Rallies spur as teachers protest retroactive salary pay, class size increase

Video by JP Raineri


Teachers from schools all over Temecula Valley Unified School District (TVUSD) rallied with picket signs in hand before discussing their specific concerns with a proposed pay raise with TVUSD’s board members during a school board meeting that took place Tuesday, June 3.

Tensions have been rising between the Temecula Valley Educators Association (TVEA) and the district for several weeks now following the proposal for a retroactive salary increase for teachers that would raise their salaries by one percent through the end of 2014 and three percent for the 2014-2015 school year.

Some educators cited Murrieta Valley Unified School District as an example when describing the proposed settlement as unfair. Teachers within that district have negotiated for a four percent retroactive salary increase until the end of 2014 and are still negotiating for the 2014-2015 school year.

Additionally, some teachers were upset that class size was being tied to their salary increase; they said it was unfair for the district to ask them to increase class sizes in exchange for more money when a reduction in quality of education could be the result.

TVEA’s president elect, Jeff Kingsberg, opened the meeting’s public comments to a round of thunderous applause from many of the teachers and classified technicians that work within the district.

Kingsberg spoke of the proposal that recently came to a vote. He said 64 percent of teacher’s union members voted against the proposed salary increase and added that if political pundits were drawing analysis, two conclusions would be drawn; one would be that voter turnout was high, and the other would be that those voters rejected the proposal in a landslide.

The president elect cited a lack of cooperation between district officials and members of the teachers union as a reason for the rejection of the proposal and the current rallies. He challenged Superintendent of Schools Timothy Ritter to help change the current situation.

“Superintendent Ritter we are counting on you to show us the leadership that many of us over the years have come to expect,” Kingsberg said. “It is time for you to demand that your business and accounting departments, under the direction of Lori Ordway-Peck, review the parameters of the local control funding formula and clarify that TVUSD is receiving millions of new dollars in 2014-21015.”

Teachers, library specialists and parents all took the stage to express their frustration with the district. Many of those individuals repeatedly expressed that a lack of cooperation, lack of clarity and a lack of respect for the teachers was to blame.

Anne McNulty, former president for TVEA, said she’s seen a noticeable transition from a district and board that were willing to work with teachers to ones that have been unclear and unwilling to tackle tough problems hand in hand with teachers.

She said that in order to come to reasonable solutions and reasonable deals, the district must be prepared to work with the teachers like they did in days past.

“You knew times would get better because we were working together,” she said.

During the meeting applause was often boisterous and members of the audience shouted in agreement with many of the speakers, causing TVUSD Board President Vince O’Neal to slam his gavel down hard in frustration.

Outside members of the teachers union who could not enter the building due to a lack of seating stood close to the windows with their signs in hand. Some of the teachers pressed those signs into the windows and continued to picket outside as the meeting continued.

Though the meeting was expected to last until later in the evening, many of the teachers left at the conclusion of the public comments shortly before 7:30 p.m.

It’s not clear at this time when the district might strike a deal with the teacher’s union, but it is clear that Kingsberg and his fellow teachers don’t intend to back down any time soon.

“We’d like to welcome you to a new era of TVEA leadership,” he said during the meeting. “The members of TVEA are looking forward to working with you to achieve a fair settlement.”

11 Responses to "Rallies spur as teachers protest retroactive salary pay, class size increase"

  1. Stacy Swenck   June 4, 2014 at 7:07 pm

    Please check your facts about the raise Murrieta teachers are receiving. It is a well-deserved 4%, not 3%.

    EDITOR’S NOTE: We are verifying this information. Thank you.

  2. Fair Settlement   June 4, 2014 at 8:52 pm

    Some students can’t spell school. Give them the raise they want and then require them to teach.

  3. Poor Guys   June 5, 2014 at 4:59 am

    Hmmm, "concerns about a specific pay raise" and "retroactive salary increase" . I’ve never heard those words at my job, if I did I’d be thrilled!!

