News

Pleasanton Preps: What a teacher strike could mean for sports

On-campus coaches might not cross the line to lead their teams

Pleasanton teachers union members rally outside district headquarters last week on the evening of the school board meeting. (Photo courtesy of CTA)

Currently, much of the discussion in Pleasanton centers around the contract issues between the Pleasanton Unified School District and the Association of Pleasanton Teachers.

It appears a strike by the teachers may be a realistic possibility, which is the worst-case scenario. Lost in the rhetoric going back and forth is the effect it could have on the local coaches, and as a result, the local student-athletes.

If there is a strike, it seems like it would prohibit on-campus coaches from coaching their respective teams. In talking with a couple of on-campus coaches, they are under the belief that if there is a strike, they will indeed not be able to cross the line to coach their teams.

It could also apply to coaches that teach at schools in other districts. If say, the teachers in San Ramon Valley Unified School District decide to honor a Pleasanton teachers strike, those coaches may not cross as well.

After all our students and student-athletes have been through since the onset of COVID, a strike is the absolute last thing any of the students need.

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I have seen how students have been hurt in a developmental sense thanks to the lockdown, and another blow to their psyche could be devastating.

Sports is vital in the maturation of the student-athletes, but also for the schools overall. Getting together to root for your team is a bonding experience, and both Amador and Foothill have exciting fan bases. I have witnessed first-hand how cathartic sporting events have been not just for the students, but the community as well.

A strike puts a big dent in that.

Pleasanton teachers union members rally outside district headquarters last week on the evening of the school board meeting. (Photo courtesy of CTA)

Working in the district and having the chance to talk with many teachers, either at my school or through friendships, most people I have talked with want nothing to do with a strike as they realize the damage it will do.

I am not a teacher but have really gotten to know many teachers after working with them. There are some wonderful teachers in Pleasanton, ones that put the kids first and foremost.

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To them teaching is a life choice, not a job. But there are others for which it is a job and looking out for No. 1 is the end game. Those are the dangerous ones.

As for the district's side, PUSD has certainly made some questionable decisions, not just this year, but over the last few years. Recent decisions regarding rate of pay and benefits for people in the district office are head-scratching.

Both sides need to get together and find an agreement and do so quickly.

If you both are interested in the best interests of the students, then step up and prove it.

Talk is cheap and slogans are a dime a dozen. Action speaks volumes.

Winter sports season underway!

This Monday started official practices for the East Bay Athletic League winter season.

It is an exciting time for me, as being the Foothill basketball announcer for both the boys' and girls' teams it will be nice to see the gyms full of students again after the COVID season of just family members.

While it was great to see any games being played after the lockdown, there was very little atmosphere in the games last spring.

Soccer and wrestling will also benefit from the return of fans.

As the practices are underway, so too will be the organizational meetings for the parents and their volunteer responsibilities. Here's your chance to help your athlete to get their just due for the effort they are putting in!

Just collect the results from your team each week and send them to me by noon on Sundays, and we will get the information into the paper.

For basketball it is as simple as taking a picture of the scorebook for both the home and visitors, then send me the pictures and I will handle the rest.

For soccer, get the final score, as well as who scored the goals and who had assists. If you want to add some highlights, great, but the basics work just fine.

For wrestling I am looking for tournament results as well as the dual meets.

Also, it would be fantastic if the team parent could send me a roster to help with the correct spelling of names.

The contact information remains the same -- [email protected]

Good luck to all the winter teams, and I look forward to keeping track of all our winter sports teams!

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Pleasanton Preps: What a teacher strike could mean for sports

On-campus coaches might not cross the line to lead their teams

by Dennis Miller / Pleasanton Weekly

Uploaded: Tue, Nov 2, 2021, 4:52 pm

Currently, much of the discussion in Pleasanton centers around the contract issues between the Pleasanton Unified School District and the Association of Pleasanton Teachers.

It appears a strike by the teachers may be a realistic possibility, which is the worst-case scenario. Lost in the rhetoric going back and forth is the effect it could have on the local coaches, and as a result, the local student-athletes.

If there is a strike, it seems like it would prohibit on-campus coaches from coaching their respective teams. In talking with a couple of on-campus coaches, they are under the belief that if there is a strike, they will indeed not be able to cross the line to coach their teams.

It could also apply to coaches that teach at schools in other districts. If say, the teachers in San Ramon Valley Unified School District decide to honor a Pleasanton teachers strike, those coaches may not cross as well.

After all our students and student-athletes have been through since the onset of COVID, a strike is the absolute last thing any of the students need.

I have seen how students have been hurt in a developmental sense thanks to the lockdown, and another blow to their psyche could be devastating.

Sports is vital in the maturation of the student-athletes, but also for the schools overall. Getting together to root for your team is a bonding experience, and both Amador and Foothill have exciting fan bases. I have witnessed first-hand how cathartic sporting events have been not just for the students, but the community as well.

