Over 150 Members at the School Board Meeting!
What a great night and a great start, we had over 150 of our members show up at the board meeting and 6 people from our membership spoke! We will be posting their speeches, if they are willing, tomorrow. Thank you to all of you that came out and showed solidarity for our negotiations team and support for a fair contract. Special thank you to Jackie Lepore, Allen Reidel, Jose Ruilova, Kevin Michles, Matt Taylor, and Evelyn Fountain who did a great job representing you. Below is my speech from tonight.
Thank you for all that you do,
Board Notes 08-04-2015
President Kirkland, School board members, Superintendent McCormick, colleagues, and community members, I am here not only as the president of the association but as a teacher and a concerned citizen. I believe the District is in trouble, and without building up our profession through collaboration and giving our teachers a competitive wage, we will lose many of our great teachers.
When the district needed the money we stepped up and took a pay cut for years. You all know that we worked together as a family to get through the rough times. Two years ago we came up with a MOU to create a better environment for our students with class size reduction. Now you want to take away from our students because you did not budget well and decided that your employees were not worthy of a fair share of the new influx of money. We all agree that we need to bring back some of the great programs that we once had, but we need to look at them and bring them back only if they were beneficial to our students. New programs do not equal student success. We do know that appreciated, supported and happy employees do a better job. We all know the correlation between teacher pay and student success is higher than any other measure
Our interest as an association is to get the best teachers in our classrooms for our students. If we don’t work on Recruiting and Retaining the best, we can’t give the best education to our students. I think collaboration; giving our teachers a voice and compensation are the two most important ways to do that. Since my last discussion on the wage disparity between our district and surrounding districts, they have settled for anywhere between 5-10% dropping our ranking in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties. We are now the last district to settle in the two counties!
- In our district:
- A 20 year veteran’s lifetime earnings in our district now rank lower than 12th place in our two counties.
- A 30 year veteran’s lifetime earnings in our district now rank lower than 17th in our two counties. The longer we work here, the less compensation we get compared to other districts.
- Our administration currently ranks within the top 10 in our two counties. This is a great disparity that I believe needs to change.
- As a teacher of 20 years, I could go to Riverside Unified and make $3,000 more a year and pay $6,000 less in benefits. That would be an almost $10,000 a year raise. We need to be more competitive than that!
We have collaborated and worked together in many areas of our daily work. This impasse is taking the focus off of the students where it should be. Now let’s get together and come up with a fair and competitive wage for our teachers so we can continue to retain and recruit the best teachers in the Inland Empire. Thank you for giving me this opportunity to speak.