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School District, Teachers, Declare Impasse In Contract Negotiations

The school district is accepting applicants for a spending advisory panel. (File Photo)

The school district and Alameda teachers have declared an impasse in contract negotiations. (File Photo)

The Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) and the Alameda Education Association (AEA) have asked the state Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) to declare an impasse in the two teams’ salary negotiations, the district announced yesterday.

District superintendent Sean McPhetridge said that the two sides’ perspectives on salaries are so far apart as to warrant outside assistance.

According to a district press release, if PERB formally declares an impasse, the agency will assign a third party mediator to work with the two teams.

If, after that, the parties still can’t come to agreement, they’ll enter into fact finding process, through which a panel reviews the arguments and proposals of both sides and then develops a recommended course of action.

District officials said that as of end-of-day on Wednesday, the teachers union had rejected an offer that would:

  • Provide increases of teacher compensation by 4.6 percent over the life of a two-year contract
  • Expand the ways in which teachers could use sick leave
  • Ease the transition to full-day kindergarten programs of value to both students and families

Further, officials said, AUSD employees have received a 10 percent increase in compensation over the last three years, including last year, when the district increased total compensation to teachers union members by 5 percent.

The district is planning to put a measure on the ballot this November that would renew the Measure A parcel tax.

Over recent weeks, the teachers union has been demonstrating outside of local schools in advance of open houses, vying for parent support for their position.

Pictures on the union local’s Facebook page show teachers at Paden elementary school on May 25th and at Henry Haight on May 19th.

Union members have reportedly been distributing a flyer saying that “dozens” of teachers will be leaving the district over the summer; Action Alameda News has a pending public records request with the school district to put a specific number on the turnover.

Representatives from the union had not responded to a request for comment on contract negotiations made through the Facebook page last week, prior to the district’s announcement yesterday.

Addendum: After this article went to press, AUSD officials responded with the following tables regarding the public records request for a) number of teachers leaving the district and b) number of teachers on waiver through the district, and at which schools.

AUSD-provided table on June 3, 2016, responsive to a public records request for number of teachers leaving the district and number of teachers on waiver.

AUSD-provided table on June 3, 2016, responsive to a public records request for number of teachers leaving the district and number of teachers on waiver.

4 comments to School District, Teachers, Declare Impasse In Contract Negotiations

  • karen

    What did the do with the last parcel tax? NO MORE! Of course, they will use their usual fear tactics. We’ll have to take to the streets!

  • They are coming back to renew the tax early as well, presumably because of the general election this year.

    Measure A was for 7 years, approved by voters in 2011.

    Another snippet from the AUSD press release:

    “Alameda’s Measure A parcel tax, which brings $12 million per year to the district, expires in June, 2018. More than 80 percent of those revenues go to teacher salaries.”

  • Anne

    As a long-time Alameda High School teacher, I have served on several hiring committees and can confirm that we do lose promising young teachers to better paying districts. The effect is much more pronounced in the hiring process. We get fewer highly qualified applicants, especially in hard to fill departments like Math, Science, and Special Education. And those who go through the interview process are often dismayed at the salary schedule and take positions elsewhere.

  • Anne – the AEA flyer circulating on Facebook said “dozens” of teachers were leaving this summer for better pay at other districts.

    The school district sent a summary saying just 11 were leaving for employment elsewhere.

    Who is right?