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School board to discuss upcoming labor negotiations

First year of bargaining talks under superintendent Schmitt

The San Ramon Valley school board is set to meet in closed session with the district's bargaining team Tuesday evening to talk about upcoming labor negotiations with the district's three employee unions.

Listed as the only business on the meeting agenda, the board will conduct a closed-door conference with assistant superintendent of human resources Keith Rogenski and the district's leadership team to discuss negotiations with the San Ramon Valley Education Association (SRVEA), California School Employees Association (CSEA) and Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

The special meeting is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the district administrative complex, 699 Old Orchard Drive in Danville.

People can attend the beginning of the meeting and offer public comment when the board first convenes Tuesday evening before the board then adjourns into closed session -- which is not open to the public. Any action taken in closed session must be announced in open session afterward.

This marks the first round of labor contract talks under new district superintendent Rick Schmitt, who took the reins in July after previous superintendent Mary Shelton retired.

Last school year, members of all three unions -- as well as other eligible district employees -- received a 5.07% permanent compensation increase and a one-time payment worth 4% of their annual salary after labor negotiations. It is district practice to offer the same compensation increases to all employees.

The deals were reached after the district first settled with the SRVEA teachers union, an agreement that followed months of bargaining talks and several school board meetings packed with dozens of teachers in shows of support for their union negotiators as the two sides stood split on salary increases.

The 2015-16 SRVEA agreement included a 5.07% salary increase for union members (consisting of a 5% raise and 0.07% district contribution to the SRVEA Retirees Benefits Trust) and a one-time payment to the employees worth 4% of their annual salary, plus other incentives.

In addition to teachers, SRVEA also represents district counselors, nurses, psychologists, librarians and speech pathologists.

On the classified-employee side, the agreement with SEIU Local 1021 -- which represents maintenance, operations, transportation and other service workers -- featured a permanent salary raise of 4.54%, a 0.53% district contribution to the SEIU Retiree Benefits Trust and a one-time 4% bonus.

The CSEA Chapter 65 has two different units representing district classified employees: Unit II represents clerical, technical, child nutrition and other classified workers in the district, and Unit III represents paraprofessionals.

The agreement with CSEA Unit II called for a 5.07% pay raise retroactive to July 1, a 0.14% redirection of district funds contributed on the unit's behalf from the CSEA Retired Employee Benefits Plan and Trust to the salary schedule and a 4% one-time bonus. The deal with CSEA Unit III featured a 5.07% permanent salary increase and a 4% bonus, among other provisions.

The board last year also approved a 5.07% salary increase and a 4% one-time payment for all confidential supervisory employees and management not represented by bargaining units. Shelton and her upper administration received a 5.07% salary bump in 2015-16.

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Comments

6 people like this
Posted by resident3
a resident of Danville
on Nov 28, 2016 at 6:33 pm

Que the teacher haters in 3...2.....1......


28 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Alamo
on Nov 29, 2016 at 5:52 am

Based on how the schools handled the kids protesting and some principles and teachers even encouraging such behavior I do not feel a salary increase is appropriate.


10 people like this
Posted by Herman Glates
a resident of Danville
on Nov 29, 2016 at 11:40 am

Herman Glates is a registered user.

Nothing wrong with paying teachers more. . .so long as it’s based on performance rather than seniority.

But that ain’t how it works.

Right now, great teachers get paid jack squat, merely because they’re young.

Meanwhile, incompetent teachers make more, merely because they’ve been there awhile.

That ain’t right.


6 people like this
Posted by SHale
a resident of San Ramon
on Nov 29, 2016 at 3:04 pm

SHale is a registered user.

why on earth is their contract annually renewed? Sheesh, what happened to say like a 3 year contract?
they certainly should not get a 5% raise and the equivalent of a 4% bonus again. No bonus unless they really went above and beyond and certainly not an auto bonus to every single employee. And let's lose the whole tenure crap. Any other job industry have THAT perk?

Otherwise, they do a bang up job with our kids.....


2 people like this
Posted by C. R. Mudgeon
a resident of Danville
on Nov 29, 2016 at 3:04 pm

Some basic info that would be useful to know, both for taxpayers, as well as the school board negotiating team (who, in theory, represent the taxpayers) would be:

- How many teachers and other school district employees have left the district in the past year, not counting retirements? Was there any data collected on their reason(s) for leaving?

- How many teachers were hired during the past year? What was the ratio of hiring offer acceptances to hiring offers made? More subjectively, are there any trends in the qualifications of new-hire teachers, compared to prior years?

Obviously, the above questions and pieces of information are intended to assess whether the salary and pay for our district's teachers is suffucient to attract and retain good-quality teachers (and other staff).

The above is basic "blocking and tackling" for private companies. You pay what you have to pay, to acquire and retain talent. No more, no less.

Of course, the fact that the unions insist on treating all teachers the same (and, in a separate group, all non-teaching staff the same) changes the assessment process, but the same basic principles still apply. Are we able to hire and retain the teachers that are needed?

As a side comment, since the unions insist on all teachers being viewed as equal, the district needs to have the same mindset, by and large. It's too bad for the many good and great teachers in the district, but the unions insist that they are just commodities. The main "lever" that the district has is to try and hire as good as they can get. If they want the average quality of teachers in the district to be improving over time, this only happens if new hires are better than the current average, or, have the potential to become better than the current average (obviously taking into account experience level, or lack thereof for fresh-out-of-college hires).


3 people like this
Posted by teacher
a resident of Danville
on Nov 29, 2016 at 7:59 pm

H Glates is spot on. I am a teacher. I will propose a scenario that makes teacher pay difficult. How do you differentiate a pay raise between a 20 year kindergarten teacher vs. a 20 year high school PE teacher? Both are respected, qualified, and actually do improve student performance. It is a tough call, would you agree?

