Superintendents Responds to: ATA’s Notice of Strike
Superintendent of AUSD Tom Pelligrino, responds to the Notice of Strike
The Alpine Union School District cannot afford the proposals put forth by the Alpine Teachers Association (ATA) today. ATA’s proposals would bankrupt the District and would not be approved by the oversight agency involved in reviewing agreements (SD County Office of Education). The District has continued to make concessions with proposals that stretch as far as humanly possible to reach an agreement. At the same time, union leadership continues to demand more money and move away from the tentative agreement that the ATA negotiating team agreed to on January 31, 2014. The District is saddened that the union will place kids in the middle of an adult dispute. Nearly as troubling is the fact that there are many caring and dedicated Alpine teachers that want to continue to teach that are being bullied by the union to strike.
Effective and inspirational teachers are priceless and deserve more than the most lucrative professions provide. However, public school teachers are funded via tax dollars and there is a limit to our ability to compensate them.
The District’s proposal today ensures that every teacher will make more in salary this year and next year than they did in salary last year. Specifically, on average teachers will make over 4% more in 2014-15 than last year. In the midst of a financial crisis caused by state cuts, declining enrollment and out of control benefit costs, this is the best the Alpine Union School District can do!
Under AUSD’s latest proposal, teachers will be paid an average $393 per day this year and $403 per day next year. Hence, AUSD teachers’ average annual salary would be $70,350 this year, and $71,700 next year. The proposal also included a District contribution toward each employee’s health benefit costs totaling $8,500. This covers complete medical, dental, and vision insurance costs for each employee. These are good salaries and benefits for any teacher in San Diego County. I have heard from many individuals from Alpine and all over the region that would be willing to work 179 days of the year for over $70,000 per year.
Click here for the details of the AUSD and ATA proposals exchanged today: http://goo.gl/PQyFkD
I can only hope that the silent majority of teachers will put a stop to the union’s pursuit of increased salaries and benefits at all costs including putting kids in the middle of the dispute with the threat of a strike.
If teachers strike, we have many hard working guest-teachers who are trying to break into the profession that will do their best to implement well-designed lesson plans that have been engineered by our amazing principals. There are over 124 credentialed guest teachers that will be here for our students.