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Teachers turn out to board meeting in support of union negotiators

Original post made on May 4, 2017

Hundreds of San Ramon Valley teachers converged onto the school district's administrative complex and into the board chambers Tuesday evening in Danville to show support for their union's bargaining team amid ongoing labor negotiations with district officials.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, May 3, 2017, 3:13 PM

Comments (37)

Posted by Joe
a resident of San Ramon
on May 4, 2017 at 6:42 am

An excellent educational system is the basis of a robust economy.

Posted by Jan
a resident of Danville
on May 4, 2017 at 8:09 am

Just wondering how the salaries compare to the COLA (cost of living adjustment). In addition,what is the percentage of teachers who can afford and actually live in the SRUSD? Those are the questions that I have while reading about the % in pay.

Posted by Resident
a resident of Danville
on May 4, 2017 at 8:19 am

With summers off, and twice as many holidays as private employees get, teachers only actually work 2/3 of year. So, how many private employees who only work 2/3 of the year can afford to live in SRUSD area: Answer very few.

Posted by SHale
a resident of San Ramon
on May 4, 2017 at 9:27 am

SHale is a registered user.

What percent of teachers WANT to live in the SRVUSD boundaries? I suspect not 100%. And really, not sure how that would matter; they should get a higher raise because they made a decision to work and perhaps live here? Reasonable raise and no bonus (because why should a union member get a bonus?) that doesn't bust the budget and then the district comes after the tax payer to fund the difference. Not like most tax payers getting large raises because we live here....

Posted by Paul
a resident of Danville
on May 4, 2017 at 10:01 am

"Unlike many districts across the state we have not had to face layoffs this year, or in the recent past," Graswich added. "Our Board of Education is committed to maintaining fiscal solvency, providing outstanding programs for students and minimizing employee layoffs in future years."

This statement is blatantly false. The district recently sent lay off notices to non tenured teachers telling them they won't have jobs in the up coming school year.

Posted by Angela
a resident of San Ramon
on May 4, 2017 at 10:13 am

Hi Paul, would you provide the facts to back up your claim. Where did you get that information? I am hesitant to believe any statement like yours without the evidence to back it up.

Posted by laylagirl
a resident of Walnut Creek
on May 4, 2017 at 5:04 pm

laylagirl is a registered user.


I AM a teacher in the SRVUSD and can honestly state that new teachers at my site have been pink slipped and told they will not have a job next year. It is happening, and the statement made by Graswich is absolutely false!

Posted by District employee
a resident of Danville
on May 4, 2017 at 5:05 pm

"Only work 2/3 of a year..."

They only get PAID for working 2/3 of a year, which is why most of them work a second job over the summer.. Plus, no pay for the hours spent over the weekends and evenings - grading, prepping for the next day, etc.. Teachers regularly pay for a lot of their own supplies, tissues, hand sanitizer, and the list goes on. And no amount of money could make up for the lack of respect they experience from an ever-growing number of parents and students alike.

Posted by SHale
a resident of San Ramon
on May 4, 2017 at 8:13 pm

SHale is a registered user.

Paul: Are you perhaps thinking of PUSD, which did have layoff notices recently? Not sure I saw SRVUSD had such. Can you post where you saw that tidbit of info?

Posted by Paul
a resident of Danville
on May 4, 2017 at 8:48 pm

Angela I got it straight from the horse's mouth if you will. My son's fiance is a 5th grade non tenured teacher in the district and layoff notices went out in April. The district told her there will be layoffs.The parents at the schools this is happening to in Danville are quite upset their favorite teachers will be gone. Some of the teachers who wait around MAY get rehired but the good ones aren't going to put their career on hold waiting for a call that may not come. They are moving on. We lose a lot of good young teachers with this policy.

