Teachers Union President Talks About Impasse With School District

As School Board prepares for Thursday meeting, Union President Alvin Nash says teachers must "compel the District to settle" contract with raises

Published : Wednesday, May 22, 2019 | 4:30 PM

United Teachers of Pasadena President Alvin Nash, center, shown speaking in 2016.

[Updated] United Teachers Pasadena doesn’t want to hear about Pasadena Unified School District’s budgetary issues when it comes to talking annual raises in future years at the bargaining table.

In an earlier story, Pasadena Now aired the District’s claim that union requests for 3 percent pay increases in fiscal years 2020-21 and 2021-22 would lead to “devastating cuts.”

Although the two parties have agreements in principle on a number of issues, the matter of locking down two future years of pay increases, sought by UTP, has led to an impasse in talks and a call by both sides to bring in a mediator.

That process entails requesting one from the California Public Employment Relations Board, which had yet to be done, according to PUSD spokeswoman Hilda Ramirez Horvath.

“UTP members have paid the price for the failure of the District to manage its finances appropriately,” according to union president Alvin Nash.

The UTP contract expired on June 30, 2018. Salary for 2017-2018 was not settled prior to June 30, 2018, and remains an outstanding issue according to Nash.

The union asserts that its members’ salaries are not competitive with surrounding school districts. It accused the District of following up percentage salary increase years with years in which salaries are frozen, diluting the pay sporadic pay raises.

UTP’s response to the District includes a list of specific recommendations on financial housekeeping that includes: no more deficit budgets; draft salary schedule increases into budget; budget for health benefit increases; and thrift (“When a cost-saving is realized, don’t spend it”).

There are a few more, but the gist of UTP’s position can be found in its final talking point: “Now is time for the District to stop putting its teachers and other employees as a budget after-thought and make us budget priority.”

The School Board meets Thursday, May 23 and the agenda includes time for union members to comment on the current state of collective bargaining between the two sides.

UTP is an affiliate of the 325,000-member California Teachers Association, and the 3.2 million-member umbrella organization, the National Education Association (NEA).

Some 900 PUSD teachers, counselors, librarians, nurses, psychologists and speech-language pathologists are represented by the UTP bargaining unit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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