A strike puts a big dent in that.

Working in the district and having the chance to talk with many teachers, either at my school or through friendships, most people I have talked with want nothing to do with a strike as they realize the damage it will do.

I am not a teacher but have really gotten to know many teachers after working with them. There are some wonderful teachers in Pleasanton, ones that put the kids first and foremost.

To them teaching is a life choice, not a job. But there are others for which it is a job and looking out for No. 1 is the end game. Those are the dangerous ones.

As for the district's side, PUSD has certainly made some questionable decisions, not just this year, but over the last few years. Recent decisions regarding rate of pay and benefits for people in the district office are head-scratching.

Both sides need to get together and find an agreement and do so quickly.

If you both are interested in the best interests of the students, then step up and prove it.

Talk is cheap and slogans are a dime a dozen. Action speaks volumes.

Winter sports season underway!

This Monday started official practices for the East Bay Athletic League winter season.

It is an exciting time for me, as being the Foothill basketball announcer for both the boys' and girls' teams it will be nice to see the gyms full of students again after the COVID season of just family members.

While it was great to see any games being played after the lockdown, there was very little atmosphere in the games last spring.

Soccer and wrestling will also benefit from the return of fans.

As the practices are underway, so too will be the organizational meetings for the parents and their volunteer responsibilities. Here's your chance to help your athlete to get their just due for the effort they are putting in!

Just collect the results from your team each week and send them to me by noon on Sundays, and we will get the information into the paper.

For basketball it is as simple as taking a picture of the scorebook for both the home and visitors, then send me the pictures and I will handle the rest.

For soccer, get the final score, as well as who scored the goals and who had assists. If you want to add some highlights, great, but the basics work just fine.

For wrestling I am looking for tournament results as well as the dual meets.

Also, it would be fantastic if the team parent could send me a roster to help with the correct spelling of names.

The contact information remains the same -- [email protected]

Good luck to all the winter teams, and I look forward to keeping track of all our winter sports teams!

Comments

Frustrated Voter
Registered user
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 2, 2021 at 7:57 pm
Frustrated Voter, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
Registered user
on Nov 2, 2021 at 7:57 pm

Dennis,
I’m a long-time fan and supporter of your writing, and an active member of the community in sports, scouts, and schools, as a parent volunteer for those activities, and as a teacher. Your opinion piece misses the point. We want our students to see their teachers and professional staff stand up for what is right and fair, and for that which supports THEM. APT hopes these kids will consider picketing with their parents to show PUSD management how off base they are with their treatment of their professional staff. You bet other districts will support APT, as we would them. Senior management needs to bargain in good faith. Don’t pin this on teachers.


Jeff
Registered user
Birdland
on Nov 2, 2021 at 8:20 pm
Jeff, Birdland
Registered user
on Nov 2, 2021 at 8:20 pm

Dennis, I agree with what Frustrated Voter stated. This is very one-sided. District leadership, with Board approval, are taking great care of themselves and bullying teachers. The greater community needs to rally and support the teachers, as this is not just a teacher issue.
Jeff Keller


Frustrated
Registered user
Birdland
on Nov 2, 2021 at 9:08 pm
Frustrated, Birdland
Registered user
on Nov 2, 2021 at 9:08 pm

Dennis, I too agree with Jeff and Frustrated Voter. The Pleasanton community can make a huge difference by speaking up . The teachers , from transitional kindergarten through high school , want what is best for all our students, and they need Pleasanton voters to express our dismay at the hostile circumstances they are teaching in.


Truth
Registered user
Downtown
on Nov 2, 2021 at 9:56 pm
Truth, Downtown
Registered user
on Nov 2, 2021 at 9:56 pm

I have always respected Mr. Miller and his outspoken support of the local sports community, but describing teachers who want a wage that reflects their worth and contribution to the community as "the dangerous ones" is not just misguided, but deeply hurtful and offensive.

It's not an either/or, Mr. Miller. Teaching is both a rewarding "life choice" AND, practically speaking, a "job". For those who teach, the "No. 1" they look out for are their families and their families' well-being. Many Pleasanton teachers have to work additional jobs so they can reap the intrinsic rewards of serving the students of this community while also putting food on the table, providing healthcare for their loved ones, and aspiring to live in the community in which they teach. Many have no hope of affording to live in this community on a teacher's salary anymore. Teachers are professionals, and deserve to be treated (and dare say compensated) as such. This is not volunteer work... like coaching.

I agree with Mr. Miller's opinions about the importance of sports to the well-being of many students. But if they are so vital to this community, there should be no question about supporting the teachers as they fight to make the district better and fight the toxicity of the current leadership regime.

Teachers with free time, who live in this community, are far more likely to be able to coach sports than those who live elsewhere and need second jobs to make ends meet.

You can do better, Mr. Miller.


