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Pleasanton teachers union votes 'overwhelmingly' to authorize strike

Original post made on Oct 14, 2021

After months of tense labor negotiations, members of the Association of Pleasanton Teachers 'overwhelmingly' authorized a strike in internal balloting last week, leadership for the teachers union announced on Thursday.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, October 14, 2021, 2:21 PM

Comments (32)

Posted by Todd
a resident of Livermore
on Oct 14, 2021 at 5:06 pm

Todd is a registered user.

Well here we go. The fact that this has reached this point is absolutely sad and ridiculous. It’s no surprise that so many have recently left the DO to go work in Livermore, Dublin, and San Ramon - as well as other districts. How many students left the district this year? And how many more will leave due to this possible strike - if it happens? As sickening as the thought of a strike is it is time for the teachers (Union or whomever) to stand up to the bullying tactics of the district. Many of these teachers were here before this DO regime and many of them will still be here after they leave doing what they love to do - and that is TEACHING OUR CHILDREN. Is it really that hard to work this out? I guess it is when one side really doesn’t care. Sorry but “the truth” hurts DO - “Actions speak louder than words” and your deceiving emails!


Posted by Truth
a resident of Downtown
on Oct 14, 2021 at 7:29 pm

Truth is a registered user.

Over 98% of PUSD teachers voted to authorize a strike.

OVER 98%!

Let that sink in.


Posted by Mike
a resident of Val Vista
on Oct 14, 2021 at 8:46 pm

Mike is a registered user.

Too bad PUSD is focused on saying "no" instead of education of students. It takes talented teachers to deliver excellence. Perhaps it is time to cut the fat inside the school district administration and put that money to good use. I mean its not like the school district uses the money it has to maintain the schools. I say outside audit time!


Posted by Wow
a resident of Castlewood
on Oct 14, 2021 at 10:20 pm

Wow is a registered user.

Pathetic. Months of negotiations and it came to this. One of the board members was walking among the teachers, smiling and waving. She seemed happy to be there and supportive of the teachers, yet she was clearly clueless as to why hundreds of teachers were protesting. Why did it come to this? 98.6% of teachers voted to approve a strike. We are one month away from this happening. The board could fix this. If teachers are striking, it is clearly the ELECTED OFFICIALS' fault for a strike to happen.

Haglund walked amongst the teachers and heard their chants. Ed walked amongst the teachers and heard their chants. Laurson walked amongst the teachers and heard their chants. Miller walked amongst the teachers and heard their chants.Maher walked amongst the teachers and heard their chants. Carreon walked amongst the teachers and heard their chants. Julio should have walked from the DO to the Bernal room for the meeting, but he was too chicken because he knows he is wrong.

If the teachers strike, the board and cabinet are truly not listening. But don't worry, Haglund and Julio will retire in embarrassment when the DO settles. And they will get their 3.5% raise plus benefits for the rest of their lives.

Great job, board!


Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 14, 2021 at 10:48 pm

Pleasanton Parent is a registered user.

Such a joke. Throw them all out.

Anyone that disrupts children’s education has a special place waiting for them, I blame the administration and the union leadership. Prime examples of incompetence.


Posted by Todd
a resident of Livermore
on Oct 15, 2021 at 5:37 am

Todd is a registered user.

Actually it takes someone and or an organization that is competent to stand up against a bully and bully tactics. Hard to dismiss the strength in numbers I witnessed at the DO last evening. Can’t blame this on Covid either just poor leadership from the DO. It wasn’t the Union that didn’t get the paper work in time like some other districts did. Sad to know that the teachers are having to go through this stress on top of everything else.

Like another person stated on here maybe it’s time to take a hard look and the school administration and “trim the fat”. The next few elections will be interesting.


Posted by Truth
a resident of Downtown
on Oct 15, 2021 at 6:13 am

Truth is a registered user.

