Castro Valley Teachers Association and the California School Employees Association Local #52 will rally in support of new contract terms with the Castro Valley Unified School District on Wednesday.
“Respect students, respect school personnel” will be the theme of the event from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. at Castro Valley Boulevard and Santa Maria Avenue in Castro Valley. The public is invited to attend.
CVTA and CSEA members have had a raise of just one percent in the last five years while teachers have assumed additional responsibilities such as implementing Common Core.
CVTA initially asked for a raise of five percent; CVUSD offered one percent. The district later improved its offer to three percent, while the union has lowered its request to 3.75 percent.
CVTA also asks CVUSD to restore supplemental Medicare payments to 111 educators hired before 1986 who did not earn Medicare benefits through their employment when they began working in the district. The group of mostly retired teachers had received a negotiated monthly supplement of $226 upon reaching age 65. CVUSD halted the payments this year.
“After five years of painful budget cuts, we're asking the school district to reinvest in our schools,” said CVTA President John Green. “We want to restore student programs and begin to catch up with the cost of living increases over the past several years. We believe the school district can provide a modest raise to our salaries and health benefits. We believe the district can reverse its decision over the summer to cut Medicare supplement payments to over 100 retired teachers and administrators.”
CVUSD holds a reserve of $13.5 million, more than six times the legally mandated withholding.
“We do not feel that an overall 3 percent increase in wages is fair when our medical premiums skyrocket to 9 to 12 percent almost every year,” said Arlene Cristobal, president of CSEA Local #52. “We realize that there are limited funds but the money is there. We ask the public for their support by joining us at our rally and by contacting the Castro Valley Unified School District Board of Education.”
CVTA reports progress in negotiations on the issues of faculty collaboration time and staff leaves. CSEA indicates progress on the issues of transfers and notifications of layoffs.
“Thankfully we have made much progress during negotiations and we hope to reach a full agreement soon,” said Green. “Enhancing services for kids is an investment in our future. Giving teachers and school workers a modest raise is an investment in the hard-working people that serve our children every day.”