President and Vice President Messages to School Board
TVEA President Jeff Kingsberg speech
As the elected spokesperson of TVEA, I feel compelled to share the deep concern spreading across our membership in relation to negotiations.
Both TVEA and TVUSD worked diligently last spring to facilitate a viable agreement by May 2015. Article 7 called for a July 1 compensation increase with language to return to the table before October 1st to discuss increased GAP funding.
When the state budget was signed in June the GAP funding came in at 51.52%. This is a clear increase from the Governor’s 2015-16 Budget Proposal in January.
Over the last few weeks it has become apparent that TVUSD was unclear about where the parties left off last May and what common expectations there were for 2015-16. When TVEA and TVUSD reached an agreement for 2014-15 after 21 months of negotiations including 16 months of TVEA members working under an expired contract, Superintendent Ritter spoke to a new district culture that emphasizing management-employee trust and respect. That spirit seems severely challenged at the moment.
At its worst, our 1300 plus members are being minimized. We appear not to be an important ongoing priority. If our employee group, those who continue to “Stand and Deliver”, are not an important budget choice please tell us. If we are, then show us.
If however TVUSD simply underestimated or miscalculated the costs of a growing work force then come forward with that message. Take responsibility for the fiscal stewardship of TVUSD which you have custody of. The often heard recent words “Declining Enrollment” from the Director of Fiscal Services are incongruent with the steady growth in new hires over the last year.
By offering an additional zero percent to the salary schedule moving forward, our career teachers see themselves falling further behind neighboring Murrieta. Our neighbor district clearly has the upper hand on attracting and retaining the best and brightest moving forward and TVUSD will be left with Southwestern Riverside counties’ leftovers.
The ball is in your court. We look forward to receiving your serve.
TVEA 2nd Vice-President and Fiscal Committee Chair Rob Clause speech
I had really thought and hoped that the culture and manner of conducting business had changed for the positive over the past year, but I was wrong. As Yogi Berra said, “it’s like déjà vu all over again.”
Temecula teachers simply want their compensation to adjust and be close to similar districts. This is not only important to current teachers, but as California school districts scramble to fill positions over the next few years, it is important for attracting and recruiting the best teachers to Temecula.
When I first addressed the Board in the spring of 2014, I expressed concern that a veteran Temecula teacher was earning about $4,000 per year less than a veteran Murrieta teacher. That gap has now ballooned to $9,000. That’s crazy and I don’t believe it is consistent with the expectations of our community.
Even worse, if you compare the potential salary of a Temecula teacher from year 15 through 30 of her career to that of a Murrieta teacher, the Temecula teacher earns thousands less every single year – an average of $5,329 per year each of those 16 years.
Our district funding under LCFF is very, very close to Murrieta, yet our resources don’t seem to go nearly as far. This is problematic.
When the state budget was adopted in June, the gap funding went from 32% to 51.5%, a 59% increase resulting in millions of additional, ongoing monies coming into the district. Additionally, the one-time unrestricted monies coming to the district increased by approximately $10 million, yet the district has nothing to offer on the salary schedule to its teachers? That doesn’t add up.
This is not about a radicalized teacher union demanding to be the highest paid in the county, this is simply about wanting to stay close to even with our neighbors, that’s it. We have the highest performing schools in the Inland Empire, yet our requests remain modest. This process should not be difficult or problematic. There are workable solutions here. Please don’t put our teachers and our community through the same mess that we all had to endure last year.