[Updated] As negotiations continue toward a scheduled upcoming vote next week, hundreds of members of United Teachers of Pasadena (UTP) held a rally at City Hall Saturday, demanding a 12% raise in the next year’s contract.
Union President Jonathan Gardner said Saturday, “We’re here to draw a line in the sand about the fact that we need a competitive and rational settlement with the District.”
According to Gardner, the District received a 13% cost of living adjustment in its State funding this year, which UTP requested in May. The District returned with an offer of 8%, which the UTP refused.
“That’s below inflation,” said Gardner.
The union then demanded 12%, and the District responded with a 9% offer.
UTP’s 777 members represent nearly 90% of the Pasadena Unified School District workforce, said Gardner, representing teachers, nurses, librarians, psychologists, and speech and language pathologists.
Gardner said that the District has $70 million in its reserve accounts, and could “definitely” afford the raises the union is demanding, adding that PUSD teacher salaries are currently $9,000 below the LA County average.
“Our teachers need to be able to pay for basics,” Gardner added. “Having an offer that is below [the inflation rate] is completely unacceptable.”