You know me as a TVEA representative, yet tonight I am speaking not on behalf of TVEA, but of my rank and file colleagues across the district.
I can tell you that many have shared with me they are not optimistic about this district and its future despite our association’s concerted efforts to bargain with acknowledgement of the district’s deficit.
Why? It comes down to culture. Part of culture is values. TVUSD Leadership might say they value employees but the actions of district leadership is incongruent with such a claim.
I was one of the few who attended the July 18 board meeting in the dead of summer. At that meeting, the Governing Board brought an item to the agenda they had voted on at the June 27 meeting. It pertained to a 5% compensation increase for themselves. It was argued during the meeting that a board member “Should not have to write a check to the district to cover insurance costs”. Our members have a broad choice of plans as I trust the board does. Our monthly payroll deductions for insurance effective October 1, 2017 range from $0 (Zero) to $752.75.
When this news of the 5% stipend increase became received by members it just added salt in the wound of increased member insurance costs. The district and TVEA reportedly may be exploring a temporary solution to have the district assist with member insurance, yet that falls short of a full commitment to teachers and their families.
The Governing Board stipend increase was not temporary but permanent, yet teachers are left with district chump change. This combined with district efforts to reportedly negotiate an extra teaching period for middle school teachers (20% more work) for what would comparatively be a paltry salary increase has only furthered the distrust many feel toward you.
When the cabinet achieved a series of governing board approved salary steps leading to salary increases of 22 to 27 % over four years, did their work increase 20% or more?
There is a definite gap in how the district and board see themselves and how the “Silent Majority” view TVUSD policymakers. In a time of massive budget deficits, program reductions, and asking employees to take on more, these board actions seem ill timed and characteristic of an elitist and perhaps toxic culture. Remember the adage: leaders eat last.