Jimmy The Jet
Registered user
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 3, 2021 at 9:33 am
Jimmy The Jet, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
Registered user
on Nov 3, 2021 at 9:33 am

"To them teaching is a life choice, not a job. But there are others for which it is a job and looking out for No. 1 is the end game. Those are the dangerous ones." Really? You may want to rethink this statement. Teaching is a job. Teachers don't do it for free. Wanting a COLA raise is not dangerous.


Teachers Spouse
Registered user
Canyon Oaks
on Nov 3, 2021 at 10:01 am
Teachers Spouse, Canyon Oaks
Registered user
on Nov 3, 2021 at 10:01 am

Mr. Miller,

Please do your homework. Read the management contracts. You article is tone deaf and sounds as if it came for the district office P.R. department.

I work in the private sector and have not seen such a one sided contract without specific measures of performance and milestones needed to be met to reach warranting a bonus . Quite simply there are no safeguards for the district to penalize or require proof of accomplishment.
Aside from the Extreme Inequity of the pay.

The teachers come to work every day to teach the students.
This is all done without a contract for the last 3 years. Without the automatic increases promised from the district in their last approved contract, no bonuses for performance, no health care benefits since negotiated 30 years ago, Surrounding districts offering affordable health benefits. Minimal if any cost of living adjustments, rising health care premiums paid by employees, district management that says one thing and does another. In the business world this would not be the way to retain talent. Its the way you drive it away. The teachers have been almost penalized for several years now for working in pleasanton. NO CONTRACT/ TINY RAISE / NO HEALTH BENEFITS/ MANAGEMENT THAT DOES NOT SUPPORT OR RESPECT TEACHERS. No Teacher wants to strike and face the uncertainty of their livelihood.

You tell me why anyone would want to work here? The only reason the teacher are still here is they CARE about the students period.
However they are and will continue to be torn between teaching in Pleasanton in which they have invested and given of themselves and providing for their families.
There will be a breaking point for even the most dedicated and experienced teachers.
Is this the way teachers should have to live?

Parents, community members ....Please support our teachers. They need everyones support now more than ever!


Thank you


Ennis
Registered user
Pleasanton Valley
on Nov 3, 2021 at 10:46 am
Ennis, Pleasanton Valley
Registered user
on Nov 3, 2021 at 10:46 am

(Portion removed) The article and statements are tone-deaf. I've had two kids go through PUSD, my wife worked in the district for 15 years, and I've substituted in the district after 40+ years in corporate America. I am nothing but impressed by the dozens of teachers I've met and come into contact with over the years. They have left invaluable impressions as role models, provided motivation, and have improved and influenced their lives in so many ways. They both played sports in high school and college and while I understand the importance/impact of sports in their lives, there is a far bigger issue at play here and, bluntly, the board and cabinet, from their side of the equation, don't seem to care too much about Dennis's concerns about the impact on kids or the situation wouldn't be where it is. I've listened to some of the 'negotiations' and they are anything but that and if the board and cabinet were that concerned, I would have expected a greater effort and good faith approach on their part. The issue is about teacher livelihoods, fairness, respect, and the ability to attract good people -sports is a small piece of the discussion.


KathleenRuegsegger
Registered user
Vintage Hills
on Nov 3, 2021 at 11:12 am
KathleenRuegsegger, Vintage Hills
Registered user
on Nov 3, 2021 at 11:12 am

The truth is while the cabinet fattened their contracts, agreed to by the board, teachers are left in the cold. I am most disappointed in each and every board member. First job of any district is to teach students, which takes teachers. So first are students, teachers, and then all who support them, from the school site and then to the district office. The board has lost its way. Laursen, Maher, and Miller are the worst of it, with two new people following close behind.


Michael Austin
Registered user
Pleasanton Meadows
on Nov 3, 2021 at 11:14 am
Michael Austin , Pleasanton Meadows
Registered user
on Nov 3, 2021 at 11:14 am

Ennis,

Your descriptive "invaluable role models", I am reminded of a PUSD teacher removing, or stealing campaign signage of a republican candidate for state office.

Certainly not a "invaluable role model".


KathleenRuegsegger
Registered user
Vintage Hills
on Nov 3, 2021 at 11:25 am
KathleenRuegsegger, Vintage Hills
Registered user
on Nov 3, 2021 at 11:25 am

Michael, you and I use our full names. There is value in standing by what your opinions may be. But not all people have that comfort or ability, and this site allows people to be anonymous. Unless the site changes its policy, please let the others be.


John
Registered user
Birdland
on Nov 3, 2021 at 11:28 am
John, Birdland
Registered user
on Nov 3, 2021 at 11:28 am

You can register with a first and last name but it does not have to be your real name. There is no registration requirement that verifies your real name. My name may or may not be John.


Pleasanton Parent
Registered user
Pleasanton Meadows
on Nov 3, 2021 at 2:48 pm
Pleasanton Parent, Pleasanton Meadows
Registered user
on Nov 3, 2021 at 2:48 pm

I agree the board and administrators did teachers wrong by giving themselves raises.

