I figure since I posted the District’s Press Release largely without comment that I should do the same with AEA’s press release. A commenter mentioned that AEA and the District met yesterday, but so far no news. So here is AEA’s press release after the impasse declaration:
ALAMEDA – The Alameda Education Association (AEA) and Alameda Unified School District jointly declared an impasse Wednesday in their contract negotiations.
The two parties started negotiations in January but have been unable to reach consensus regarding salary increases. Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) teachers are among the lowest-paid in Alameda County. They are asking for a mediator after the district presented them with a low salary increase.
“For many years Alameda teachers have been at the bottom of the pay scale in Alameda County,” said Audrey Hyman, president of the 560-member AEA. “We cannot attract and retain high-quality educators with below-market compensation levels.”
Educators are upset with the district’s new salary proposal of 0.5 percent for the current school year and 2 percent for the next school year. That would amount to only a 2.5 percent salary increase in a two-year period. The District also offered a nonrecurring payment of 2.1 percent for each of the two years, to provide temporary relief from the increase in teachers’ mandatory contributions to the state retirement system, CalSTRS.
At the end of the two years, Alameda teachers would only see an increase of 0.4 percent to their current salary levels. “AUSD teachers are entitled to a competitive wage. Without fair pay, Alameda families will continue to lose top-notch teachers to outlying districts,” Hyman said. “Our bargaining team has been working hard to try and reach a reasonable outcome for our members. We have made progress on other articles of the contract but have been unable to come to a mutual agreement regarding compensation.”
Teachers are asking for a 5 percent salary increase and for the district to cover the mandatory 2.1 percent increase to retirement contributions to bring AUSD salaries in line with surrounding districts.
“Over the past 5 years, the district has continuously forecasted budget deficits, yet at the end of each year, they have millions in unanticipated revenue. They have had a 23 percent increase in annual revenues over this time. We believe that it’s time to change the budgeting priorities and put employees first,” said Hyman. “We need the help of an outside mediator to try and find resolution and reach a settlement agreement.”
There are graphs that exist somewhere on the Facebook that compares salaries for Alameda teachers as compared to other Alameda County teachers, but I’ll have to track that down.