Posted by Bob
a resident of Monte Vista High School
on May 4, 2017 at 9:18 pm

Paul and Laylagirl are absolutely wrong. State law requires any regular teachers that are going to be laid off must be given notice by March 15 not April. So, the April comment is inaccurate. Second, the notices must be given only after a layoff resolution taken in open session of the Board meeting and placed on the agenda for all to see. There was no such layoff resolution and no notices given for layoffs of regular teachers. Non-regular teachers like temporary employees and subs are regularly told each year that they potentially will not be used in the following year. However, that is not a layoff. Temps and subs have no guarantee of a job and are not regular employees. Also, school districts are required to notify probationary teachers that they are not going to make tenure by March 15th. They are regular employees but do not yet have tenure and permanency. Again, that is not a layoff, that is a notice you are not going to make tenure and are being terminated. I lived in this school district during the Great Recession. I saw the headlines of thousands and thousands of teachers getting laid off around the state. SRVUSD did not.

I can't believe the misinformation out there that people say and that can be easily checked out.

On the positive side, I went and looked at the past salary increases approved since the recession ended in 2012. Over 21% salary increases, plus up to about $23,000 towards fully district paid health benefits, and substantial increases in teacher pension contributions costing tens of millions of dollars.

I am very pro teacher and believe that no school district pays its teachers enough. However, let's get our facts straight if we are going to have public debate. It hurts the cause when misinformation is shouted out.

Posted by Carol
a resident of Alamo
on May 5, 2017 at 6:13 am

Our school cannot afford paper, supplies, an art teacher, a librarian, a music teacher, assistants and we are complaining about a raise? Really? The teachers have the parents come in and work for FREE hundreds of hours. The PTA members and the parents should be paid first before anyone gets a raise. Their time is not FREE. It is called USING and taking advantage of them. I have seen 3 to 4 moms in one class at a time helping while the teacher goes outside for a coffee. I asked how much homework she has to correct at night (i.e., on her own time) and she said, "not much". Then we are brainwashed into throwing an auction (A PARTY! Whoopee!) to raise another $300,000 to $400,000 at our elementary school to be able to afford all of the things we need. This is not Cuba or Venezuela! What a racket! Our property taxes are supposed to cover our schools not to mention the lottery winnings. We live in the 6th or 7th largest economy in the world but we can't supply paper to our schools? I smell corruption, but are the teacher marching on Sacramento in protest? I haven't seen one? Maybe that is what they should do in their 1/3 of the year vacation to show us tax payers that they really do care. Also who in the world gets 80% if their salary until they die pension plan? That is also ridiculous and selfish too. Please add in that unrealistic benefit to your salaries because NO ONE gets that time of retirement plan except government employees. Math teachers out there, do the math. A simple company couldn't afford to pay its employees 80% until they die. Teachers need to save like the rest of us hard working parents who can barely get by in todays world with high taxes and unsustainable health insurance that Obama forced on us.

Posted by Tom
a resident of Danville
on May 5, 2017 at 7:53 am

I am very much pro teacher but not pro teachers union. And yes you can have this position. The issue of tenure is a big problem. Certainly most of our teahers are very good and professional but there are also quite a few that should be let go but due to tenure it is nearly impossible. This is due to the union claim of job protection. I get that nobody wants good teachers let go, certainly I dont want that and I do value them but there must be a better way to weed out the bad ones no matter how long they have been teaching. I dont ever see this issue discussed but it should be by both sides.
Now having said that, I am for teachers getting a raise and yes that means I have to do my part to pay for it even though my kids have graduated already and my household is not impacted. So all the best to the good teachers and please find something else to do to the ones that are not.

Posted by Teresa
a resident of Alamo
on May 5, 2017 at 9:04 am

Bob--not sure your math is correct. There has only been an 11% in salary increases since the recession. The "bonus" can't count as they are only one-time monies. With that said, the district's reserves grew during the recession all the while not offering their employees any increase in salary. It was seven years without any adjustments to their salaries so in many ways, that 11% is a restoration of compensation. According to the CBO's report on Tuesday night, the district received a 5.2% COLA this year and the offer of 3% came with strings attached that were unrealistic for teachers and included larger class sizes.

As for the pink slip issues, all temporary teachers received notice. these educators do not have due process rights nor do they have rehire rights. Bob is right in that they get notification every year but unlike other years, this year they were told they probably do not have jobs next year by their administrators. However, Bob is wrong--temporary teachers are regular employees. The district has a bad habit of making all new hires, "temporary" instead of probationary so it is easier to lay off rather than extend due process. They've been called on this practice and it is sad that they have not stopped. How do you attract young teachers when every year they get fired.