I will now be honest. The way teachers are treated and perceived in SRVUSD by the parent community has caused an increase of teachers to work "work to rule". This means that teachers work contract hours, typically 8-3. I do not agree with this, but it is happening. This is why districts who were once equivalent to SRVUSD, like Lamorinda, Fremont, Palo Alto, etc, are now forging way ahead of our district. We are still a great district, but nowhere near the top. The Mary Sheldon days are over, so hopefully improvement will be seen in years to come with our new Supt.


1 person likes this
Posted by Teacher
a resident of San Ramon
on Nov 29, 2016 at 8:07 pm

I wonder how Mr. Glates proposes that teachers would be paid based on "performance"? Does that mean student test scores? I would hope not. I have far more students with special needs and academic challenges this year than my peers in my department. If my students' test scores are lower, should those colleagues get paid more than me?

Yes the salary schedule has its drawbacks. Yes, some teachers get way too comfortable because of seniority and slump into the bad teacher category. But not all "good" teachers are the young ones.


14 people like this
Posted by Herman Glates
a resident of Danville
on Nov 30, 2016 at 8:27 am

Herman Glates is a registered user.

Just try not to sleep on the job, ok?

And don’t check Facebook when you should be teaching.

And for the love of God, could you please take down that Obama poster?


2 people like this
Posted by SHale
a resident of San Ramon
on Nov 30, 2016 at 11:42 am

SHale is a registered user.

Certainly tests score is 'ok' to be a 'part' of the performance review, no? In addition to being monitored, attendance etc etc. Certainly should not be totally ignored.

How else to reward the really good teachers vs those just putting in their time and riding the 'protection' of the union.

I would also add parent feedback as well, but know that will cause the union to really go bonkers.....


3 people like this
Posted by Teacher
a resident of San Ramon
on Nov 30, 2016 at 12:12 pm

SHale - I think many students in certain parts of the district would score well on standardized tests no matter who their teacher was. Plus, how can you compare test scores on a year to year basis when teachers have radically different groups of students each year? It's a meaningless way to judge a teacher in my book. Observe me in class, ask me about my curriculum planning, or talk to my students.

Parent feedback is a slippery slope as it could potentially be used as retribution for a grade that wasn't liked or a demand that wasn't met.


3 people like this
Posted by American
a resident of Danville
on Nov 30, 2016 at 2:54 pm

I have zero faith in our current school board. They refused to come out against the amendment that would allow recreational use of marijuana, showing they are more concerned about being politically correct than doing the right thing for our children. Does this mean all those years of Red Ribbon week in the schools where the schools told the students to say no to drugs is gone? Studies have shown regular use of marijuana can lead to an 8 point drop in I.Q., and is a gateway drug to more serious drugs. Yet, despite repeated calls from parent groups for the school board to come out against the marijuana Amendment, they refused

This current school board needs to be recalled, or at minimum elected out at the next election. They have no credibility with parent groups, and I am sure when they negotiate with the teacher's union they will ignore concerns parents have about the contracts.


4 people like this
Posted by SHale
a resident of San Ramon
on Nov 30, 2016 at 6:09 pm

SHale is a registered user.

Anonymous Teacher#1:
Not sure I was referring to standardized test scores. Although, that wouldn't be the end of the world if some portion of that WAS considered. I mean, how else does one judge the performance of a teacher if one can't consider the students themselves and/or their tests or some other measurement.
Teachers should not just get a raise (or bonus because that is exactly what a one time pymt is no matter how phrased) just because they have a super strong union?
Union wants raises out-of-line with what other employees in other industries get, then the union should give up something. Tenure is first on the list.


4 people like this
Posted by Long term resident
a resident of Danville
on Nov 30, 2016 at 9:20 pm


I'm surprised nobody has mentioned teacher tenure yet. I believe the school board should focus negotiations on increasing the requirements for tenure, or better yet, eliminating it altogether. Having gone through the San Ramon Valley School district years ago, I can tell you there was a lot of dead wood due to tenure. At the same time, there were many great teachers who weren't necessarily protected by tenure. The school board needs to find negotiate on salary and tenure together. Hopefully, they will do a better job with the taxpayers' money than the BART board has!!


2 people like this
Posted by C. R. Mudgeon
a resident of Danville
on Dec 2, 2016 at 11:36 am

This is perhaps straying a bit from the original topic, but plenty of private-sector companies have figured out how to assess employee performance, even in the absence of purely quantitative results. It's pretty typical to use a combination of feedback or "ratings" from managers (in this case the Principal and Asst. Principals), peers (other teachers), as well as "lower level employees" (in this case, students).

Could this lead to back-stabbing, favoritism, or other forms of "intra-school politics"? Maybe, but the process is still valuable, and can be weighted appropriately. Even if it doesn't affect raises, it's still valuable feedback, for improving performance. In any organization, most are going to be solid, more-or-less average performers. But the modest number of top performers should be rewarded more. And often there will be a few poor performers who either need more coaching and help to improve, or they might need to be let go.

It's not rocket science - companies do it all the time....


2 people like this
Posted by SHale
a resident of San Ramon
on Dec 2, 2016 at 11:39 am

SHale is a registered user.

...should be noted other states use student scores and the teachers didn't all move to Calif......

No doubt it should be part of the equation, perhaps a big part. Union is too afraid, tho. Bad teachers would be let go and we certainly can't have THAT process be too easy. <much sarcasm for those sarcasm challenged>


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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