The district spokesperson played dumb for the news and acted like they had no idea this was coming. That’s your first clue where the incompetence lies. Either they’re blatantly lying, or they’re shockingly out of touch.


Posted by Complex Truth
a resident of Old Towne
on Oct 15, 2021 at 9:13 am

Complex Truth is a registered user.

Superintendent Haglund appoints Julio Hernandez, head of Human Resources. Hernandez changes organizational chart so decision making power/policies are in their favor. School Board approves. All 5 PUSD Cabinet Members financially profit with incremental increases in salaries (210,00+) and PAID LIFETIME health benefits for Cabinet and their children ONLY. Senior Management contracts posted on PUSD website. Meanwhile, NO benefits for PUSD Classified or Certificated employees. Cabinet members fly weekly to their Southern CA homes with minimal, authentic Pleasanton community investment. Systematic removal of individuals who voice alternate opinions are evident. Strategic and deceptive messaging hide real truths-putting PUSD Cabinet in positive, false light so our community is fooled. Creative planning and misrepresentation of data foster mirage that things are improving since their arrival. Yet, here we are at an impasse. When will Pleasanton Weekly run a story highlighting these facts or do they also play a part of the strategic messaging with Gannon quotes ending Weekly articles implying yet again the teachers are at fault?


Posted by Robertbush81
a resident of Mohr Park
on Oct 15, 2021 at 9:25 am

Robertbush81 is a registered user.

According to the government inflation is at 5.4%, so it must be closer to 10% in real life.


Posted by Jake Waters
a resident of Birdland
on Oct 15, 2021 at 10:15 am

Jake Waters is a registered user.

Take the example from the Biden Administration: Get the public looking the other way while it’s past failures are forgotten and their future ones are not recognized. Your focusing on an inept board, teacher’s salaries, their benefits, and kids back in school. Your focused on masks, social distancing, and shots for kids and teachers. All the while CRT is being implemented statewide into your schools. While the rest of the nation’s parents are fighting that cause (and the DOJ places them in jail for speaking out) Californians are living in LaLa land. Remember, the Teachers Union is one of the largest supporters of the DNC and their policies. They are Goliath. The only way to reign them in is to pull your kids out of government schools and go forward with other options. Take the power back.


Posted by Concerned about Schools
a resident of Walnut Grove Elementary School
on Oct 15, 2021 at 10:49 am

Concerned about Schools is a registered user.

It's a shame that our teachers have to threaten to strike to get the district's attention. The spokesperson saying they had no idea this was coming is such a joke. Our teachers are the heart of our schools and the district has money set aside for a pay increase so it's hard to understand why they won't compensate the teachers for the impressive work they've done.

Why on earth would an employer treat its high performing employees this way? Those of us in the private sector would leave and find another job. Thank goodness our dedicated teachers are trying to resolve this issue and not leaving in droves (although a lot of good people HAVE left the district). Our teachers earn far less than their peers at surrounding districts when total compensation is viewed. Shame on PUSD.


Posted by Complex Truth
a resident of Old Towne
on Oct 15, 2021 at 11:16 am

Complex Truth is a registered user.

Review Post by PUSD Alum, Birdland on Jan 30, 2019
"As someone who has been involved with PUSD as an employee for decades, I am very concerned about the Board/Cabinet combination currently in place. Haglund did his best to 'clean house' but with this exodus we lost the historical knowledge and personal relationships that made PUSD so strong. Very sad to watch morale slip as mistakes and coverups are happening on a daily bases. The turnover in HR speaks for itself. Let's hope that this pay raise will help them spend more time at work trying to do things right the first time."

This post was almost 3 years ago and the same tactics continue and are getting worse. It is clearly not working and it is time for the Board to make sweeping changes.


Posted by Truth
a resident of Downtown
on Oct 15, 2021 at 11:18 am

Truth is a registered user.

It would be nice to see the Weekly investigate and ask tough questions rather than just posting information from press releases and then asking the other side for a response. Instead of saying "so and so claims" or "according to so and so" the Weekly should be investigating the truth behind these claims for the community.