I agree the teachers deserve raises.

I hate that they are carrying signs that they’re doing this on behalf of the children- they’re not, this is 100% about their own equity (and rightfully so), don’t hide behind children. Don’t use children as pawns in your negations- it’s disingenuous, it deters from a real conversation on what to fix, and it’s cowardly.

And as for using kids to picket / negotiate …..to parade them like hostages - again poor ask in my opinion. If your union isn’t doing its job and needs to use children as pawns perhaps it’s time to look closer at that structure and come up with a better solution for the teachers.

You want me to write letters - will do
You want to fire certain administrators for failure to perform - where do I sign


Jimmy The Jet
Registered user
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 3, 2021 at 2:55 pm
Jimmy The Jet, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
Registered user
on Nov 3, 2021 at 2:55 pm

@Michael,
(portion removed) The topic is about how a strike will affect the students in many ways. The possible strike is caused by PUSD leadership not parents or teachers. “Shoot the messenger” or “ what about…” detract from the issue.


Todd
Registered user
Livermore
on Nov 3, 2021 at 3:43 pm
Todd, Livermore
Registered user
on Nov 3, 2021 at 3:43 pm

I know some student / athletes are in the middle of applying to college now. Many require written teacher recommendations. Is it possible that a strike could affect college applications?


Michael Austin
Registered user
Pleasanton Meadows
on Nov 3, 2021 at 3:47 pm
Michael Austin , Pleasanton Meadows
Registered user
on Nov 3, 2021 at 3:47 pm

My post was not about teachers, union, strike, students, PUSD etc.

My post was a comment calling out critics for posting anonymously when the person they were critical of was well known with first and last name published.

The moderator removed that comment I posted in a (Quixotic) somewhat extravagant chivalrous manner.


Ennis
Registered user
Pleasanton Valley
on Nov 3, 2021 at 5:50 pm
Ennis, Pleasanton Valley
Registered user
on Nov 3, 2021 at 5:50 pm

Michael -try attending an AV or Foothill graduation. Nearly every student has a teacher present their diploma because that teacher has impacted in their lives and time at high school. My kids had multiple teachers that made a difference in their lives and career choices- my son has an Engineering degree because of a teacher at Amador. My daughter speaks a second language because of a couple of teachers at Amador and is 6 months away from an Economics degree from a UK University. Picking an isolated incident that occurred 6-8 years ago as a way of scoring a cheap point denigrates the work done by hundreds of teachers in this district. I prefer to look at the cup as half full rather than half empty...life is better that way.


Michael Austin
Registered user
Pleasanton Meadows
on Nov 3, 2021 at 6:32 pm
Michael Austin , Pleasanton Meadows
Registered user
on Nov 3, 2021 at 6:32 pm

It was not an isolated incident and not a cheap point. It was a display of the teachers union business model demonstrated by one of their members.

I never had children in PUSD schools. However I support PUSD students with cash donation to Pleasanton PPIE.

I was there in support when Herb Ritter and his friends were erecting a new scoreboard donated to Foothill Highschool because of Herb and his friends volunteer efforts.

I am former manufacturing manager and negotiated union contracts.


Get the Facts
Registered user
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 3, 2021 at 7:35 pm
Get the Facts, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
Registered user
on Nov 3, 2021 at 7:35 pm

Dennis, as said many times earlier, your article is disappointing, and factually incorrect. Please get your facts correct, you may contact our union president if you like, I'm sure she will speak with you.

I will get back to the facts in a moment, but first let me say thank you, Dennis, for being (what seems) to be the only place left to get high school sports coverage. I appreciate and look forward to your articles.

Back to the article, it is factually incorrect to say that "If there was a strike, it seems that this would prohibit on-campus coaches from coaching their respective teams." This is incorrect. This possible strike is about teaching in the classroom. No teacher has their classroom assignments or money earned tied to coaching. Coaching does not fall under certificated or classified employment, coaches are at-will employees, and can be released at any time. Coaches also have to be rehired each season, though in most cases this is a formality. Coaches get a small stipend at the end of the year, which probably pays them between 1-10 dollars an hour for all the hours that are put in for daily practices, games/matches, and weekend tournaments/activities. Coaches can and probably will continue to coach if the union goes on strike.

Regarding San Ramon, the Dublin and San Ramon districts have given APT their support, and possibly might picket with us, but will not be striking with us. Their classrooms and teams will not be affected in any way, other than possibly having a few more subs on some days.

You are correct that most teachers want NOTHING to do with a strike. At the same time, most teachers are ready to strike, for this current administration is taking us for granted. We have had almost three decades of labor peace in PUSD, but the current superintendent and assistant superintendents think that they can impose their will, and we will not complain. They are wrong.


