SRVUSD board approves agreement with teachers union

Budget talk also dominates meeting discussion

The San Ramon Valley school board approved a new collective bargaining agreement with the teachers union Tuesday night.

After months of negotiations, the district and the San Ramon Valley Education Association (SRVEA) reached an agreement to increase salaries by 3%, retroactive to July 1, 2016, a one-time payment worth 2% of the employees' annual salary and no salary increase for the 2017-18 school year.

SRVEA held a general meeting earlier in the week, said union president Ann Katzburg, and of the 1,325 members that showed up, 99.8% approved the agreement.

Katzburg specifically thanked Superintendent Rick Schmitt for constantly reaching out to her, allowing them to "navigate a very precarious path."

"Our openness and honesty with each another has allowed us to reach a tentative agreement," she told the school board during its meeting Tuesday night in Danville.

In turn, assistant superintendent of human resources Keith Rogenski acknowledged Katzburg's leadership and communication in these negotiations, which, he said, "admittedly got a little bit grumpy at times."

The district had already approved deals with the two classified unions, the California School Employees Association (CSEA) and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), that included the 3% retroactive raise for 2016-17 and no raise for 2017-18. However, district officials said, these agreements included a clause that if another bargaining unit were to settle for anything greater, the increase would also apply to CSEA and SEIU.

So the school board also publicly updated those agreements on Tuesday night, in order to reflect the 2% bonus in their agreements as well.

As part of the agreement, the salary increases for all three groups included statutory benefits, which comes out to about 25 cents on every dollar of salary for classified employees and about 18 cents on the dollar for certificated employees, according to chief business officer Greg Medici.

The overall cost of the SRVEA agreement comes out to almost $7.9 million; the total cost of the CSEA agreement is a little over $1.7 million and the SEIU one comes out to about $689,000.

The Contra Costa County Office of Education officials reviewed the proposed agreements and confirmed in a letter that the district could afford the deals. But, associate county superintendent Bill Clark wrote, "We encourage the district to be conservative in their spending and future salary negotiations."

The approval and updates came amidst a larger discussion on what board members saw as an unsettling financial future for the district.

Enrollment is no longer growing, board members noted. According to Schmitt, while this year's overall numbers saw 60 students over the budget target, there are now 400 fewer elementary students from the previous year, and there are currently about 1,000 fewer students in kindergarten than in 9th grade.

Money coming in from the state is decreasing as well, as SRVUSD nears its target established by the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF).

The LCFF was enacted in 2013-14, replacing the previous K-12 finance system that had been in place for about 40 years. Through its formula, the LCFF determines a "target amount" of funding that each district should be allocated, based on the average daily attendance, and based on the number of students in a district who are classified as English learners, those on free or reduced income lunch and foster youth.

Since LCFF was implemented, districts across California have been receiving gap funding in order to reach their targets. Currently, SRVUSD, like most other districts across the state, is at 97% of its target LCFF funding, meaning that in a few years it will no longer receive gap funding.

Additionally, said Medici, increased expenditures are on the horizon. Pension costs for both certificated and classified employees are rising for school employers and utilities bills are going up -- all of which means that expenditures are outpacing revenues.

It's not a problem faced alone by SRVUSD, Medici said. "All districts are trying to be as innovative as possible while trying to be financially responsible," he added.

At Tuesday night's meeting, board member Greg Marvel expressed concerns about the future financial situation. "We've got a lot of work to do, to re-think how we’re doing business, and make sure our employees are well-taken-care-of, and our students continue to receive one of the top-quality educational experiences in the state," he said.

But, added board members Denise Jennison and Ken Mintz, the decreased class sizes are needed, particularly in the Dougherty Valley.

"We still need to alleviate those campuses out in the Dougherty Valley...And even when we level off, those schools are still going to have very high student populations," Jennison said.


2 people like this
Posted by San Ramon Resident
a resident of San Ramon
on Aug 17, 2017 at 9:49 am

Wow! Basically a 25% salary increase when including benefits! And, that's for a 10 month work year - with weeks of vacation in between!

2 people like this
Posted by Scott Hale
a resident of San Ramon
on Aug 17, 2017 at 9:58 am

Scott Hale is a registered user.

what is confusing is the wording. They get a retro raise for LAST year, plus they get a bonus (yeah, they use a different phrase). So, they get a raise for last year PLUS their salary is bumped this year. But article says no salary raise for 2017/2018 school year? I must be missing a piece of this puzzle. Because their salary for this year will be bumped by 2%.

