By now you’ve read the District’s update on negotiations, along with CHSTA’s bargaining committee’s report. We are grateful for our team’s commitment to pressing the District past their months-long holding pattern of a 2% salary increase. The improvement to the salary schedule will immediately benefit all of our teachers. Changes in Column A, and credits applied to salary improvement that take place next year will benefit our newest colleagues. Our CACE teachers will see additional salary improvements next year, which helps recognize the important work they do in educating students, their families, and our community members. All of these changes will help fulfill our interest of attracting and retaining quality educators for Campbell students.
In past two months, we have seen an incredible upsurge in involvement in bargaining support, with teachers volunteering to organize members at their sites, and to plan district-wide actions. We’ve seen regular attendance at school board meetings, and testimony from teachers, students, and community members. We are very grateful to all of our members who have found the time to organize, picket, attend meetings and grade-ins, write emails and make phone calls, and reach out to our community and parents.
While we have reached tentative agreements for 2018-19, it would be far from the truth to say that we are satisfied. The District’s Bargaining Update frames their last best offer as an increase of 7%. This is disingenuous; teachers will not be receiving a 7% increase. We know the District has been planning for the STRS increase, including establishing an investment trust to generate revenue to help cover these increases. We also know that the District has routinely under-estimated property tax revenue when building its budget. We know that the District continues to maintain a 15% reserve, when the legal requirement is 3%, and the Board’s policy is 6%.
We still believe the District and the School Board can do a better job at fulfilling our goal of attracting and retaining quality teachers. We still believe the District and the School Board can do a better job of stopping the yearly exodus of teachers from our District. And we still believe the District and the School Board must recognize that the excessive reserve they have set aside is resulting in an underfunding of salaries in CUHSD, creating high teacher turnover.
We may have settled, but we are not satisfied. Our team will begin the bargaining cycle again in January, but we will be preparing for the bargaining even as we hold a ratification vote for this year’s contract. Thanks to the efforts at school sites, we know there are many, many teachers who are engaged, organized, and ready to mobilize. As we begin the process of evaluation and identifying priorities and goals for our next bargaining cycle, we will also be developing a bargaining support plan. We will need your help in the coming months to keep the District and Board’s focus on making teachers a priority. We believe that the strength of our bargaining team, with the strength of a unified and active membership, will result in the District building a budget for 2019-20 that makes teachers a priority.
Thank you for your commitment to public education, and to making our schools the very best possible for our students.
CHSTA Executive Board
Kim McCarthy, President
Liz Tanner, VP / PAC Chair
Dean Lorenzo, Secretary
Margarita Ortiz, Treasurer