Teachers' Pay Cut Not as Steep as First Proposed

Although teachers agreed to a 10.1 percent pay cut to end their strike in April, some extra money from the state will shrink that number to 6.49 percent.

Teachers will make more money than they thought they would after last year’s strike, now that the Capistrano Unified School District is restoring some of their salary.

When the teachers’ strike ended in April, they agreed to a 10.1 percent reduction over three years. The district announced Thursday that teachers will instead see a 6.49 percent reduction for the 2009-10 and 2010-11 school years.

The April settlement also included several mandatory, unpaid furlough days. However, the . Adding those two instructional days—Feb. 17 and May 27—back onto the calendar will cost the district $2.8 million.

The teachers will still take three non-instructional, “staff development” days unpaid in accordance with their post-strike settlement.

The April strike saw 90 percent of the district’s teachers form picket lines for three days, according to published reports at the time. The 10.1 percent proposed pay cut was the same number the district was seeking before the strike. However, after the strike, the school officials agreed to wording promising to restore pay and furlough days should the district come into extra money.

In October, the state Legislature passed a budget that included $2.8 billion more than educators across the state had anticipated. For , that translated into an extra $13.5 million.

“Knowing that the trustees and superintendent are willing to keep the promises that were made last year will go a long way toward restoring the trust necessary to be successful in spite of the continued challenges facing public education,” said Vicki Soderberg, president of the Capistrano Unified Education Association in a statement.

In a message to the teachers, the union leader said: “Make no mistake about it, under the board-imposed contract, there would have been no automatic restoration. Our collective action, at great personal sacrifice, righted a wrong which ultimately benefited all employees—classified and administrative as well.” Soderberg posted the message after the district in December restored the two instructional days.

In the last three years, the district has trimmed about $90 million from its budget, according to a district press release.

Current financial solvency does not mean the district is out of the financial woods. The 2011-12 year could see a $10 million-$17 million budget shortfall, a district press release says.

Capo Parent February 05, 2011 at 12:14 AM
CUSD is facing a $15 to $17 million dollar deficit, where is the money going to come from? The trustees the union spent $350,000 to elect provided payback within 8 days of being in office. When two of the non-union trustees requested that the issue of whether or not the restorative language in the contract was triggered they were shot down. Why wouldn't the board get a legal opinion especially in light of the multi-million dollar deficit it faces - PAYBACK. This sad scenerio is another example of why vouchers and charter schools are so desperately needed.
j.g.durkin February 22, 2011 at 12:07 AM
Remember "Children First" candidates insisting that they were not union backed? I once heard that the definition of an ethical politician is that once he is bought he stays bought.
Lori Walker February 22, 2011 at 01:20 AM
Dear Capo Parent and JG Durkin: Thank you very much for your comments. I can understand your frustrations. However, some of the information that you are relaying is incorrect. As both a teacher and a member of CUEA, let me explain. First of all: some (but not all) of The Children's First Candidates were backed by the union. Of the current newly elected board members, John Alpay did NOT request or receive Union endorsement. Gary Pritchard and Lynn Hatton were endorsed by CUEA. That information was clearly stated in mailers that were sent out to the public in addition to ones that teachers and other individuals handed out in neighborhoods. However, all three of these board members were part of the "Children's First" slate of candidates. Children's First is NOT part of the teacher's union. As for the small amount of salary that was reinstated to teachers recently, this was not something created by these new board members. Nor were they the only board members who voted in favor of it. The former school board (which included the now recalled candidates Mike Winsten and Ken Maddox) were the ones that approved the current settlement with the the teachers. There was no actual "PAYBACK" for the teachers... they are still receiving a pay cut, just not as much as it was originally cut. The new school board members approved the reinstatement based on the legal contract that was drafted before they were elected.
Penny Arévalo February 22, 2011 at 01:58 AM
Just a tiny correction, directed at that last sentence: According to district officials (Farley, Walton), the new board didn't approve anything. There's been no vote (well, a Jan. 11 staff report said there was one in December, but now the district is saying that's an error). The reinstatement was automatically triggered, say district staff, by the contract itself, and Farley oversaw the reinstatement. The only vote in regular session has been an official altering of the academic calendar at the Jan. 11 meeting, which passed 5-2, with trustees Addonizio and Palazzo voting against.
David Parks February 22, 2011 at 03:24 AM
"Endorsed" does not always mean "Bought" so I hope everyone who reads your reply understands that support from an organization like Children First has nothing to do with union influence. It has everything to do with what the organization is named...putting Children First!
Lori Walker February 22, 2011 at 04:25 AM
Penny: Thanks for the correction regarding an actual "vote". I misunderstood that part also. And thank you to David for your point as well. Children First is a community based organization. They want what is best for the children in our district.
David Parks February 22, 2011 at 05:34 AM
Capo Parent, where did you get the information about 8 days and a payback? I believe you are claiming that there was some prior arrangement made between some of the trustees and the union, but it is hard to understand the first two sentences(?) of your statement.
Capo Parent February 22, 2011 at 05:41 PM
Lori Walker I never mentioned Chrildren First. However, it did work hand in hand with CUSD unions in the last election. John Alpy was union supported. The ongoing issue is whether or not the restoration language was triggered. I firmly believe it has not been triggered because the state hasn't adopted a 2011-12 budget and CUSD hasn't received the additional ADA money that supposedly triggered the restoration language. CUSD claims it received the money, yet it has failed to produce any records or documents showing it actually received the money, though it has been requested to do so. There is now a question of whether or not the board violated the Brown Act. Though CUSD claims no board vote was taken at the special meeting on December 13, 2010, the statements of Dr. Farley and other trustees at the January 11, 2011 meeting (listen to the recording of that meeting) and the Projected Revisions to 2010-2011 School Calendar issued by Julie Hatchel show otherwise.
Capo Parent February 22, 2011 at 05:50 PM
David Park A mere 8 days after being sworn in the new, union friendly board decided that the restoration language had been triggered and pay cuts restored to CUEA. However, despite repeated requests, CUSD has not provided any real proof that the restoration language was in fact triggered. For example, it has refused to produce ANY documents showing that it actually received the increased ADA monies that supposedly triggered the restoration language. If CUSD really did get the money, this would be easy to prove. If the restoration language has not been triggered, than the restoration of CUEA pay cuts, especially without a formal and proper vote of the board, can be viewed as nothing more than payback to CUEA, especially with CUSD having to cut anywhere from $8.4 to $24.8 million from its budget.


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