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Alameda Teachers Kick-off Negotiations by Publicizing AUSD Surplus

Alameda teachers will be wearing green today, to support their bargaining team as it heads into negotiations with the Alameda Unified School District. Over the previous weeks, teachers have been publicizing an AUSD surplus of $1 million that the district plans to spend on textbooks.

Having passed a new parcel tax in March of this year, which will raise $12 million per year for the next seven years, the school district closed its books on September 13th and realized a surplus of $1,079,709 to be carried forward to the new year. AUSD said the district needed the parcel tax money to keep classes small, and to keep schools from closing.

The district proposes to spend the surplus funds primarily on textbooks and materials, but the teachers want their payback for helping to pass the parcel tax.

Gray Harris, president of the Alameda Education Association (AEA), the labor bargaining unit for Alameda teachers, directed Action Alameda News to the association’s Facebook page when asked for comment on the matter.

“Measure A passed (thanks to the hard work of teachers, staff and the community) but AUSD wants to keep larger classes and has offered the teachers nothing,” reads one of the postings on the AEA page.

In August, the school district board of trustees approved a contract for Superintendent Kirsten Vital that could see her total compensation package rise to $236,000 for the next four years.

Comments and images on the AEA Facebook page liken the superintendent to wealthy bankers.

A complete salary schedule for AUSD, including the salaries of the top ten paid employees, as of September, 2011, are available on the Action Alameda News salary database.

8 comments to Alameda Teachers Kick-off Negotiations by Publicizing AUSD Surplus

  • Barbara

    This will be very interesting to watch; as we were told during Measure A that it’s all about “the quality of our schools.” This was without clear definition what it exactly means? Some buzz words here and there, but now we will see how it will really work.

    Remember? The skies were falling if we do not pass Measure A. The skies are there, money is flowing in different directions, and our kids are still in the middle and almost forgotten. Do you think that teachers will focus on teaching or will focus their attention on participating in negotiations? At the end, who will pay the price? Property owners and kids…

  • Barb

    There is a surplus??? Does this mean we were lied to to pass this? And whoa, when was the last time anyone but a Superintendent or management of City government and schools got a raise? A raise in this economy? They should be thankful they are not on unemployment.

  • Barbara

    Yap! Surplus!
    David Howard was right again, but people elected not to listen…

  • nomoretaxes

    As a cash-strapped apartment owner, this parcel tax will be passed down to my tenants who do not have children. Funny how my property value has still decreased even with the parcel tax passing. I voted NO but don’t live in the past. I hope there is a LONG teachers’ strike so that all of the pushy whiney parents who worked to get this tax aka supe raise passed will have to home school Johnny & Suzie :)

  • Barbara

    That would be hilarious!

  • The city government does as it pleases. We have one of the most expensive school districts in the area, and not much to show for it… We are probably the only town in the Bay Area where it’s possible to cut down mature trees for no good reason.

  • Allison Goldberg

    There is a lot of frustration by folks who live in this town, as is evidenced by the comments before mine. I don’t think the issue has been presented fairly, so that Alamedans really get what has happened and what the district is doing now. The fact is that teachers are not “whining” about a raise; salaries have effectively been cut. They have faced 8 days of furloughs, almost no real raise at all, certainly not one that has kept up with the cost-of-living, and perhaps most devastatingly, an overwhelming rise in the cost of what teachers have to pay into their health care benefits.

    They do a daunting task, and they do it with passion, grace, and VERY LITTLE thanks from the district. The district has been very dismissing of their request for an embarrassingly modest raise– one which would not even get them up to speed with the average pay teachers are making in other Bay Area districts.

    And yet the folks at the top, such as the superintendent, have been unwilling to freeze their salaries. They have had very handsome raises over the past two years, along with a deluxe, all-expenses-paid health care plan.

    I don’t think it is fair to couch this available money as flexible. If you want good classrooms for your kids, and they DESERVE it, the most important ingredient is good teachers. If you want good teachers, you need to show them that you VALUE them. And stop avoiding the issue.