August 24, 2016
DISTRICT OFFERS PATH OUT OF IMPASSE,
UNION LEADERS PREFER STRIKE
YCUSD today presented union leaders with a proposal that would raise teacher pay by nearly 10 percent over the next two school years and bring top teacher compensation to more than $95,000 per year plus advance degree compensation of $6,500, health insurance benefits 0f $11,800 and retirement benefits of $8000.
Even when presented with this offer – which would bring teacher compensation as high as $546 per day – union leaders saw no reason to temper their apparent determination to strike over the deadlocked 2015-16 contract talks. Within minutes of getting up from the table, union leaders issued a press release restating their preference for strike over collaboration.
YCUSD viewed today’s meeting as an opportunity to move forward on behalf of students, teachers and our community. It seems clear that for union leaders, today’s meeting was about something other than progress.
YCUSD issued the multi-year proposal in hopes of introducing new options and alternatives that could resolve the long-term issues that led to deadlock in the negotiations over the 2015-16 school year. In doing so, YCUSD representatives made it clear the union would sacrifice none of its rights related to the year at impasse. As we have seen in numerous other districts, discussing a multi-year solution frees up approaches that simply don’t exist when talking about a school year that already has passed.
Throughout 10 months of negotiations on a contract for the 2015-16 school year, union leadership has rejected every offer put forward by the community’s school district. They have insisted on a double-digit pay raise in a single year that no district in our state could grant, and have refused to modify or alter that demand in any way in more than nine months. Today, when presented with an opportunity to move forward toward a long-term and mutually beneficial agreement, they chose instead to dig in and to intensify their threat to burden our community with a teacher strike.
It is both disappointing and puzzling that union leadership feels it can be dismissive of a nearly 10 percent raise – and a proposal that addresses each of the concerns they raised – without presenting it to their membership.
A teacher strike is a very serious matter, and children, teachers and families will be hurt by it. The fact that union leaders appear to prefer this to every other alternative available to them is deeply disconcerting.
To view the full proposal, click here.