By the way, the retirement contributions went up for teachers as well as districts. It came with Local Control Funding and it is not necessarily a good thing.

Posted by SHale
a resident of San Ramon
on May 5, 2017 at 10:34 am

SHale is a registered user.

Tenure certainly needs to be changed; way too easy to achieve and once there nearly impossible to get rid of/transfer a poor performing teacher. No other private employee receives just protections (beyond a union, of course).
BTW, when a parent volunteers they are NOT being used; they are making a decision to donate their time. They do it for their kids and the school. w/o parent support there would be much 'less' available to schools. Something to consider.

Posted by Teacher
a resident of Danville
on May 5, 2017 at 2:21 pm

It is true, teachers get a lot of time off. But we are not paid for it. We only get paid for the days we work. We are contracted to work 186 days and that is what we are paid for, not a day more. So, most have to budget for the rest of the year or get a second job. I'm not complaining, just stating a fact.

Posted by Resident
a resident of Danville
on May 5, 2017 at 3:27 pm

" Teacher": The issue of teachers only working 2/3 of the year came up as the teacher 's union latest propaganda is crying about not being able to afford to live in SRUSD area. Once again, there are very few of us non-teachers who could afford to live here if we only worked 2/3 of the year. The union needs to remember this when trying to shake down us taxpayers with propaganda about why teachers need raises to afford to live here. Teachers receive a ridiculous pension for life that nobody else receives, even though they only work 2/3 of the year. I would love to work 2/3 of the year and get a pension for life. But I don't have the teachers union PR machine working for me with false & misleading campaigns about their alleged poverty.

Posted by SHale
a resident of San Ramon
on May 5, 2017 at 4:19 pm

SHale is a registered user.

I think the whole issue of teachers only working 186 (new teachers, btw, 187) days vs 260 (yes, PAID days; some days as vacation/holidays) for everybody else does need to be brought up when the union starts throwing around salary figures for teachers. You know, to compare apples to apples and all that.
I'm all for teachers getting reasonable raises and perhaps the bonus they call 'one time payments'. However, I think they have 'caught' up with the years there were no raises (most of us when through years of no raises in the private sector). The bonuses need to come to a halt. A union member must have the thot process union members don't usually get bonuses; one thing they give up to have tenure and that union protection.

Posted by Lillian
a resident of Alamo
on May 5, 2017 at 4:21 pm

I am not pro union, but I am pro fair. All the talk about tenure being too easy to get and then you can't get rid of them. Really? I saw a 20 year veteran teacher dismissed after he received two poor evaluations. I know this is true because it happened at my child's school. They went through the process and at the end of the day it was agreed best that he no longer work for the district. So it can be done when the process is followed.

Posted by Peter
a resident of San Ramon
on May 5, 2017 at 4:28 pm

I bet the district wishes our taxes and lottery could cover everything schools need. Before Prop 13 happened, our schools were the best funded in the nation. We lived in a Golden state but after Prop 13, schools took a hit. They tried to get back to the top with Prop 98 but that went barely anywhere. So now we have parcel taxes but those have only paid for the remodeling of old schools and building some much needed new ones. I'd gladly pay another parcel tax for teachers' salaries as long as its guaranteed not to go to the administrators. Cry foul all you want about teachers asking for salary increases. Do you know that the superintendent and his crew never have to ask for a raise? It's automatic every three years, 5% and with the salaries they are making I can understand why the school board is concerned about not making ends meet.

Posted by teacher
a resident of Danville
on May 5, 2017 at 6:55 pm

TO RESIDENT: Yes, teachers do receive a pension, we do not receive social security. Currently, we contribute 10% of our salary to our pension and will be increasing to 16% in the next couple of years. Even though the district matches our contribution, our pension is based upon what we contribute, not based on a full year of work. I get what you are saying. But you make it sound like we get a full pension based on 2/3 of a years work, that is just not true.

