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Dublin Teachers, District to Return to Bargaining Table Amid Protests, Work-to-Rule Campaign

September 28, 2017

DUBLIN, CA–It’s no secret to social media savvy Dublin Unified School District parents and students that teachers and the District are currently in the middle of a difficult contract negotiation. DUSD and its teachers have been operating without a new contract for 16 months. DUSD and DTA (Dublin Teachers Association) return to the bargaining table tomorrow with salary adjustments and medical benefits as key issues.

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Flyer handed to to parents and students arriving at Dublin High School this morning

This morning teachers were spotted handing out flyers to parents and students as they arrived at school sites. Social networks have been lit up this week with passionate statements from Dublin Teachers Association leaders, teachers, parents and some DUSD Trustees. Earlier this week teachers began a work-to-rule campaign, limiting their work day to their contractual obligations. Despite social network chatter of a teacher’s strike, a prospect that understandably terrifies parents and college-bounds seniors, there is no imminent (legal) strike action possible.

The Dublin Unified School District issued a statement yesterday which was followed by a response from the Dublin Teachers Association. Both are included below, unedited.

Statement from DUSD: Community Message regarding status of Labor Negotiations

September 27, 2017

Dear Dublin Families,

We are excited to be in full swing of the 2017-18 school year. We just recently announced many exciting new accomplishments and events, such as our district’s National Merit Semifinalists and our partnership with Dublin Partners in Education (DPIE) to test all students at Dublin High School on the PSAT/SAT. As we prepare for these and other academic milestones, however, we face some challenging circumstances. We wanted to make certain you hear directly from us how we are working to address and minimize these challenges.

As you may be aware, the district has not yet been able to reach an agreement with the Dublin Teachers Association, the labor union representing teachers and other professionals in our schools. That said, the Board and District staff remains committed to providing our dedicated employees the highest level of compensation that fiscal restraints allow. Recent history supports and affirms this commitment. Staff has received the following increases over the past three years:

  • 2016 – 5 percent total raise (3 percent on-going, 2 percent one-time)
  • 2015 – 5 percent raise
  • 2014 – 2.5 percent raise

We are currently engaged in negotiations that are more protracted than we would all prefer in large part due to fiscal challenges at the state level and changes in personnel at the district level. Specifically, we did not have a Chief Business Officer virtually all of last year and we were without a Fiscal Director for the last quarter of the school year. Despite our best efforts, this inhibited our ability to fully project our budget for the next few years. However, we are now fully staffed in our business department and are quickly moving forward with transparent budget projections.

At the state level, we have multiple financial considerations which must be considered when determining our fixed costs for upcoming years. For example, one of the considerable pressures on the district budget is escalating pension costs. Between July 1, 2014 and July 1, 2017, we have experienced the following increases in pension costs:

  • 6.18 percent for certificated teaching staff and administrators
  • 4.83 percent for classified staff

By 2020, pension costs are scheduled to further increase an additional:

  • 4.67 percent for certificated teaching staff and administrators
  • 3.81 percent for classified staff

These increases translate into millions of dollars of additional personnel costs annually. Future financial considerations, such as textbook purchases (for new adoptions and growth), as well as technology and maintenance costs for aging facilities, must be considered and budgeted into future expenditures.

Despite these internal and external challenges, we remain positive that ultimately, a mutually satisfactory agreement will be reached. Each negotiating session has the potential to move the parties closer to a tentative agreement. The District’s most recent offer was a 2 percent on-going salary increase upon ratification. Immediately following the September 12th bargaining session, the District team developed a draft proposal that will be presented at the next bargaining session, scheduled for September 29, which contains additional items for consideration.

We want to emphasize that we are committed to on-going and collaborative conversations with our union partners, whose work in our District and on behalf of our students we greatly value. Any mention of a work stoppage is very premature, as a series of meetings and steps would need to be followed per California Labor Code that would unfold over several months, starting with a formal written request for impasse and participation in fact-finding.

We are committed to updating you throughout this process to avoid surprises and we will share with you our plan to ensure that your children are fully supported in their classrooms. We understand how discord in our schools can impact your family and that you have concerns about how your children will be supported during this period of uncertainty. We encourage you to reach out directly to your school site principals if you have any concerns.