They once again parrot the district's misleading claim that they are offering 5% in total compensation in the new contract. That is their cost increase. Many of the changes to the contract have zero financial benefit to teachers and are costs associated with fixing problems district management created. That is not compensation.

Management pushed through changes for the current school year that breach the previous contract and have yet to be resolved. If a teacher were to decide to breach the contract, that would be grounds for termination.

Hopefully the threat of a strike will be enough. It's practically impossible to get 98.6% of teachers in the district to agree on ANYTHING. For management to not take this seriously and understand how dire they have made this situation through their gross mismanagement would be further proof of their lack of awareness and incompetence.

Julio Hernandez should be let go for how poorly he's handled this, regardless of the outcome. If Dr. Haglund cannot bring himself to do so, then he should step down too. But there is still time to solve this without a work stoppage, Whether a strike takes place or not is now 100% in the hands of the district management. They need to stop their stonewalling and misrepresentation of facts and negotiate in good faith.


Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Oak Hill
on Oct 15, 2021 at 4:36 pm

Pleasanton Parent is a registered user.

Removed. Confirmed as inaccurate.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Oct 16, 2021 at 8:36 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

These conflicts will not change as long as board members follow (and vote for) whatever the superintendent/staff says. It is disappointing that board members believe they should not seriously question or should vote in unison or that there isn’t a better superintendent interested in PUSD. We need an experienced superintendent and, apparently, better board members who will work to maintain what is best for students.


Posted by Rich Buckley
a resident of Livermore
on Oct 16, 2021 at 9:05 am

Rich Buckley is a registered user.

Between 2018 - 2019 of the 9 States that saw Teacher Union Strikes, including California, only 2 states of the 9 did not respond to Teacher demands, while 7 States did respond and yield to teacher strike demands including California.

From the Teacher's standpoint, California strikes work.

(portion removed because it was off-topic)


Posted by [email protected]
a resident of Birdland
on Oct 16, 2021 at 4:43 pm

[email protected] is a registered user.

Teachers deserve a cost of living wage increase that meets with the increase in essentials such as gas, food, clothing. 2% is wholly inadequate, especially considering the benefits the Pleasanton schools provide in having students being admitted to and prepared to enter universities, by maintaining/increasing the home values due to the high reputation of P-Town schools in the East Bay which make the city most desirable to live, promoting good work habits and kindness among students in a diverse community (especially in these times of expressions of hate based on political affiliation). Pleasanton has a terrible history of not supporting tax increases or even providing its teachers proper health benefits despite the importance we all place on having the children educated and assisting in the raising of them to be good citizens. I urge all to show support for the teachers as they seek to provide students with the utmost care and education that a city can possibly provide.


Posted by SUPPORT OUR STUDENTS!
a resident of Downtown
on Oct 16, 2021 at 5:53 pm

SUPPORT OUR STUDENTS! is a registered user.

For more information on what is really going on in our district and what has brought us to this point, please read through the comments section from the Weekly article “Negotiations Still Up in the Air for Pleasanton Unified and Teachers Union”, dated September 15, particularly those posted by The Truth.
I don’t know who you are, The Truth, but on behalf of all of us, thank you for having the courage to speak out and reveal the truth.


Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 16, 2021 at 6:08 pm

Pleasanton Parent is a registered user.

[email protected]

The teachers voted to abandon benefits in lieu of a salary increase, that’s on the union not the district.

Expressions of hate based on political affiliation? Can you elaborate on that? As stated it sounds like you’re painting an entire population with a broad brush stroke.

And perhaps if the district did what it said it would do with funds raised the community would support these measures more . But I’ve seen at least 3 fail to deliver on what they committed.

So I agree teachers deserve a raise, especially after the district gifted themselves with one after failing miserably.

But let’s be accurate with the other claims you’re making.



Posted by Truth
a resident of Downtown
on Oct 16, 2021 at 10:25 pm

Truth is a registered user.

