "There were 160 employees that did not get that increase in pay due to the fact that the study said they were already being paid significantly above that mean."
An unidentified person criticized the arrangement in a written comment read by district officials during the public hearing.
"By approving this agreement, you are acknowledging that approximately one third of CSEA employees will get nothing," they wrote. "This includes not receiving the 2.75% that is in our contract, the (Commission on Teacher Credentialing) was presented as being harmless to all employees and yet it was never disclosed. By doing so, some would sacrifice their contracted raise in return."
As the meeting drew towards its midnight curfew, the board eventually agreed to put off a vote until June on 2.75% salary raises for district cabinet members including Superintendent David Haglund and assistant superintendent Janelle Woodward. Last year the board approved a 2.5% increase for the executive cabinet and a 5% bump to their own monthly stipend.
Before the night was over, the trustees unanimously rejected a proposed 5% stipend increase for this year. Board members currently receive a monthly stipend of $441 as compensation for their service; the increase would've given each an additional $22 a month.
Trustee Valerie Arkin said the extra stipend money is "pretty insignificant" but that "in light of looming budget cuts we're facing, it's more a matter of principle."