  4. Reality Checker   June 5, 2014 at 12:54 pm

    The big question is, what’s reasonable for a teacher’s compensation? And who makes that decision? Sounds like, at least to me reading this article, "fair compensation" is whatever amount the teachers want, and the Union is the one that makes the decision based on teacher input.
    This is dirty, rotten, and greedy. You can clearly see how ugly people can get. Translations: "in order to come to reasonable solutions and reasonable deals, the district must be prepared to work with the teachers like they did in days past." -That means the district should cave on every demand, no questions asked.
    You want to see the worst side of people? Go to one of these meetings, where the teachers think they are ruling class, they behave in a high-minded, better-than-thou, elitist manner and feel absolutely entitled to whatever they want. They demand it. They don’t negotiate for it, they demand it and when the district doesn’t immediately cave, the union blasts them for "not working with teachers, and don’t forget it’s all for the children".
    Who stands up with a straight face and demands retro-active pay raises? WTH? Excuse me!! Your GREED is showing!! Teachers have a hard job. It’s true. BUT WHO DOESN’T???!!! Walk in to your bosses office demanding that crap in the private sector and see what happens!
    What does a teacher here make anyway? It’s time teachers quit demanding to get paid like rock stars, time for them to learn to work in adequate facilities (not in grand palaces fit for kings that we have paid through the nose for), and to check their arrogant ego’s at the door. It’s time for teachers to be reminded that their job is no more or less important than anyone else and they should not make demands and do NOT deserve special compensation for what they do. Their compensation and benefits should fall in line with everyone else in private sector employment. Just because teachers are public employees does not make them "special" and deserving or entitled to diddley squat!

  5. seen this before   June 5, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    We’ve been in the valley for several years and have seen this many times. The Temecula teachers reference that Murrieta received a raise last year. Temecula gets their raise and then the next year Elsinore teachers say look what Temecula got. Then the next year Murrieta complains that Elsinore got a certain amount and they want at least equal. Then it starts over again with Temecula wanting what Murrieta got. The problem is that the teaching doesn’t change or improve.

  6. True Reality   June 5, 2014 at 7:28 pm

    Its always amazing to me to see people who know little or nothing about given situations jump right in and act like an expert. The teachers of TVUSD have been working with the district for the past two years trying to reach an agreement. To call us greedy and dirty is more than an insult but its unforgivable. How dare you sit there in your armchair and question what it is that we do for your children. The scores of the TVUSD are higher than any other district in the valley and one of the highest in the state. We have been for the past 10 years and will continue to be in the future. Our teachers are dedicated and hard working. If you think you can do a better job then by all means go out and get your teaching credential and step into the classroom. Otherwise, make sure you know what you

  7. KUDOS TO TRUE REALITY   June 5, 2014 at 7:57 pm


  8. True True Reality   June 6, 2014 at 6:41 am

    True reality’s reality is a unique perspective. Look at the test scores of the students and what is taught. There is true reality and then there are test scores. CCR provides a valuable service and your efforts to demean them speaks of a sense of entitlement because you think you are more valuable. News flash, you’re not. In my opinion, CCR does a better job than TVUSD.

  9. Reality Checker   June 6, 2014 at 10:34 am

    No public employee is more entitled than a private sector employee. Your not special. Youre not automatically entitled to pay raises or benefits just because. Your no different than anyone else, except in your own mind. California spends three times what it should to educate the kids, and teacher beneits are part of the problem, exaserbated by teacher and union goon attitudes. No, your not special, so get off your high horse and get a grip on reality.

  10. Reality Checker   June 6, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    Notice what the sign held up in the photo says: "Your kids deserve better". WTH? What a farce. Are the kids getting a pay raise? Is a penny more going to make it to an actual classroom? Nope.. Just sayin’

  11. Concerned   June 8, 2014 at 6:54 pm

    I truly believe that the parents of children in the Temecula Valley Unified School District value teachers and the education their children receive. Teachers have not received a cost of living increase in the past 8 years. That does not seem fair since the district has reclassified administrative employees repeatedly providing them raises.

    I hope the parents of this valley will come out and support the teachers’ efforts to keep the state class size reduction formula in place where each year over the next 7 years class sizes will be reduced by 12% concluding with Transitional Kindergarten through 3rd grade at an average of 1 teacher to 24 students. The Tentative Agreement that was voted down would have firmly put in place a class size average for these grades of 1 teacher to 27 students. No other district in Riverside nor San Bernardino Counties has even considered setting aside the state formula for class size reduction.

    Please, those of you that have comments about this need to think about this from a long term point of view. This tentative agreement was voted down because it was not good for students, parents, nor teachers. It was the worst offer made to any teachers’ union in all of Riverside and San Bernardino County.

    The district will be hiring new teachers as the district grows and when class sizes reduce. If Temecula has the worst pay scale in the area the best new teacher candidates will go elsewhere. To keep Temecula Valley Unified School District at the top they must be able to hire qualified candidates and retain math and science teachers that could easily go elsewhere. We do not need to lose teachers and we do not need to be a less desirable district to work for.

    Support you local teachers, please. The quality of education in the valley is at risk, the quality of education is at risk, and the quality of the community is at risk. The first thing parents look for in a community is the quality of the school district. Support teachers and keep Temecula a quality city.


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