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Candlelight March to School District Office Demonstrates Support for Dublin Teachers

December 5, 2017

DUBLIN, CA–The compensation agreement between the Dublin Unified School District (DUSD) and the Dublin Teachers Association (DTA) has remained unresolved – dating back to the 2016-17 school-year. The impasse has now extended beyond 18 months of negotiations.

While a state mediator with convene with both parties on December 7th, DTA sought to strike a more visible show of community support. As the sun began to set on Tuesday evening, teachers, students and community members gathered at the plaza in front of the Dublin High School Performing Arts Center at 4:30 PM. Members of DTA leadership reminded the crowd of what was important. These elements included the fact that many surrounding districts have successfully negotiated employment contracts and that fair/equitable compensation which includes health benefit support would aid in attracting and retaining teaching talent.

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The central claim of the DTA is that DUSD is “hoarding” a significant portion of its unrestricted budget reserves. The District has maintained that retaining an aggressive level of reserves is strategic – particularly in the event of potential state funding gaps/allowances.

The primary guest speaker at Dublin High School was Eric Heins, President of the California Teachers Association. Part of his message was to reinforce the concept that it is the certificated members that represent the backbone of successful schools. He inferred that a partnership with administration is possible, but that it was up to the membership to fight for what they deserve as nothing with be gifted to them.

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All throughout this preliminary period, all those present were encouraged to “register” via cell phone and to identify their relationship to the school district. Further, some signs were distributed as well as candles. At approximately 5:00, the three block walk commenced along Village Parkway towards the district office. Two members of the Dublin Police Department provided an escort so that the walk would be continuous.

Due to Fire Marshal regulations, only 200 people were allowed into the district board room until the doors were closed. The remainder of the marchers chose to remain in the plaza area just outside of the board room. During her scheduled time on the agenda, DTA President Robbie Kreitz made an impassioned statement. Her message was two-fold: It was a request to level compensation commensurate with neighboring school districts – contracts that have already been ratified. Equally, it was a warning to the board that not addressing this issue could come at the cost of losing talented staff.

In the end, CTA media staff noted to us that at least 700 individuals had registered as on-site active marchers. OneDublin.org believes that the actual number of participants exceeded this figure. Nonetheless, this dilemma far exceeds the number of candles distributed. With the potential avalanche of housing that is presently online for the foreseeable future, the student generation rates in Dublin will rise exponentially. Clearly, there is a need for the school district and the teachers union to find mutually acceptable common ground – both for today and into the immediate future. Perhaps the ultimate resolution will be stimulated with a march down Village Parkway.

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