Teachers voted to “abandon” health benefits in favor of increased salary more than 30 years ago when the average increase in healthcare costs was minimal and mirrored inflation. It was quite literally a different time. I doubt there are more than a handful of teachers currently in the district (if any at all) that were a part of that negotiation. It was a short-sighted decision that proved disastrous for teachers as healthcare costs have far outpaced wage increases since, and it’s far past time it was reversed to be competitive with surrounding districts. Especially when management just voted to increase their own pay beyond what they are offering teachers and to extend their own lifetime health benefits to their families with no negotiation required.


Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 17, 2021 at 7:19 am

Michael Austin is a registered user.

!. A significant number of PUSD students have after classroom tutoring.
2. A significant number of teachers have health care coverage through their spouse.
3. A significant number of students attend private school that would otherwise attend PUSD schools.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Oct 17, 2021 at 7:35 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

The fact is healthcare has kept pace with the cost increases. The problem is, salaries are below below when you remove the cost of healthcare. Teachers deserve a raise.


Posted by Truth
a resident of Downtown
on Oct 17, 2021 at 8:17 am

Truth is a registered user.

@Michael Austin: I’m curious what you’re implying. Please come out and say it.

1. Many students do need additional outside help. The number of students taking AP and honors classes has exploded in the past two decades. Many of those students take these classes in spite of underperforming in standard classes. PUSD district management has always discouraged prerequisites or limiting access to these classes based on prior performance (against teacher recommendations). One district administrator used to actually say students have “a right to fail” if they choose. Whether this is due to parent or peer pressure, many are just poorly placed and these classes have ballooned in size - impacting all students taking them. The dependence on tutoring is no surprise and is not an indication of lack of teacher skill or effort. Smaller class sizes would help but management has only increased sizes during this period.

2. This is no excuse for the district not to offer healthcare for its teachers that need it. Single and single-income teachers are no less worthy of health benefits. This specifically limits the attractiveness of PUSD to new, younger teachers. This was the thinking that created the issue 30 years ago.

3. Private schools have no requirements for teacher credentials and data shows they have not proven to have better outcomes than public schools overall (in lower income areas they often do, but in affluent areas it’s typically the opposite). Its a common refrain among PUSD teachers that students who transfer in from nearby private schools, such as Valley Christian, are typically behind their peers and require remediation to catch up.

Again, I’m not sure what your implications are, but if you’re implying that Pleasanton teachers are not serving their students, you’re misinformed.


Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 17, 2021 at 12:24 pm

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Please show the source that shows private school performance is below public? College placement statistics would disagree.

It can be true teachers need a healthcare option today, but it’s also true they took it away from themselves, so blaming the district for lack of healthcare is wrong. Maybe that union thing isn’t all it’s cut out to be….

We need to learn to have a factual discussion here, not an emotional one.

Teachers do deserve a raise and the district is wrong for giving themselves one.

Pleasanton does overwhelmingly support the schools (evident by ppie, volunteers, tutoring,etc) and we’ve learned the district lies about what and how funds raised are used. Trust here has been lost. That trust must be earned by the district, not just given by the community.


Posted by Truth
a resident of Downtown
on Oct 17, 2021 at 1:26 pm

Truth is a registered user.

Web Link

This article sums it up and cites its sources. The appearance of better outcomes in private schools is negated when socioeconomic status is factored. Private schools appear to do better because of who can afford them, not because of the quality of the schools. Private schools can accept or reject students for any reason, and have no responsibility to meet students’ special needs. They also have no credential requirements for teachers.

In any case, the fact that some students in Pleasanton choose private schools should not be seen as an indictment of Pleasanton schools. People choose private schools for lots of reasons. There is likely minimal, if any, academic advantage in this area. I stand by my comment about teacher experiences with private transfer students requiring remediation - anecdotal as it may be, it is a common experience of PUSD teachers.


Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 17, 2021 at 1:45 pm

Pleasanton Parent is a registered user.

Thank you for sharing, but that article fully appreciates that private schools on avg outperform public, if for no other reason, being able to control the educational environment and as a result, college placement and all other metrics score higher.

It’s not to say public schools can’t provide excellent education, but there is a clear advantage.

At a minimum none of the private schools have to deal with strikes, district incompetence, and the issues we are talking about here are they? That in itself is a distraction benefit.

Not knocking our schools in Pleasanton, we moved here for them. But to ignore the statistical benefits of private schools is ignorant.


Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 17, 2021 at 2:26 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.

There is no such thing as a perfect teacher. It is nature of the profession to continuously improve in all areas. Tutoring becomes necessary, partly due to teacher failure, partly due to parenting.

There has been discussion on this forum regarding underperforming teachers. It is alleged on this forum under performing teachers are known. That issue is the exclusive responsibility and fault of the PUSD board, the superintendent and the PUSD staff.

An underperforming teacher exhibits the following:

1. Lack of classroom management.
2. lack of content knowledge.
3. Lack of organizational skills.
4. Poor judgement.
5. Lack of commitment.
6. No motivation.
7. Lack of professionalism.
8. Wastes every one's time with gossip.

Truth: My impression, you are a teacher.

I have never had children in the PUSD school system. I have paid property taxes for 25 years in this school district which is my ticket to have a voice in this school district.


Posted by Truth
a resident of Downtown
on Oct 17, 2021 at 2:36 pm

Truth is a registered user.

To interpret from the public/private school data that it’s the quality of the schools that makes the difference is to miss the point of the data entirely. But if makes parents feel better to spend their money that way, so be it. Their decision has no bearing on this negotiation.


Posted by Bay Area Native
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Oct 17, 2021 at 2:54 pm

Bay Area Native is a registered user.

There has to be more to this than what has been posted. How do trustees benefit from denying raises to teachers? Conversely APT(union)does benefit, via increased membership, if teachers believe that APT is essential in order for them to be treated fairly. Clearly APT is winning the hearts and minds of teachers given the almost unanimous support to authorize a strike.

I support paying our teachers at or slightly above comparable districts. Ultimately though this is a math problem. It isn't only what people deserve but how do you pay for that? A 5% increase in teachers' salaries equals almost $4.4M in increased annual expenses.

Meanwhile PUSD's revenue is projected to decline. For every 100K students who leave PUSD we lose about $1M in revenue. "Declining enrollment creates budgetary challenges starting in 2022/23" (link below).

Can someone please propose fact based solutions that will enable teacher raises? I see a lot of emotion in the posts but I don't see ANY solutions.

Exactly how much money does the district need in order to provide appropriate raises? How does this get funded (projections on specific cost savings and/or specific revenue increases)? Please don't come back with "That's the Board's job...That's the Superintendent's job." That doesn't solve anything.

Unless the PUSD budget (see link) is completely off I don't see how the District can satisfy APT's demands without layoffs and/or revenue increases.


Web Link


Posted by Bay Area Native
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Oct 17, 2021 at 3:05 pm

Bay Area Native is a registered user.

Typo above. Should read for every 100 students we lose $1M.


Posted by SUPPORT OUR STUDENTS!
a resident of Downtown
on Oct 17, 2021 at 4:08 pm

SUPPORT OUR STUDENTS! is a registered user.

For more information on what is really going on in our district and what has brought us to this point, please read through the comments section from the Weekly article “Negotiations Still Up in the Air for Pleasanton Unified and Teachers Union”, dated September 15, particularly those posted by Truth.
I don’t know who you are, Truth, but on behalf of all of us, thank you for having the courage to speak out and reveal the truth.


Posted by Kevin
a resident of Castlewood
on Oct 17, 2021 at 5:42 pm

Kevin is a registered user.

The teachers deserve raise as well as great benefits. Don’t waste time on responding to the less (portion removed because it was off topic).


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