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Pleasanton Unified proceeding with plans for by-trustee-area elections

Original post made on Sep 9, 2021

The Pleasanton school board will work through a range of items, from by-trustee-area elections to site improvement projects on a light but varied agenda at their regular meeting on Thursday, starting 6 p.m.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, September 8, 2021, 9:59 PM

Comments (7)

Posted by Frustrated Voter
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 9, 2021 at 12:42 pm

Frustrated Voter is a registered user.

Not everything in this article is true. APT members did NOT receive any raise in July, other than what was already scheduled to be paid according to the existing salary schedule. Senior management received a 3.5% increase on their salaries as well as extended medical coverage for their families. APT members do not receive medical coverage at all unless a member opts to pay for it, effectively reducing their salary commensurately. PUSD does not contribute to an APT member’s medical option. Voters, ask questions! This either is bad reporting or untrue statements from the district office.

Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Sep 10, 2021 at 8:41 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

I will point out one legacy error, Frustrated. You do have benefits because many years ago, APT voted to move benefits ($10,000) onto the salary schedule. It was a very senior staff at the time, and they were padding their salaries for retirement benefits. We can argue about how well raises have grown that $10K and whether it makes sense today, but those with benefits from a spouse still outweighs those without. I just want that to be clear, because adding coverage again will be messy and very expensive. People should ask questions, but understand how this portion got where it is today.

Posted by Wow
a resident of Castlewood
on Sep 12, 2021 at 9:27 am

Wow is a registered user.

Yes, a teacher who is married to someone with healthcare receives a higher check than someone who is not. You are absolutely correct. But the district is misleading everyone when they say teachers received a 3.5% raise through step and column. When they announced the raises of cabinet members a few months ago, they did not include step and column. It was announced cabinet received a 3.5% raise but if we include step and column, as they did with the teachers, they actually received a much higher raise (I believe it's 7% but I could be off on my numbers).

Teachers are frustrated and feel disrespected. SRVUSD, Dublin, Castro Valley, and Livermore all gave a one time bonus to any staff member who returned to school. This was one time money provided by the state of California. All of these districts also gave raises. Yet PUSD remained silent. Teachers were the glue which held the district together when we came back. Yet it is the teachers who are being asked over and over to do things by district management they shouldn't have to, for example giving up their duty free lunch to monitor students while they eat.

Teachers are incredibly frustrated. We absolutely love our students and are happy to be back. But the level of disrespect from cabinet is toxic and will have repercussions if not dealt with effectively.

Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Sep 12, 2021 at 1:02 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Can’t argue the issues around raises, and I’m not a fan of the superintendent. We can certainly change the board, but someone needs to teach board members to not take everything the superintendent says as gospel or we will stand where we are now, but with new people in the seats.

Posted by Amazing
a resident of Old Towne
on Sep 13, 2021 at 7:58 am

Amazing is a registered user.

I find it amazing that the district is offering a $3000 stipend for teachers to teach on Saturdays.

Posted by 50 Years Here
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Sep 14, 2021 at 8:00 am

50 Years Here is a registered user.

Of all the things our Board could be doing to improve our schools, changing how the elections are done is at the top? Really?

Posted by Truth
a resident of Downtown
on Sep 17, 2021 at 3:07 pm

Truth is a registered user.

Regarding Kathleen's earlier comment, it is true that originally PUSD did offer benefits to teachers as part of their compensation package, and that sometime in either the 80's or 90's the policy changed so that teachers could "opt out" and the district benefit contribution could be translated into salary. Teachers had to show proof of spouse coverage to "opt-out" of benefits, and those who did not show proof were limited to plans offered by the district (which were not exactly the most affordable options available). The Affordable Care Act changed the proof-of-coverage requirement so that teachers could still opt out of district plans if they wanted to choose their own coverage outside the district's offerings.

This was originally a big win for teachers whose spouses already provided benefits, since they could effectively receive what the district would have paid for benefits in added salary. It effectively gave Pleasanton teachers who could opt out the highest salaries in the area by a considerable margin (close to highest in the nation). However, in the long term it was a win for the district, since it tied the future burden of increasing healthcare costs to the teachers instead of the district. Over the roughly 30 years since this policy change, healthcare costs have FAR outpaced inflation and salary increases, turning the original benefit into a burden.

A comparison of salary schedules between PUSD and SRVUSD suggest that Pleasanton teachers, on average, make about 10k more than San Ramon teachers, but San Ramon teachers receive 100% compensation for traditional Kaiser HMO coverage (or the equivalent compensation toward higher-priced plans) as well as complete vision and dental coverage. For a family plan this is nearly $27k in additional compensation. Twenty years ago, Pleasanton teachers still made enough in salary to outpace their neighbors, but today SRVUSD teachers are receiving, on average, over $15k in total compensation over PUSD teachers per year.

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