Sunday, March 25, 2007

What Does the District Hope to Accomplish?

For nearly two years, the YCJUSD has been working hard to ensure that its teachers are the lowest paid in the region. The Second Interim financial report filed by the district lists a 1.2 million dollar increase in the legal fees and consulting budget (this is an increase above the previously budgeted amount). A 1.2 million dollar expenditure is approximately a 4% raise for every district employee. So, since saving money is not the goal, we ask what is the goal of this decision? The money just budgeted for attorneys to fight on the district's behalf could have funded a full COLA raise for district employees, plus continuation of district health and welfare benefits. Instead of attempting to repair the damage done by an increasingly large gap between Yucaipa salaries and other local districts, our district seems bent on "winning". Perhaps our board and district administration would do well to familiarize themselves with the concept of a Pyrrhic Victory. Sometimes, even when you win, you lose.

591 Days Without a Settlement!

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well said, I can't imagine why this is continuing. I heard that the board really believes we are highly paid. I'm honestly at the point where I'm just sad about all of this. Don't get me wrong, I'm still going to fight about it, but it's not a game, it's my financial and professional life at stake.

Anonymous said...

A historical quote:

Plutarch relates in a report by Dionysius:

... and, it is said, Pyrrhus replied to one that gave him joy of his victory that one more such victory would utterly undo him. For he had lost a great part of the forces he brought with him, and almost all his particular friends and principal commanders; there were no others there to make recruits...

True over 2000 years ago, and true today!

Anonymous said...

The decision making of this district is a tragedy. It breaks my heart to consider leaving, but that is what I am doing. Unfortunately, other district's hiring decisions will be completed long before the fact-finding date, and so most of us who have the ability to look elsewhere will probably already have made committments.

High on my list of reasons why I will leave is the fact that I can see no reason to hope that things will improve in the future. The current leadership of both board and district give me no hope. If we look backwards, we will recall that the LAST contract didn't settled until February, and remained in effect for only four months. So, in effect, this battle has been ongoing without more than a four month pause for THREE years, not two! How can anyone assume that the future will be any different?

Our negotiators deserve our gratitude for persistently trying to deal with these people for three years now, when the only goal of YCJUSD has been to make sure that teachers receive as little as possible.

They run this district as if it were a business, and profit was the motive. Newsflash for the board......these are schools we are talking about, and the state money is MEANT to be spent, not hoarded! It is a crime, and like all the rest (the Mesa View fiasco, the artificial turf, board members violating the Brown Act) nobody will ever be held accountable.

What a travesty. Like hopefully everyone else, my resolve remains strong, and we need to stand together. However, inside of me is growing a sense of pity for my colleagues who for whatever reason can't leave this place.

None of us expected to become wealthy by teaching public school, but we should at least be able to count job satisfaction as part of our reward. Working for these people leaves me with an opposite emotion.

Peace to all.....I wish everyone a restful spring break.

Anonymous said...

How many ways can you spell toxic environment?

InterviewTrail said...

Regarding the opinion piece written in the News-Mirror on 3/29: Let me get this straight, the author of this piece went to the District's website to "research" the conflict between YCEA and YCJUSD and found information that supported the District's position. Wow, what a surprise! With an additional 1.2 million available to pay its consultants and attorneys, I guess we can look forward to more of these sorts of "research" projects. My own "research" has shown that I can make more money at any local district (except Beaumont) EVEN WITH the offer on the table. Also, the 9% offer the author references is total compensation only, the 6.5% figure stated by YCEA deducts known benefit costs. Wake up Yucaipa!

On my way out said...

Interview trail has a good point. Community members are starting to look at the district's web site and they're finding information that says the district is correct. One would expect the district to put their information on their web site. I also know that I can go to any other district (except Beaumont as well) and make more money and maintain my benefits. Here's the catch, if I went to Corona-Norco I would make $13,000 more per year (that includes YCJUSD's 9% total compensation offer with 6.5% going to salary and the rest to benefits). Now, I have to pay about $5,000 in benefits costs in Corona, that's still $8,000 more per year. I won't list all the other district salary and benefits comparisons but suffice it to say that I make more money in total compensation or salary it doesn't matter how I compare it YCJUSD is always lower. Now I know a certain older Board member who will say, "then go work there." OK, I will! I'll be interviewing soon.

Anonymous said...

I just read the opinion piece in the News-Mirror, and I have come to a sad realization: If the community feels about teachers the way that the News-Mirror portrays it, our cause is lost. Without community support, it is probably in the best interest of every qualified teacher in Yucaipa to start looking for other employment. Despite the Board's attempts at portraying us as highly paid, the simple fact is that anyone with less than twelve years of experience can probably go anywhere else in the area and make more money. Further, the working conditions in Yucaipa continue to swing toward less and less respect for teachers, and more power for administration. So to Yucaipa I say: Ignore us, and we will go away!

Anonymous said...

With Big Bear voting in their new contract earlier this week, we are now the only district in the area still haggling over 05-06. Our new hiring slogan could be "Come to Yucaipa and enjoy life on the bottom!"

Anonymous said...

I think it is worthwhile to note that we have friends among the site administration, probably from many if not most sites. After bumping into an administrator over the past couple of days (during break) in a casual atmosphere, this person indicated a great deal of sympathy with the teacher's cause, and the plight of the district in general.

This person also indicated a widespread agreement with this point of view amongst other administrators.

The lesson? They are frustrated too, but don't have the protection that we do. Good to remember that our site leaders are rational people too, and although they are agents of the "dark side" in a sense, doesn't mean that they've gone over, they still remember the "light side" and the way things were not so many years ago.

Anonymous said...

yes - most site ad. people are pro teacher. A few are really against teachers. I often wish that principals and AP could have tenure or due process- they must do wht the big bosses say or they get the ax. The big DO bosses dish out the orders and want the site leaders to ax teachers or zero in on a few teachers - to teach all the teachers a lesson. One site princal was told if you do not write up that teacher I will write you up and put you on an assistance plan. That principal left the district later. The pressure was too much.

Anonymous said...

Another lesson from Nazi Germany: Shoot a few dissidents and the rest fall into line. At least our current district management understand how best to motivate people - NOT! As for site administrators who are not pro-teacher, the enjoy the full support of those who guide their every move!

Anonymous said...

The worse a site administrator treats teachers, the more popular they are.

The more distrusted a principal is by their staff, the more the district respects the work they do.

What does this tell us about our employers?

Anonymous said...

Nice of the district to spend more taxpayer money on their simpering letter to teachers I received this week. A third grader can see that the salary I earn in Yucaipa is still far below what I would make in any other nearby district. Guess the Board is still working hard to spend the 1.2 million additional that they budgeted for their attorneys, even while I am enjoying a much deserved break. Oh, and how is it that they can calculate my estimated salary for this letter, yet it will take months for them to figure out my retro pay if and when this B**lsh*t is finished?

Anonymous said...

That's for sure. It will take ages to get that retro check if and when it comes.

Get ready for the set up for next year's negotiations! I'm sure it will be much more agreeable than the last three years.