Tuesday, June 17 marked yet another installment in a long standing dispute between members of the Temecula Valley Educators Association (TVEA) and members of the Temecula Valley Unified School District Board of Trustees. The two groups once again faced off during a school board meeting.
Tensions have been rising over proposed retroactive salary increase of one percent for Temecula Valley Unified School District teachers through the end of 2014 and an increase of three percent for the rest of the 2014-2015 school year.
Many teachers deemed the proposed settlement unfair and called into question the disparity between TVUSD’s proposed raise and the settlement that already occurred between neighboring Murrieta Valley Unified School District (MVUSD) and its teachers. Teachers at that district negotiated for a four percent retroactive salary increase through the end of 2014.
But it wasn’t just the proposal itself that had teachers irked. They also cited frustration with a clause connecting salary increases to class size.
Several different meetings have taken place behind closed doors between the teacher’s union and members of the Board of Trustees but it doesn’t appear there’s been any resolution at this point in time.
Jeff Kingsberg, President-Elect for TVEA, said an agreement was not reached after the teacher’s union met with members of the board to discuss salary pay on June 12, 2014.
“TVUSD reportedly came to the negotiations with no proposal and they did not respond to TVEA’s offer,” Kingsberg said. “Our members are here tonight, along with many others who were left in the lurch, with dashed hopes and a feeling of ‘we have not been heard.’”
That offer on the part of TVEA included ensuring that class size for students in kindergarten through third grade remain at state-appointed levels and also called for a restoration of certain preparation time for teachers.
Additionally, the TVEA proposal called for a “modest” increase in compensation for the 2014-2015 school year. It wasn’t clear what figure the teacher’s union brought to the table.
Kingsberg said TVEA was looking forward to meeting with the board one last time on Thursday, June 19 in a hope of coming to a reasonable solution but it appears that a deal was not fostered during that meeting either.
The district provided a negotiations update on its website on Friday, June 20 explaining the proposal that it offered, which was ultimately met with an impasse by teachers.
The district proposal called for a three percent salary increase that would be effective as of July 1, 2014. It also made plans to foster the creation of a District Finance Committee and rescinded the district’s previous offer of capping class size in association with a salary increase.
Now the case will go before the California Public Employment Relations Board, according to TVUSD.
“The process now moves to the next legally required step which is the certification for impasse proceedings by the California Public Employment Relations Board, the agency charged with administering the collective bargaining statutes,” a district statement said.