Your team met with representatives from the District on March 25th. Some progress in language was made and the Association presented its compensation offer. We received no counter-offer in response.
In our field, as in most, two considerations are paramount in job satisfaction: work conditions and compensation. The order, I suppose, depends on the individual. I have never met a teacher who claimed that compensation was king. On the other hand, I have also never met a teacher who expected to be in constant monthly fear of the inability to meet their debt obligations. Teachers are not naive; we understood that we were not immune to effects of a worldwide recession. However, neither did we expect that we would continue to live paycheck to paycheck when economic conditions began to improve. Your Team is well aware that many (if not all) of us have less buying power than we did six years ago. While wages have stagnated, the cost of living (not including such things as education expenses, taxes, and non-essentials) has increased over 9% during this time. With this in mind, we made a salary and benefits proposal we consider fair and fiscally responsible. We expect management to share these goals. This might require a shifting of budget priorities. Considering that the District's LCAP names the recruitment, hiring, and retention of highly qualified staff as one of its primary goals, this priority shift should not pose a barrier to a reasonable settlement.
We continue to assert your interests as dedicated and qualified professionals. When language is proposed that calls this into question, or seeks to limit the value of our input, we will not waver.
Management is anxious to present a calendar for Association ratification. We share this interest but are holding the line on ensuring that there be some clarity regarding management and Association interests. As soon as this clarity can be secured, a proposed calendar will be brought forward for your consideration.
Your Team is aware that open negotiations are a distraction from our shared goal: the intellectual and social growth of our students. We will do our best to ensure a fair settlement as quickly as possible. Thank you for your support.
On behalf of your Team,