Teachers Agree to Tentative Contract Settlement

It was just last week when about 200 teachers packed into community chambers demanding a contract settlement – on Tuesday that will actually happen.

According to an agreement document, signed by Deputy Superintendent Matt Best and DTA Lead Negotiator Heather Wade on March 6, the package “must be accepted in its entirety by March 15, 2018 at 10:30 am. If this package proposal is not accepted in its entirety, DTA will revert to our prior positions.”

The agreement notes “that expected revenue from the 2018-2019 Budget will be used to fund ongoing salary increases in 2017-18.”  DTA and the district “agree to bargain any future revenue if a Parcel Tax for Employee Compensation is passed.”

The agreement critically contains the following: a 3.5 percent ongoing salary schedule increase for all DTA members, retroactive to July 1, 2017; a 2 percent one-time lump sum payment for 2018-19; up to 20 years of service credit for new employees; up to 10 years of service credit for DJUSD paraeducators hired as teachers in DJUSD; benefits clarification for spouses and domestic partners; an increase of summer school rate to $45 per hour; and an inclusion of extra duty rates into the contract.

The agreement will remain in effect until July 1, 2019.

Analysis

The agreement closes some of the compensation gap, especially for the top end of employees.  Effectively it creates a 3.5 percent pay increase for the 2017-18 school year.  It then creates a total
of a 5.5 percent pay increase over 2016-17 for the 2018-19 school year – but without a parcel tax, that number would revert back to 3.5 for 2019-20.

As the Vanguard reported on Tuesday, according to district data (provided here),”the DTA salary schedule at Step 1 is about $3000 below the regional average for Step 1 and and nearly $4000 below the regional average in Step 5, and about $20 per day (10%) below the regional average daily rate.”

However, the numbers for the most part improve (except, strangely, for Steps 11 to 15) as you go up the pay scale.

The data show, “DJUSD salaries in Steps 6-10 are about $5,000 lower than regional average and about 5.4% or $18 below the regional average daily rate.”

However, when you get to Steps 11 to 15, they are now $5000 to $6000 lower than the regional average or “6.8% or $26 lower than the regional average daily rate.”

That gap closes considerably at Steps 16 to 20, which are now still lagging behind the regional average, but from $2000 to $4000 below.  “DJUSD salaries in Steps 16-20 are 1.4% or $7 per day below the average regional daily rate.”

The teachers got closer to what they wanted.  As DTA President Dianna Huculak said on Thursday, “we have been seeking significant but above all fair increases for ALL of our members, not just small sub groups.

“The huge disparity in the offers made by the district for people – perhaps 7 percent for one member while 1.5 percent for the person working next to them – is unacceptable,” she said.

The district had been attempting to close the gap across board, giving a bigger increase to the bottom to close their gap.  But that is not what DTA wanted.

Ms. Huculak says, “The compensation gap is profound at all levels of the salary schedule. It impacts not just beginning teachers, but also those teachers who have dedicated their professional lives to working in this district.”

The agreement would appear to set up support from the teachers for a parcel tax – although that is reading somewhat into the language that says, “DTA and the district agree to bargain any future revenue if a Parcel Tax for Employee Compensation is passed.”

Clearly, at this point, without either additional revenue or cuts, the 5.5 percent pay increase for next year is one-time and the teachers would be left with 3.5 percent ongoing.

DTA was ambiguous on the future support of the parcel tax, with former DTA President Blair Howard stating, “So as you consider this parcel tax, consider that in order for it to get passed, it will need to inspire, it will need to do more than just kind of sort of keep up, and it will really need to meet the needs of the people who are here now because I’m not certain the prospective teacher who is in another community is going to come over to Davis and work on the passage of a parcel tax, so they can come to work in Davis.”

An equitable increase coupled with that language would appear to clear the way for DTA support for a parcel tax, but that remains to be seen.

—David M. Greenwald reporting



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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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3 Comments

      1. Howard P

        The “me too” one, or a ‘separate peace’?   And yes, I am pretty sure you are not in a position to answer that… the clue was “I want to say…”, but you can’t’… that’s cool…

        But, had to ask… as Flip Wilson used to say, “the devil made me do it…” [ask the question]

        I hope the Board deals with both, officially, at the same time…

        BTW, I note you promoted “transparency” in the intermediate negotiations with the City and its employees, several times in the past… but not with DJUSD… OK….

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