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San Ramon Valley teachers voting on strike authorization

Original post made on Feb 27, 2019

Labor negotiators for the San Ramon Valley teachers union are in the process of preparing for their response should bargaining talks with school district management break down, calling a vote requesting members to authorize the executive board to initiate a strike should negotiations fail.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, February 27, 2019, 4:48 PM

Comments (17)

Posted by Eric
a resident of San Ramon
on Feb 27, 2019 at 6:14 pm

Teachers do no deserve a raise. They are not teaching students, as they are just dumping lots of homework to kids without TEACHING THEM!!!

Posted by Erics' Teacher
a resident of Danville
on Feb 27, 2019 at 6:41 pm

And as a result of the amount of homework being dumped on Eric, he still continues to live with his parents without a job. Sorry I didn't teach you Eric. Best of luck to you.

Posted by Eric's Counselor
a resident of San Ramon
on Feb 27, 2019 at 7:18 pm

"we remain committed to the negotiations process" yet they're not negotiating. They said they're not willing to discuss anything besides the 3%. That's not how "the negotiations process" works. If SRVEA want's two nurses, they should offer one. But they're not. Their response was 0 nurses. See how this process can't work?

Posted by Eric’s Private Tutor
a resident of Danville
on Feb 27, 2019 at 8:09 pm

Hi Eric. Good try on that post. How about we make some edits so that it is in English?

Try posting this instead:

Teachers do not deserve a raise. They are not teaching students. Instead, they are assigning a lot of homework. Often the homework is assigned without the teacher teaching the material ahead of the homework. That makes me angry!

Posted by First Grade Teacher
a resident of San Ramon
on Feb 27, 2019 at 8:13 pm


You should always proofread your writing. You wrote: Teachers do NO deserve a raise.

This is why we have to have smaller class sizes and quality educators so you can learn how to spell-check and edit your work. We need nurses to check your head on how in the world you can write such a thing. You also should go to a counselor to talk about your anger issues.

Posted by Mgeneral
a resident of San Ramon Valley High School
on Feb 28, 2019 at 1:16 am

Woow, I think this thread is missing the point. It’s about teachers, students and our community. I’m totally with teachers, but I’m torn. Will our children have enough time to make up the school work? Because my children WILL NOT CROSS THE PICKET LINE. I’m sorry, but more than 3% is deserved. I’m sorry to say, I have seen teachers drive off and Mercedes. But I have seen most teachers drive off in cars that need to really be kept up. And seriously, I think that the districts should take a look at what teachers pay for housing, gas and car repairs, ESPECIALLY IN THE AREA WE LIVE IN, before they make a decision. What does that say about how much we are giving to the teachers or not giving to them? So, I’m on the fence. But at this point, I have to side with the teachers. They have helped not only my children, but many others, even when they are not “ required “ to do so. And hopefully one day, my children can make a difference on this issue. They admirer and will support them, teachers are shaping the future Thank you all for listening.

Posted by Erics' Teacher
a resident of Danville
on Feb 28, 2019 at 5:56 am


Thank you for caring about teachers. To clarify, there is no work to be made up by the students. When teachers go on strike, they are not working, thus, no assignments. This includes after school activities, coaching high school teams, writing letters of recommendation for students applying to colleges, etc. We don't want to strike, but we will. We have a 99.2% yes vote to strike, it is coming very soon.

Posted by Eric's Psychologist
a resident of another community
on Feb 28, 2019 at 7:27 am

You'll have to excuse Eric's behavior all. It's been a while since Eric has come in to see me, so he's probably out of the normal Prozac and Ritalin that I prescribe to him. I will also have to up his dosage of Kilatrol (street name Kill-A-Troll) the next time I see him. Thanks very much for your understanding.

Posted by Thomas
a resident of Alamo
on Feb 28, 2019 at 7:37 am

So, the San Ramon Valley Teachers Union watch the Oakland Teachers Union go on strike, and see the parents in Oakland keep their kids home, and assume the parents here will do the same and not cross the picket line? Think again.

Unlike the parents in Oakland, we are already paying for TWO separate parcel taxes that go to the local schools, not to mention huge property tax bills. Unlike the parents in Oakland, both parents here also write "voluntary" checks the beginning of every school year to support the local schools. Unlike the parents in Oakland, we also hire expensive tutors to help supplement what our local teachers are covering. Unlike the parents in Oakland, both parents attend every parent-teacher conference, regularly follow school loop, and help keep our kids up to date and organized. Unlike Oakland schools, schools here do not have gang and violence issues that distract from the job the teachers are doing, and the teachers here can focus on teaching and not being police officers.

Is it maddening that our local Superintendent is grossly overpaid and has dropped the ball on many issues, particularly relating to the drowning of the student at SRV? Absolutely! But there is nothing us local parents can do about him.