Posted by resident
a resident of Danville
on May 6, 2017 at 7:33 am

People in normal jobs get raises for:
1. Going above and beyond the call of duty
2. for extraordinary performance
3. for doing more work or taking on more responsibilities.

People in normal jobs do not get raises for merely existing! Bad teachers get raises when they shouldn't be getting anything. It is nonsense!

Until you teachers go spend your massive vacation time off marching and protesting in Sacramento the lack of funds that go to our schools, you shouldn't get anything! I am angry. You say you care, but you only care for yourselves. If you wanted a high paying job, you should have been a doctor or lawyer. Stop the complaining.

Posted by SHale
a resident of San Ramon
on May 6, 2017 at 7:48 am

SHale is a registered user.

.....People in normal jobs do not get raises for merely existing!

Well, not exactly unheard of that workers get automatic COL adjustments annually..... All for the teachers' contract having that. Now if we could just abolish tenure and neuter the union....

Posted by DD
a resident of Danville
on May 8, 2017 at 11:09 am

Wow!! Carol has said it all in a nutshell. Well said and until we "break the backs of the teachers union" our schools will continue to operate at a loss on all fronts. Remember parents:
the more you give of your money and your time, the more the teachers and the schools will take. It is up to you to change this behavior.

Posted by Louie
a resident of Danville
on May 8, 2017 at 11:41 am

How/where can I get a readable accounting of lottery money? I would like to know gross dollars raised and net dollars to California schools. I am not an accountant so would like simple math- the kind of math I use to balance my own checkbook. How many dollars does SRVUSD get from the lottery?

Posted by SHale
a resident of San Ramon
on May 8, 2017 at 5:27 pm

SHale is a registered user.

DD: Do you actually have any kids in school right now in SRVUSD? Are you really that sure of your opinion? so, a class has a field trip and needs parent drivers. If not enough drivers sign up, trip is canceled. Is it your opinion that is AOK?
Very curious what the workaround is to parent volunteering at school.

Posted by SHale
a resident of San Ramon
on May 8, 2017 at 5:30 pm

SHale is a registered user.

Web Link

Publications details the lotto funds etc.

Posted by Joe
a resident of San Ramon
on May 9, 2017 at 9:07 am

Teachers are the most important factor in making sure all our children are successful. And each year we are losing more and more teachers. We need to do whatever we can to attract and keep the best and brightest in our classrooms.

Posted by American
a resident of Danville
on May 9, 2017 at 1:27 pm

Sorry, "Joe", but teachers are not the most important factor in making sure all our children are successful. Parents are. Parents that teach morals, responsibility, hard work, living within your means, being self sufficient, and being a good role model and leading by example, are the most important factor in making sure all our children are successful. It is unbelievably sad that liberals think teachers are somehow more important than parents in raising successful children. God help us all.

Posted by Community member
a resident of Danville
on May 9, 2017 at 2:56 pm

There will be 25 teachers released K-8 due to "declining enrollment." There are probably about 50 jobs for 9-12 that have not been posted which means that those the District does hire, will be subpar because the other districts, who are on the ball, will have already hired them.

With gas going up $.12/gallon, rents and home prices rising on a daily basis, and highways that are super congested, this District will continue to see the loss of quality educators for not only economic reasons and lack of diligence in the hiring/recruiting process, but for the cultural reasons that are personified in this thread.

Posted by School CBO
a resident of another community
on May 9, 2017 at 10:40 pm

Why are the words "teachers union" so bad? What does the union do that makes so many of you that upset and whining? Last I heard, the union ensures that there are fair labor agreements.The unions created your 40-hour work week and the concept of overtime pay. The unions created the concept of weekends, vacations, protections when you or someone in your family is sick and you need to take time away. The unions have prevented overly zealous lawmakers from destroying our school systems by being in Sacramento and speaking up when bad laws are about to be passed; they keep their pulse on what is going on. And yes, the unions make sure that there is fair compensation for our teachers.