They are committed to working with families to ensure all needs are met,  whether it be when applying for college or participating in extra-curricular activities.

Our schools continue to be wonderful places of learning for our children. We want our community’s children in their classrooms — with their excellent teachers there to support them. That’s why we have made numerous proposals at the negotiating table. And, it’s why we continue to ask union leadership to join us in constructive negotiations that can lead to a solution that works for everybody.

We welcome your child to school each day and will do everything within our power to continue providing an environment where he or she can succeed. We hope to be writing to you again soon with encouraging news.

Dublin Unified School District Leadership

Response from the Dublin Teachers Association (DTA)

Here​ ​are​ ​the​ ​ways​ ​DUSD​ ​has​ ​PURPOSEFULLY​ ​tried​ ​to​ ​mislead​ ​the​ ​community​ ​in​ ​their​ ​letter:

  • DUSD used calendar years instead of school years, and misstated amounts …
    • 2016/2017 is currently open, and is what we are in disagreement over
    • 2015/2016 = 3% ongoing and 2% one-time money (which is not a 5% raise, but a 3% raise)
    • 2014/2015 = with the roll-out of 21 collaboration days 0.5% was to compensate us for the increased work time (so only a 4.5% raise)
    • 2013/2014 = 1.5% increase + 1% one-time money (again, only a 1.5 % raise)
  • Note how DUSD cleverly combined “DTA members and​ ​admin​” in their increase in pensions listings! Again – misleading! Remember all pay raises for which we fight, the school board automatically gives to admin as well! Because they get that and longevity raises, the percent of the total DUSD budget that goes to admin continues to increase, while DTA members’ portion continues to decrease (such that DTA is now below 50% of their total budget!) Every time a new admin is hired, they are hired at a higher salary than their predecessor. And please remember this recent article about Tim McCarty’s pension: http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2017/05/23/california-teachers-struggle-as-school-administrators-get-generous-pensions/
  • DUSD makes it sound like they are working overtime to reach a Bargaining resolution. In fact, we have often had to make multiple requests for data from DUSD, as they often do not provide it to us the first, second, or even third time we’ve asked. At almost every Bargaining session, DUSD has not come prepared with a proposal ready for DTA when we start the day’s session. Similarly, our formal written request for impasse was delayed due to … missing information requested by DTA of the district! (We did declare impasse verbally on May 15. And on September 25th close to 400 members voted to strike some time in the future if the district is unwilling to pay teachers what they deserve.)
  • DUSD’s recent offer as stated in their letter is misleading. The 2% offer currently on the Table is only effective upon ratification of the contract by DTA members, in effect holding us hostage. As this is supposed to be a settlement for the 16-17 school year (see the top bullet) DTA believes the offer should be retroactive to August 2016.
  • During this stressful time “without a fiscal director”, DUSD has still managed to replace two Ed. Service Directors, and increased Ed. Services by two Coordinators (which included cutting a teacher on special assignment). This in essence is an increase in 2 administrators at the district level.
  • A couple more things of note:
    • DTA members pay for their own benefits. For a family with children that can be over 50% of your paycheck.
    • Neighboring districts have salary and compensation greater than Dublin’s. For example:
      • San Ramon’s posted salary schedule is that plus​ the addition of up to a Kaiser family
      • San Ramon master’s stipend is $2,612 and Dublin’s is only $1,000
      • San Ramon’s hourly rate is $41.11 and Dublin’s is only $37
  • We are losing more and more good teachers to other districts, as DUSD is no longer competitive!

We​ ​love​ ​our​ ​students,​ ​and​ ​love​ ​teaching​ ​them!
But​ ​we​ ​can’t​ ​continue​ ​to​ ​work​ ​so​ ​many​ ​hours​ ​virtually​ ​for​ ​free.
Please​ ​join​ ​us​ ​in​ ​telling​ ​DUSD​ ​to​ ​pay​ ​teachers​ ​what​ ​they​ ​deserve!

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Valerie McClure permalink
    October 7, 2017 11:39 am

    Wow very entertaining that the school district finds that a ONE TIME BONUS of 3 percent and a 2% raise equals to a 5% raise……I’m glad the DISTRICT OFFICE is not teaching MATH to the children. These people are PROFESSIONALS that are teaching in the District, not having ANY compensation for HEALTH CARE is LUDICROUS

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