If our local teachers strike, us parents will continue to make sure that our children attend school. Attendance triggers federal money, and why would we do anything to decrease funding for our schools? Would it be nice if our teachers made more money, sure. However, there are many benefits in teaching in our district compared to Oakland and other districts, as noted above. At the end of the day parents here make their children the number one priority, not a labor union.

So, teachers, strike if you must strike, but do not be fooled into thinking us parents will keep our children home and support your union demands. We are already paying for two separate parcel taxes, huge property tax bills, "voluntary" payments at the beginning of every year, for private tutors, while actively being involved in the education process with our kids and the teachers. Will the substitute teachers and administrators do as good as a job teaching that you do? Of course not. But there is a limit in what you can expect us parents to pay for, and we are there now.

If you leave, we will have no trouble in finding teachers from other districts who would love to teach in our district, that does not have the gang problems and violence other schools have, and that have parents that are highly educated and value education and keeping our kids on top of their studies.

At the end of the day, our first priority are our children, not a labor union.

Posted by taxpayer
a resident of San Ramon
on Feb 28, 2019 at 8:16 am

I think we need to remember that schools are out over summer. Essentially that makes the school year about 9 months long. So the existing salaries reflect about three quarters of a full work year. I think the existing salaries are more than adequate for three quarters of a full time working year since the vast majority of people have full time jobs, working all twelve months.

Posted by Taxpayeralso
a resident of Danville
on Feb 28, 2019 at 10:03 am

@taxpayer, yes, teachers are off for 10 weeks in the summer, but they are not paid. Teachers are only paid for the days they work. There is no such thing as paid vacation like most other jobs have. So, you either have to save during the 10 months you get paid for to supplement the other two months or get a second job. Just wanted to clarify.

Posted by Common sense
a resident of San Ramon
on Feb 28, 2019 at 11:03 am

I support class reduction if the teachers agree to stop giving online tests, stop assigning only online homework, and stop teaching with crash course.

Posted by Thomas's teacher friend
a resident of Danville
on Feb 28, 2019 at 11:24 am

1. There is no reason to send your kids to school during a strike as nothing will be learned.

2. Since it is your money that should be paying for your kid's school and not only the district office, you should, and you have every right to, speak up to the district.

3. We agree that you should not have to donate everything in school. Ask the district why they have $9 million in "materials" money but aren't using it.

4. "Is it maddening that our local Superintendent is grossly overpaid and has dropped the ball on many issues, particularly relating to the drowning of the student at SRV? Absolutely! But there is nothing us local parents can do about him." Are you kidding me?? He is hired and fired by the school board, which has public meetings and is elected by YOU. You can send an email or go to a board meeting and say that you want the district to change.

5. We realize that our job is not as impossible as those in Oakland, but do you think it is normal to be paid less than the year before? or to be offered a 1% raise? We are not asking for a tax increase for you. We are asking the district to use its money to support teachers and students.

6. The district does not have enough substitutes for an ordinary day. We teachers are constantly asked to cover for someone else. Most of our substitutes will not cross a picket line. As for hiring different teachers permanently, good luck with that. There is a teacher shortage even when the district is not as toxic as it is now.

7. Again, feel free to send your kid to school during the strike. I don't know what message you think you would be sending except that you really support the superintendent so much that you are willing to sacrifice your child's safety and time to show it.

Posted by Bob
a resident of Danville
on Feb 28, 2019 at 11:28 am


Paragraph 1:

I believe that a large amount of parents in this community do support the Teachers and what they are fighting for. I would not be surprised if a large number of parents kept their students home from school during a strike. Additionally, that is not the only way that the districts are impacted by a teacher strike. Like it or not, the strike would cause disruptions like cancelled sports, performances, and events if there are no teachers to work.

Paragraph 2:
You are making a HUGE generalization that this community has 2 parents attending all student related events. I also think your view of Oakland is very negative and not 100% correct. Our schools do get a large amount of "voluntary" checks, but please remember that we are funded at $10,552 per student in SRVUSD and Oakland is funded at $15,337 per student. (Web Link ) That extra, almost 5k per student, money is a huge issue to keep a district as large as SRVUSD running at its expected outcome. While it is true that there is not a large gang and violence issue (there is some), the district has other issues to deal with (drugs, truancy, bullying, not to mention the stress of the helicopter parents expecting Harvard for everyone).

Paragraph 3:
You absolutely can do a lot about Superintendent. He works for the taxpayer and the school board can fire him. Write to the school board, show up at board meetings, do whatever it takes to make sure the board is working in the communities best interest.

Paragraph 4:
As I said earlier, I think the parents will keep their students home. If you look at what is being fought for, it is about the students and not the teachers. take a look at what is being "negotiated" Web Link It is not salary that is an issue. The teachers want librarians, nurses, counselors, and small classes. The school district is making it sound like a salary issue and it is not. So sending your child to school during a strike would be hurting them in the long run. Ideally the strike will not happen so you don't have to make that choice.