And why union employees get a bonus is still a mystery to me. I thot once in a union the entire theory of a bonus goes away? And yes, twice now, they have received bonuses. Well, as long as the district can afford it I suppose.

5 people like this
Posted by Teacher
a resident of San Ramon
on Aug 17, 2017 at 10:25 am

SR resident,

You misread the article. In no way is it a 25% raise...

And also, you do realize we are only paid for the months we work, right? We don't get a paycheck during the summer.

2 people like this
Posted by Gomez
a resident of Diablo
on Aug 17, 2017 at 11:33 am

Teacher - Your salary is the same whether they pay you over 10 months or 12 months. Some districts allow payments over the entire calendar year.

5 people like this
Posted by Danville
a resident of Danville
on Aug 17, 2017 at 11:49 am

It amazes me how many people "bash" on teachers whenever they get a raise. The union has been negotiating for about a year. With this new agreement, it goes back to the beginning of the 16/17 school year, so yes, teachers will get a 3% retroactive pay check. In addition, there is a 2% one time payment to be given this coming November. And to clarify, teachers get no paid vacation. They are contracted to work about 180 days per year. They are not paid in the summer. They do have an option to withhold money from the 180 work days to be distributed in the summer, if they choose to. Hopefully, this clears a few things up.

Like this comment
Posted by Teacher
a resident of San Ramon
on Aug 17, 2017 at 12:40 pm


I know this. Our district does not allow that option for teachers hired before a certain date.

5 people like this
Posted by frankly
a resident of San Ramon
on Aug 17, 2017 at 2:24 pm

This District has produced many excellent students who passed and rank highly compared to the rest of the State Student bodies.

Who pushed them there? Local residents, politicians, or Las Trampas wild life?

Of course not.

It's the teachers who did it!!!!!

5 people like this
Posted by Tom
a resident of Danville
on Aug 17, 2017 at 2:42 pm

Teachers vs the Teachers union.

The former I am all for supporting and paying them for their very valuable service.
The teachers union on the other hand is a disgrace. They get involved in issues not related to their trade. They are pro illegal aliens, they are for protecting known bad teachers at the expence of students. They are a vile organization and counter productive.

11 people like this
Posted by Tom
a resident of Danville
on Aug 17, 2017 at 2:45 pm

@ Frankly

No doubt teachers play a huge role in the success of our childern and I would never deny that. At the same time though involved parents that care and send their kids ready to learn is also a major factor. If you have ever taught in certain districts you would know the advantage the kids here already have before they walk into their first classroom and that advantage continues each and every year due to involved parents that are partners with their teachers.

4 people like this
Posted by Tom
a resident of Danville
on Aug 17, 2017 at 3:07 pm

Unions are how this sort of blatant waste of taxpayer money happens.

A longtime spokesman for the state court system accidentally butt-dialed a Post reporter — yukking it up about how “I barely show up to work” while pocketing a $166,000-plus salary and boosting his taxpayer-funded pension.

After speaking by cellphone with the reporter about a planned exposé on his cushy schedule, David Bookstaver butt-dialed back, and unwittingly left a four-minute voicemail while chatting with at least two other people.

On the voicemail, Bookstaver admitted lying to The Post about how he spent his weekdays and confirmed the accounts of court-system sources who said he’s been working as few as two days a week.

“I spoke to [the reporter] on the record for awhile. I said, ‘I’m in a much less visible position; that doesn’t mean I’m not doing anything,’ ” Bookstaver said.

“But, frankly, look, the bottom line: the story’s true. I’m not doing anything. I barely show up to work and I’ve been caught.”

The remark promoted laughter, after which Bookstaver explained that he didn’t need to show up “because they took away all my responsibilities and left my pay.”

At one point, he lamented over having bragged about his ability to play hooky. “They left me alone and look, I have a big mouth. I told people I’m not doing much. I do take a lot of time off,” he said.

“I kind of asked for it. You know, if you have a big mouth, you know it catches up with you.”

Bookstaver, who’s planning to retire Oct. 1, also raised the possibility he could get fired “because of a story in The Post,” but said it “would probably affect my pension check by $6 a month.”

“Look, the bottom line is, I’ll suffer through a terribly embarrassing story and then go get my f–king pension and retire,” he said.