Smoke and Mirrors
Registered user
Birdland
on Nov 3, 2021 at 7:48 pm
Smoke and Mirrors, Birdland
Registered user
on Nov 3, 2021 at 7:48 pm

Dennis, You must have been talking to the 1.4% of teachers who either didn't vote, or don't support a strike, since, at the last count, 98.6% of teachers supported a strike. Yes, 98.6%! That is unprecedented, and is a testament to how bad things have become for teachers. Wanting to be treated with professionalism and respect, and compensated so that they can afford to live in, or close to, their school community and afford health care does not make them "dangerous" and it does not mean that they don't support students. Are you aware that it is so difficult to hire teachers in Pleasanton right now that there are teachers without the appropriate credentials for the job teaching our students? Check it out, PW. It's a fact. Our students deserve better, but why would anyone come to teach in Pleasanton when surrounding districts offer more realistic compensation packages? It has come to this because teachers are tired of rolling over and told to be grateful for the paltry incentives the District has offered over the years, while Cabinet members continue to reward themselves handsomely with yearly raises and comprehensive health benefits for themselves and their families (plus any raises teachers get due to the "me too" clause). Teachers are now dealing with a top-down management (supported by our School Board), that continues to increase workload, and makes it difficult to do what's best for kids. So, yes, while it appears to be all about paying teachers a decent salary, teachers know there is much more at stake here. There is no "us" in PUSD anymore, even though PUSD management would have you believe otherwise. The District's platitudes are like "thoughts and prayers" and teachers are sick and tired of them. Thank you to all the people on this site who support teachers.


JoeV
Registered user
Birdland
on Nov 4, 2021 at 12:28 pm
JoeV, Birdland
Registered user
on Nov 4, 2021 at 12:28 pm

Dennis Miller....I think you owe an apology to the teachers and students in Pleasanton.
You don't present contract issues for your argument, only using innuendos, shared with your friends.
Sports are a fun part of school, but academics are first, and foremost, for the large majority of students in Pleasanton.
Sports are not what makes our schools highly rated, it's academics, which is what the teachers are responsible for.
It looks like the teachers have patiently waited, for three years, to get a fair contract.
Living costs are only getting higher, making it very difficult for them to teach in our schools.
They weren't all raised or worked in Pleasanton 40 years ago, as you, when they could of established a home base here.
Have some compassion for these teachers that teach our children!


Martha
Registered user
Pleasanton Valley
on Nov 4, 2021 at 12:44 pm
Martha, Pleasanton Valley
Registered user
on Nov 4, 2021 at 12:44 pm

Dennis, I disagree with you. You make it sound like the teachers are just being a bunch of whiny babies who are never satisfied. These "dangerous ones" have been working for two years without a contract, busting their behinds to create a virtual learning platform last year and now working harder than ever this year to try to bring their students back up to speed. I can promise you not one of them is just doing it for the money. They just want a fair living wage and reasonable working conditions. The district needs to step up and take care of their most valuable resource: the teachers. Let's support the teachers and stand behind, not criticize them for standing their ground. Although I hate to see our students missing any more instructional time, they will learn a valuable life lesson about civics and wages and labor negotiations.


Kevin
Registered user
Castlewood
on Nov 4, 2021 at 4:14 pm
Kevin, Castlewood
Registered user
on Nov 4, 2021 at 4:14 pm

Dennis, I think the opinions that you expressed in this article are dangerous, not the teachers who are asking for a raise and benefits. you owe an apology to 98.6% of teachers who voted to strike. You called them “dangerous ones”. Pleasanton Weekly can do much better with bringing columnists who stick to sharing the facts and avoid mixing their biased opinions - Tim Hunt is one and now you Dennis.


David
Registered user
Walnut Grove Elementary School
on Nov 4, 2021 at 7:58 pm
David, Walnut Grove Elementary School
Registered user
on Nov 4, 2021 at 7:58 pm

Why is this labelled "News" instead of editorial?
Seriously.


KG
Registered user
California Reflections
on Nov 4, 2021 at 8:25 pm
KG, California Reflections
Registered user
on Nov 4, 2021 at 8:25 pm

Pleasanton Weekly publishes Dennis’s opinions calling teachers “dangerous ones”. But, PW deleted my post and dlynn’s post asking why a couple of people in Danville are posting hateful messages about Pleasanton teachers in Tim Hunt’s blog. Let’s see how long this post lasts. One wonders if PW is a biased publisher.


GinaChannell,Publisher
Registered user
Downtown
on Nov 5, 2021 at 6:52 am
GinaChannell,Publisher, Downtown
Registered user
on Nov 5, 2021 at 6:52 am

@David, Pleasanton Preps is a column — which is the writer’s opinion. When we run a print column like this or Jeremy Walsh’s What a Week or Dolores Fox Ciardelli’s TrI-Valley Views, we designate they are opinion pieces by including the name of the column. But you are not the first person to question this, so our editorial board needs to address how to make this clear.