Also, believe it or not, the district has a very hard time recruiting quality teachers. Most teachers make a lot more money in other districts and are happy where they are teaching. Additionally, you only get teachers that are new to the profession. The way that California is set up, it is a major pay cut for any teacher to move districts. New teachers can be great, but you never know what you are going to get.

Posted by Coach
a resident of San Ramon
on Feb 28, 2019 at 7:51 pm

Coach is a registered user.

Hey Team!

We all want the same thing for our students/children/future taxpaying citizens. Just a gentle reminder that achieving the best quality public education is not a simple endeavor, and takes many, many people with different viewpoints working together to develop an effective educational plan. We can balance the budget, and it doesn't have to be a zero-sum game. We must shift the dialogue in the public arena and on this site, however, in order to achieve this goal.

First, let me be transparent and say I am a taxpayer from San Ramon who pays three separates taxes (property and bond) that benefit our district. My children attended public schools in the district, and I ponied up Academic Booster and Athletic Booster funds every year. I also teach in the district and use a great deal of my own money to provide materials and develop curriculum for my classes. I love my students and athletes and the parents who entrust me with their academic development. For most of my two decades in the district I have felt that I operate in "the best of all possible worlds," to quote Voltaire.

But, things have changed in the past five years and my working conditions have deteriorated. My students are stressed, anxious, and filled with feelings of low worth which inhibit their ability to learn. My classroom is not clean as the custodial staff is only allowed 3 minutes per room per day, which is enough time to throw the recycling into the trash and empty both into the same bin. My colleagues have low morale and many are planning to leave in the next year or two. The teacher crisis is coming, and for areas like Special Ed. and English instruction (jobs where teachers work many extra hours without any extra pay), it is already here. Still, we do our best with what we have, and our district is #1 in the state for districts over 20,000 students. That's a reason to CELEBRATE!

Imagine what we could do with adequate funding.

So, when teachers ask for lower class size, more nurses, and more counselors on campus, we are hoping to alleviate the stress that our students feel. Everyone likes to be heard, but with 33-38 students in a class, there's not enough time or space for everyone to participate. When we ask for a pay raise, we are hoping more young and talented teachers will stay in our district. To be fair, they do come. I was soooo excited about my new colleague this year, and so sad when I was told she'd be moving to Houston, where the cost of living was low enough for her to get married and start a family. The revolving door has been operating for awhile now, and it's creating enough energy to power a classroom full of computers, unfortunately.

That leads us to technology. We are behind the curve, which is really unconscionable when we consider how close we are to Silicon Valley. When is the last time our school board or superintendent tried to partner with a reputable software developer so that our students could learn valuable skills?

The district and board have offered a 3% pay raise for the next two years, with a provision that we can't renegotiate until 2021. They will not consider class size reduction or increasing student mental health support staff in their offer. If COLA remains at 3.4% per year, that raise will not be enough to prevent us from making some cuts in our personal budgets. And, speaking of cuts, consider this.

In the past ten years, the district has asked elementary teachers to cut the amount of prep. time they have each week. These hours have not been restored. They asked all teachers to take unpaid furlough days to balance the budget, and we took the pay cut for the team. The district has cut the hugely beneficial class size caps for kindergarten (it used to be 20), 9th grade English and math classes (the cap was 20 for awhile, then 25, and now is not funded).

I believe there is a direct correlation between student stress and class size, for even I, a very speedy teacher/coach, cannot touch base with 38 students in 53 minutes. I so want to be there for them, but it's not possible any more. My children benefited from these smaller classes, and I am so sorry they are not a priority any more.

So, team, we need a new game plan. At the end of regular negotiation time, the game is effectively tied, in that neither side will budge from their positions. After a day of overtime mediation, the game is still undecided.

Now we have a referee in the form of a state mediator who is fact-finding the budget, but his determination is not binding for the district. If the district refuses to follow his guidelines, then the union's vote to authorize a strike will become legal within California education law.

Indeed we are beyond overtime, but we have to remember who we're playing for: the children. At this point, they are the ones who will lose if the district doesn't improve its offer and retain the quality teaching staff that brought us our #1 ranking.

Please join the team and champion this cause. I don't want to go on strike.

Posted by Grandma and teacher
a resident of Danville
on Mar 1, 2019 at 10:39 am

Grandma and teacher is a registered user.

We can’t get subs when we’re not on strike! I’m covering two classes each period today. My class and another teacher’s class That’s over 65 kids a period. What makes you think you could get subs if there was a strike? Seriously?

Posted by bb
a resident of Danville
on Mar 4, 2019 at 7:20 pm

bb is a registered user.

Great explanation Coach-and thank you!

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