There were strikes in Oakland and Los Angeles with another threatened in Sacramento. And teachers in both the San Ramon Valley district and Dublin have given their union leadership strike authorization.
The strike authorization provided the San Ramon Valley district’s negotiators with the impetus to reach an agreement by sweetening the pay offer. The negotiations had dragged on for about a year.
Last week, Dublin teachers took the same action after 11 months of contract talks. Dublin teachers are asking for a 3 percent raise in addition to the 1.5 increase they already received for this year. They also want a 3 percent raise for the 2019-20 school year and a 3 percent one-time bonus.
The district agrees on the 3 percent bonus and has offered 2 percent increases each year.
One key factor for districts is the cost of pension contributions. The education data website, EdSource, published a chart that shows the average district contribution to the State Teachers Retirement System has doubled between the 2013-14 school year and the 2017-18 year. The Legislature and former Gov . Jerry Brown passed the plan to backfill the shortfall in the pension fund.
For local districts, Dublin’s contribution has gone up 81 percent to $925 per student, while Pleasanton’s has increased 82 percent to $884 per student. Livermore’s climbed 90 percent to $955, while San Ramon Valley’s went up to $892, a 95 percent bump. All of these are below the statewide average of $1,021.
Some districts, notably San Francisco, went up 138 percent. Local and state union officials know the numbers and know that funding, despite the health of the state budget and the economy, will only get tighter in coming years so they’re getting all they can now.
After leading CityServe of the Tri-Valley for 10 years, Executive Director Gloria Gregory is taking a well-deserved sabbatical. CityServe was formed in 2009 to coordinate volunteers from the faith-based community to address the human needs in Livermore, Pleasanton and Dublin.
Gregory took the helm and, in collaboration with the board, has focused CityServe on caring for those in crisis in the valley as well as coordinating resources and volunteers from the faith-based community, non-profits, schools, businesses and government agencies.
Having worked with Gloria a bit, I can say she’s truly a force of nature with her commitment to helping people and finding solutions to their challenges. Experienced business executive Len DiGiovanni, vice-chair of the board, is serving as interim CEO. The board is continuing the process it began in May 2018 to reshape the organization so it can scale-up for its growth.
Joining Len on the transition team are Marielle Evans, administrative manager, and Aaron Horner, director of crisis stabilization services.
The press release noted, “This leadership team remains faithful to the core values and mission of CityServe which is caring for people in crisis situations, reducing homelessness, executing essential preventive measures helping families avoid cycles of poverty and homelessness, and increasing capacity to more holistically address the needs of the Tri-Valley today and in the future.”