Tim Hunt is a blogger, which is basically a digital column. @Kevin, facts in blogs and columns must be correct, but these are the opinion of the writer. In other words, bloggers and columnist don’t have to stick to facts only. That’s the role of a news story.

Thank you.


Jeff
Registered user
Birdland
on Nov 5, 2021 at 10:42 am
Jeff, Birdland
Registered user
on Nov 5, 2021 at 10:42 am

I keep coming back to the fact that Haglunbd and his cabinet will get the same raise as teachers (they have written in a "me too clause" for themselves), plus 3.5% every year for three years, plus paid benefits for themselves and their families (a value of ~ $32,000 just for benefits)! Moreover, they took care of themselves before taking care of teachers. And the Board of Trustees approved this. The pool of teaching candidates for Pleasanton will be greatly limited, as many teachers cannot afford to work here. Only teachers who have spouses who provide benefits will apply. The Board needs to be voted out!


Dave Ott
Registered user
Vintage Hills
on Nov 5, 2021 at 10:45 am
Dave Ott, Vintage Hills
Registered user
on Nov 5, 2021 at 10:45 am

Dennis,
Good article explaining the horrible negative impact to our students if the teachers union decides to strike, especially after the last year and a half of lock down. Most students will never recover from that loss of education and social time. I have heard that the teaches want what is best for the students and if that is the case, then the teachers should instruct their union to continue to negotiate in good faith and not strike. Although if they are foolish enough to strike, private schools will benefit. The teachers union is not a proponent of great education, they are for power and control.
Keep writing the truth!


Jeff
Registered user
Birdland
on Nov 5, 2021 at 11:16 am
Jeff, Birdland
Registered user
on Nov 5, 2021 at 11:16 am

Dave Ott,
While unions can sometimes frustrate us, what is happening in Pleasanton is a perfect example of why unions are so important. Moreover, there is union leadership, and then there are all the teachers. The teachers of PUSD voted overwhelmingly (98.6%) to strike. This is unheard of in Pleasanton. Union leadership has been collaborative and passive. Teachers have good reasons for standing up to district leadership.


Todd
Registered user
Livermore
on Nov 5, 2021 at 1:23 pm
Todd, Livermore
Registered user
on Nov 5, 2021 at 1:23 pm

The fact that the teachers have technically been without a contract for what two years now is ridiculous. Why did this take so long to get to this point? Truth be told this forum has shed some light on this subject and that is a good thing. Now that "The Truth" and facts are slowly coming out we will now be able to see leadership's true colors. Lets say this does get resolved within a couple of weeks (for kicks and giggles) when would the new agreement be up?

I appreciate the variety of views and opinions of everyone on here but, after this is settled, can we agree to not get to this point again? Even though a medical benefit decision was voted in place 30 years ago it is not an excuse to simply turned a blind eye. More than one current board member has been "PRIVALEGED" to serve multiple times. My questions to them are as follows:

1) Is it wrong for teachers to want a raise?

They don't have the luxury of voting themselves a raise like - THE BOARD - DID!

2) How is it that the Board can have benefits and take care of their families but a teacher has to pay over $2000 a month?

That is pathetic! I only pay $140 a month for my family of 3 for full coverage through my union and we have Kaiser. This may be an apples and oranges statement because I am not a benefit expert but I know what I pay for my family.

Many of our Pleasanton teachers were here before most of these board members and most will be here when they are off the board - one way or another.

The DO and ADMIN bullying needs to stop, this dispute needs to be resolved (AND FAST), and the board and union need to both be held accountable and work together. Ego and Pride need to be tossed aside. Act professional and move forward with grace, peace, and mercy.

The elected School Board members need to have a private meeting and take a serious look at what this current cabinet has actually done for this community. If they do not then the voters will!





KathleenRuegsegger
Registered user
Vintage Hills
on Nov 5, 2021 at 3:29 pm
KathleenRuegsegger, Vintage Hills
Registered user
on Nov 5, 2021 at 3:29 pm

Jeff, the three year contracts are essentially perpetual. A satisfactory review adds a year, so they are eternal three year contracts with with acceptable job performance.


JenC
Registered user
Vineyard Hills
on Nov 5, 2021 at 4:37 pm
JenC, Vineyard Hills
Registered user
on Nov 5, 2021 at 4:37 pm

There's been a lot of focus in these discussions on salary, but I think the hubris, lack of respect, and antagonistic approach of the district leadership is an equally concerning set of issues. An example of each:

1) Hubris: the district gave leadership 3.5% raises last year and this year as well as benefits to themselves and their families. They offered teachers 0% and .27% for those same 2 years - and no benefits. This ridiculous offer was approved by the board and the district would not budge from it until the union escalated. I try to imagine if I was a teacher (working through the stressors of a pandemic)and knew this, how would it make me feel about my job?

2) Lack of respect: Abiding by the previously negotiated contract. No one working in a full time job should have to fight so hard to get a 30 minute lunch break. Full stop. Additionally, the district added 30 instructional minutes to the high school schedule, violating the contract, and to date has refused to fix it. What integrity can a contract have if management violates it at will? And what does this say about the management style they have. Would I want to work for someone like that?