5 people like this
Posted by Scott Hale
a resident of San Ramon
on Aug 17, 2017 at 3:58 pm

Scott Hale is a registered user.

the schools and teachers here (Dougherty Valley) rock. They deserve whatever raise they get (tho the whole bonus thing needs to go away, after all they DO have a union). If the district can afford bonuses, they can afford to roll that into salary increases. And the whole 'retro' thing should also go away. Negotiate the contracts ON TIME to avoid that. Still think the new Super really made out, he too rec'd a retro to the day he was hired. He should have been exempted since they had just hired him and negotiated his 'deal', which he accepted.
and really, the entire summer and holiday thing is a non-debate. They work 180 days (new teachers 181) and that is what their pay is based on. And yes, no teacher was ever 'forced' to be a teacher. They selected the career, so they too can't complain about the 10 wks no pay. sheesh

4 people like this
Posted by Tom
a resident of Danville
on Aug 17, 2017 at 4:52 pm

Scott Hale says:

"They deserve whatever raise they get (tho the whole bonus thing needs to go away, after all they DO have a union)."

So no matter what amount of taxpayer raise is provided there is no amount that would be too high in your eyes. Good to know.

1 person likes this
Posted by anotherteacher
a resident of Alamo Elementary School
on Aug 17, 2017 at 7:03 pm

@Scott Hale, what teacher complained about 10 weeks no pay in this thread? We know we are not paid for our time off, and that is fine. We chose this profession to get the extra time off to be with family and travel. So, quit posting made up things, stick your your usual nonsense posts.

"They work 180 days (new teachers 181) and that is what their pay is based on. And yes, no teacher was ever 'forced' to be a teacher. They selected the career, so they too can't complain about the 10 wks no pay. sheesh"

Like this comment
Posted by Scott Hale
a resident of San Ramon
on Aug 17, 2017 at 8:00 pm

Scott Hale is a registered user.

Now Tom: I don't think I implied that teachers can be granted ANY raise their union requests. That simply isn't reasonable, right? However, they do deserve some type of raise and mostly that could be annually depending. I do object to the 'one time payments' which is actually a bonus in the non-teacher world. Once you agree to work with a union protecting you, the thot of a bonus should disappear, I think.
There is a giant teacher shortage, so if this district does get behind what other districts pay, the teachers will leave. Not good. I know most of the people moving to Dougherty Valley do so because of the schools.....

Like this comment
Posted by Scott Hale
a resident of San Ramon
on Aug 17, 2017 at 8:05 pm

Scott Hale is a registered user.

anotherteacher: In this thread, it has been mentioned. My point (you missed) was a teacher knows going into their career they work 10 or so months and that tax payers shouldn't whine and cry about it and use it as a basis to deny raises since they only work 180 (or 181) days per year vs what the rest of workers do.

Glad you enjoy my notes. Now back to your main screen name, aye?

1 person likes this
Posted by Tom
a resident of Danville
on Aug 18, 2017 at 8:51 am

@Scott Hale,

Your words said "they deserve any raise they get." What else am I to think?
I agree our teachers perform a very important job and for the most part do this job extremely well. I am happy to spend my taxpayer money to reward their fine work.
On the other hand I am very much against the current union structure as I think it to be very misguided.

1 person likes this
Posted by Scott Hale
a resident of San Ramon
on Aug 18, 2017 at 9:42 am

Scott Hale is a registered user.

tom: The key word there is 'get'. Did you miss it? The district AND union must agree on the raise or more like the union agrees with whatever the district offers and if they don't....well, you know the outcome. Union asks for the moon and the district says NO! And after a lot of hot air, the sides eventually agree on a compromise.
bottom line the teachers 'get' the outcome. and, sure, they deserve reasonable raises, but not convinced about the whole 'one time pymt' dance. You have a union in your corner you mostly agree bonuses go bye bye.
and I agree on the union. Less than 12% of workers nationally have a union and membership is falling. Big big chunk of membership ARE teachers. And brace yourself since the state will be reducing funds to certain districts based on the 'new' calculation. Cutbacks mean first thing to go are 'raises'......will be a mess.

Like this comment
Posted by Louie
a resident of Danville
on Aug 18, 2017 at 10:01 am

Teachers are required to join the union or have equivalent "dues" deducted from their checks. The deduction is mandatory whether or not they join the union.

8 people like this
Posted by Sally
a resident of San Ramon
on Aug 19, 2017 at 8:21 pm

One question to ask the district is why the administrators ( including district level) get the same raise the teachers get, even though they supposedly bargain against them? Can you say "conflict of interest"?

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