Back in the late 1980s when voters approved the Pleasanton and Dublin school districts mirroring the city limits, it presented a unique opportunity for the teachers and the district. Unification law at that time required that no teacher could lose pay or benefits in the new district. Dublin teachers maximized their benefits while Pleasanton teachers paid for their own health benefits to maximize their salaries. After the unification, that resulted in Pleasanton teachers choosing to add about $8,000 to their salaries—a big deal when the salary schedule was topping in the $40k range.
Now, 30-plus years down the road, health benefits are a major cost and one that the district and teachers started to address in the contract they just settled. Teachers will get a relatively modest 3.25% raise in a time of the highest inflation in 40 years. For an instructor at the top of the salary schedule, that will mean about $3,500 in salary.
The big gain will be the district’s new $5k contribution to the health benefits that brings the total package to more than $8k annually. District officials and trustees telegraphed this earlier when they approved benefit packages for senior staff.
When my bride retired from the school district six years ago, she was paying $1,400 per month for health care for two of us.
Given that health care costs have climbed faster than inflation for the last 20 years—only exceeded by college costs (there’s a hint that the federal government is heavily involved in both)—you can expect this trend to continue.
My bride and I do not go to the movies much, but I could not resist seeing Top Gun Maverick on Memorial Day. I have been a Top Gun fan since the movie debuted 30 years ago and rarely dial beyond it if I happen upon it on a broadcast channel. We popped for the Imax tickets based upon recommendations from reviewers and they were right. Seeing it on the huge screen made the dogfight and flight scenes even more striking.
The movie ran a full two hours and engaged me throughout. Listening to various broadcasters on Tuesday, I heard unanimous praise for the film and the recommendation to go see it. I whole heartedly agree.