I am reading over and over about people here disliking the unions but no one can articulate why. The word "union" is not nasty. If you love your child's teachers you can thank the union for that; for providing a protective working environment where they can teach rich, creative, and innovative lessons with strong policies on fair evaluations and due process if being fired ever comes into the picture. The unions do not protect bad teachers! The unions have worked with the law and provided very specific ways to get rid of bad teachers without risking good teachers being dismissed simply because someone doesn't like their religion, their gender, or even their hair color.

I am not an union worker. In fact, I am a chief business officer (finanacial) and have sat on the opposite side of the union. And I will tell you I have not seen more dedicated people to their profession than those who represent their colleagues in negotiations. My job is to present as grim a picture of the financials as possible; worse case scenarios but at the end of the day when it all is flushed out, I will openly say I am relieved when we have been able to provide ongoing salary increases. Don't blame the unions for wanting to get pay raises for their members. Remember the administration in a district is much more expensive, do not need to bargain their pay raises, and have so many perks (some deservingly so) it would cause you to pause judgment on unions. It is not unusual to say that one superintendent is 1/3 the cost of providing a 1% salary increase to over 1500 employees in most districts.

So before you continue to demonize unions, understand that they keep us, the administrators honest and make sure that we are being true to our workforce. In my book, that is a good investment.

Posted by SHale
a resident of San Ramon
on May 10, 2017 at 10:55 am

SHale is a registered user.

Declining enrollment? Where? Certainly not Dougherty Valley school sites, which are increasing and there is a huge bubble approaching the DVHS site.

Problem with unions is they ask for the moon and threaten to strike when they don't get it. Plus, pretty sure they forgot the 'children' in the mix. Must mean something with union membership declining and perhaps 12% membership (all segments, not just teachers). Also a problem with the union gets in the way of getting rid of a poorly performing teacher and they stretch it out to the point the district won't even bother. That and tenure. Who else gets such double protection in the work place?

Posted by Member
a resident of Danville
on May 10, 2017 at 10:26 pm

This is really a disgrace and the Board should be embarrassed and ashamed of themselves. All sorrounding districts pay $10K more than SRVUSD. Teachers are resigning left and right to flee to other districts that VALUE their employees. The Union and their new leader turns a cold shoulder to the issues at hand and continues to overpay for contractors. Illegally allowing overflow class sizes, and enrollment is significantly declining. The Speech Parhologists arnt even on their own salary scale, while Psychiatrists are despite doing the same work if, if not more. I know of 5 people that resigned just this year from the special education department. Parents and the community are starting to see that this district is going down hill FAST! We need to continue to get the word out.

Posted by Danville Mom
a resident of Danville
on May 10, 2017 at 10:29 pm

This is true, I will not be enrolling my child in this district because I know that many of the long loved teachers are leaving because they are fed up with the new Board management.

Posted by SHale
a resident of San Ramon
on May 11, 2017 at 10:20 am

SHale is a registered user.

...All sorrounding (sic) districts pay $10K more than SRVUSD.

really? I wonder if current SRVUSD teachers know that and why haven't they all left? Do new SRVUSD teachers know that?

... enrollment is significantly declining

Really? Which schools? Schools around me are all at capacity or a bit over. A brand new school just opened this August and is already at planned capacity for year one. I would welcome fewer students, but it just isn't happening district wide.
As for teachers leaving in droves; that seems to be, again, perhaps limited to a school or 2? Or must regular churn that always occurs.

Posted by Michelle
a resident of San Ramon
on May 13, 2017 at 4:54 pm

Understand that this is much to do about nothing. The Board owes their seats to the support of the union so no matter the optics the teachers will get what they want. As for declining enrollment that is not the reality in SRVUSD. Some individual schools may have dips in their numbers but the district continues to grow. Finally, teachers are not wanting out of the district. The pay is comparable (or better) than most districts and the working conditions are far superior. Ask the district how many applicants they have for every opening---most of whom are teachers from other districts dying to get into SRVUSD.

Posted by SHale
a resident of San Ramon
on May 13, 2017 at 6:51 pm

SHale is a registered user.

.....The Board owes their seats to the support of the union

You must mean the board owes their seats to the folks who actually went out and voted for them.

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