The TRUE team met today at TRUSD to continue negotiations. I’m happy to report that there was a much more positive feel at the table. The addition of Board Member Bob Bastian, as an observer, was welcomed by our team. Dr. Martinez also stopped by to say that he wanted Twin Rivers teachers to be the highest paid teachers in the area and was hoping to get this part of the contract settled soon.

 

We addressed both our safety proposal and salary. Our salary proposal was for a 6% increase in salary, or a 5% increase on salary and a 1% increase to our district health benefits contribution.

We presented stories that illustrated the importance of safety language in our contract.  We offered a rationale for including the district adopted civility clause. The district did not respond to this proposal.

 

The salary response from the district has not increased from the 2% offer they made previously. However, they did create new core salary schedule that rolled the longevity stipend into the base, rather than having it listed as a separate stipend.  This has the appearance of a huge salary increase but in actuality is only 2% added to this schedule; with the exception of a few cells at the top of the salary schedule. This proposal gives more than 2% percent increase to steps 11 and 15 in column D, steps 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 20 in column E, and 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 20, 25 in column F. While this is great for those educators in these cells, the members in the middle of our salary schedule are still substantially behind the surrounding districts.

 

The district continues to distribute salary schedule comparisons with surrounding districts using numbers that do not match the data collected by our team. We have shared our figures with them.  We went through every step and column for seven surrounding districts. The district’s schedule makes it appear that other districts receive lower pay than they actually do, which gives our pay scale an inflated appearance.

 

We are scheduled to host the TRUSD team at the TRUE office on September 21st for the next round of negotiations.

 

In the future we will address: Article 4, Work Day; Article 7, Class Size; Article 8, Transfers; and Article 9, Stipends.

 

We will continue to advocate for our members and to improve learning conditions for our students.

 

Sincerely,

 

Janet Edwards

TRUE Lead Negotiator

 

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