3) Antagonism: Management sent out a completely misleading "negotiations update" to the entire PUSD community, including to CHILDREN, in an attempt to turn the community against teachers and strengthen their bargaining position. Again, is this a management style anyone would want to be subjected to?

So, teachers I know who never saw themselves as hard core union folks are now feeling that their union is valuable and necessary in PUSD. For those who don't like unions, consider that the best way to undermine them is to make them unnecessary. PUSD has failed miserably at that, and I fear the consequence will be years of discord between stakeholders who should be, as the mural at Amador says, "working together to make a difference".


Gina Channell, Publisher
Registered user
Downtown
on Nov 5, 2021 at 5:25 pm
Gina Channell, Publisher, Downtown
Registered user
on Nov 5, 2021 at 5:25 pm

@Todd - Two things. The board doesn't get a salary or benefits but they can vote on increasing the salary and benefits of the superintendent and his cabinet.

Second, the board members can't have a private meeting. It violates the Brown Act.


Todd
Registered user
Livermore
on Nov 5, 2021 at 5:40 pm
Todd, Livermore
Registered user
on Nov 5, 2021 at 5:40 pm

I appreciate the clarification Gina. JenC’s three points above are true and speak volumes about the integrity of PUSD.


Todd
Registered user
Livermore
on Nov 5, 2021 at 5:50 pm
Todd, Livermore
Registered user
on Nov 5, 2021 at 5:50 pm

“ The Board of Trustees is comprised of five elected officials who develop and set policies for the district, which are then implemented by the Superintendent and the administrative team. School Board members are elected for a four-year term of office.”

Above quote taken directly from the PUSD website.

Board of Trustees - How is Superintendent and administration team doing for our community?


Get the Facts
Registered user
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 5, 2021 at 8:22 pm
Get the Facts, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
Registered user
on Nov 5, 2021 at 8:22 pm

Pleasanton parent: "I hate that they are carrying signs that they’re doing this on behalf of the children- they’re not, this is 100% about their own equity (and rightfully so), don’t hide behind children."
You may have heard that there is a tentative agreement. In that agreement are things that directly affect the students, for example, lower class size for grades 4-5. This comes at a cost, something the district did NOT come to the table with, but APT did. We could have taken another 0.1% (or something like that, I do not know the numbers, what this actually cost), but we want things better for the students. I do get your point, but it's not just about us, we do want a raise, but we want things better for our students, and lower class size is better, for sure. There is also improved (lower) ratios for counselors and nurses, and more psychologists added. All of these come at a cost to our pockets but benefits students.

David Ott: Trust me when I say that APT bargained in good faith, it was the administration that didn't. For example, the administration took a 3.5% plus benefits raise in June, but offered the union 0.27% and no benefits, saying there was no money...which was proven false. Jeff Keller is right, this is why we need unions, and our union membership went up during this crisis.

Dennis Miller: Many here have called you out for loose facts/opinions in your column (thank you Gina for the clarification). But as I said earlier, you have the fact that this affects coaching wrong. I'm guessing you read these comments, please feel free to post with a clarification/correction of your comments, or feel free to double down with your opinions.


KathleenRuegsegger
Registered user
Vintage Hills
on Nov 5, 2021 at 10:12 pm
KathleenRuegsegger, Vintage Hills
Registered user
on Nov 5, 2021 at 10:12 pm

Gina, the board is paid, although I believe Maher donated his payment. It is a stipend (around $500/month). They used to be allowed benefits as well. Has that changed?


Gina Channell, Publisher
Registered user
Downtown
on Nov 6, 2021 at 12:13 pm
Gina Channell, Publisher, Downtown
Registered user
on Nov 6, 2021 at 12:13 pm

Kathleen is correct that the board receives a stipend - not a salary but it is definitely compensation.

*** Another loyal reader (Anne) pointed out to me that board members can receive benefits if they choose to do so. Their families and adult children under the age of 26 can as well.

Thank you for Kathleen and Anne for the assist!


Pleasanton Parent
Registered user
Pleasanton Meadows
on Nov 6, 2021 at 2:53 pm
Pleasanton Parent, Pleasanton Meadows
Registered user
on Nov 6, 2021 at 2:53 pm

Reduced class sizes benefit teachers too, stop with the rhetoric.

If teachers were so altruistic and dedicated to students they wouldn’t have hid behind the “classrooms aren’t safe enough” bs we dealt with last yr.

Again - teachers deserve a bump, the board (removed) up, keep to your real issue, and like LeBron said, “keep my kids name out ya mouth”

Unions are holding teachers back from getting paid for performance.


Get the Facts
Registered user
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 6, 2021 at 3:11 pm
Get the Facts, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
Registered user
on Nov 6, 2021 at 3:11 pm

PP, yes, you are right, reduced class size helps teachers. But only a couple dozen or so teachers are grade 4-5 teachers, so the benefit is only to a few, whereas had we taken the cash instead, the benefit would be to all.

As for things hiding last year, the board made all the decisions on when to come back in person, we never threatened to not come in or strike. Don't put that on us.

Gina, board members do NOT get medical as part of their package. They are offered medical and can pay for it just like teachers can, but they do not get it for free. Their stipend is about $450 monthly.


Gina Channell, Publisher
Registered user
Downtown
on Nov 6, 2021 at 4:13 pm
Gina Channell, Publisher, Downtown
Registered user
on Nov 6, 2021 at 4:13 pm

@Get the Facts: Acknowledged. Board members have the OPTION to receive benefits, but at the same rate as teachers, not the cabinet. That is my understanding.


David
Registered user
Walnut Grove Elementary School
on Nov 6, 2021 at 4:48 pm
David, Walnut Grove Elementary School
Registered user
on Nov 6, 2021 at 4:48 pm

@GinaChannell


"Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, November 2, 2021, 4:52 PM"

The first word below the ad is "News"


Gina Channell, Publisher
Registered user
Downtown
on Nov 6, 2021 at 5:18 pm
Gina Channell, Publisher, Downtown
Registered user
on Nov 6, 2021 at 5:18 pm

@David - Yes, you are absolutely correct. (And thank you for pointing that out because I hadn't realized it until now.)
How we identify print columns we want to put in the digital realm is definitely something our editorial board needs to address.
Thank you.


Pleasanton Parent
Registered user
Pleasanton Meadows
on Nov 7, 2021 at 5:21 am
Pleasanton Parent, Pleasanton Meadows
Registered user
on Nov 7, 2021 at 5:21 am

What facts?
The class size reduction trade off or the return to school?

We know for a fact the union fought with the district on return to classroom protocols. We know for a fact the union demanded vaccinations for themselves before returning (ironically now fighting the mandate requiring them). We know for a fact the union polled a strike vote if asked to return to the classroom. We know for a fact union leadership lambasted parents in district meetings.

Again, I support the teachers in their call to the district and board, but be accurate.


Bay Area Native
Registered user
Pleasanton Valley
on Nov 7, 2021 at 9:11 am
Bay Area Native, Pleasanton Valley
Registered user
on Nov 7, 2021 at 9:11 am

Exploit divisions. Tell a big lie. Deny everything. Tactics that are routinely used in American politics.

Anyone who posts something that opposes CTA/APT's point of view gets called out personally. Yet many who post here would have you believe CTA/APT has acted amiably throughout the bargaining process.

In numerous posts I've advocated paying PUSD teachers at or above what teachers make in comparable districts. When I've asked how we pay for that without layoffs or a parcel tax (which I supported) and I posted a copy of the District's budget nobody answered the question. When I've asked how the Trustees, Superintendent and Cabinet members personally benefit by denying teachers raises nobody will answer that. Because their is no logical answer.
They are mean spirited people who hate teachers? Yeah, that makes sense!

When the dust settles the long term damage will remain. Further distrust of the District from teachers, increased tension between parents and teachers. Some teachers and students will leave the District altogether. Good luck getting a badly needed parcel tax passed.

Only one group will come out a "winner." CTA/APT membership increased as a direct result of the contentious nature of the bargaining process. Support our students? CTA spends more on lobbying than any other organization in CA. "CTA has surpassed last session’s two biggest spenders: the Western States Petroleum Association, and Chevron." (see link). How does that benefit PUSD students?


Web Link
Web Link


Michael Austin
Registered user
Pleasanton Meadows
on Nov 7, 2021 at 9:27 am
Michael Austin , Pleasanton Meadows
Registered user
on Nov 7, 2021 at 9:27 am

Once upon a time - Roz Rogoff advised me. "Do not use acronyms" people will not know what you are talking about.

CTA - Computed Tomography Angiography.

APT - Advanced Persistent Threat.


ptown
Registered user
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 7, 2021 at 10:16 am
ptown, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
Registered user
on Nov 7, 2021 at 10:16 am

Thank you, @Pleasanton Parent and @Bay Area Native, for contributing important facts and perspective for our community to understand.


Jeff
Registered user
Birdland
on Nov 11, 2021 at 8:44 am
Jeff, Birdland
Registered user
on Nov 11, 2021 at 8:44 am

Bay Area Native - you are missing the point. What is happening in PUSD is not about CTA or unions. It's about district leadership taking care of themselves first (in a big way), and not being willing to take care of certificated and classified staff members. Why should everyone else not receive help with medical benefits? Why should only the sup ( at $317,000) and his cabinet (at $225,000) get paid medical benefits? This is also about district leadership creating an unhealthy culture, and limiting the potential pool of teacher candidates. I don't understand how a couple of people are trying to turn this into a union issue. It's not.


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