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PAEA - Palo Alto Educators Association

We believe that the district can afford the salary increases from other areas of the budget that are ongoing funding, not from the reserves. 

 

We have seen an increase in reserves over the last 10 years due to the fact that the district is not spending its funds in other areas of the budget. So, for example, this year, they are projecting they are not going to spend $20 million from the general fund, which will go straight into the reserves as part of increasing that area of the budget. So we are sharing our concern with the reserves not just because we believe it should be decreased, as we are not a bank, but an educational public institution, and that money should be used on our students, but also because this practice is not a good practice. We believe we need to have a strong reserve, but they have crossed the line where they have over 37% of their budget in reserves. We believe that they can afford the salary increases from other areas of the budget that are ongoing funding, not from the reserves. The budget is a set of values and priorities and we believe that they need to bring back their investment levels on teachers the way that they used to be just a few years ago. For example just four years ago the district was investing a larger percentage of its budget in the salaries and benefits of teachers. Over the last three years they have decrease that in comparison to the total revenue coming in, which keeps growing. Yet in that same time period, they have increased the percentage of the budget that goes to the salary and benefits of administrators by about the same percentage of the decrease for educators. 

Thank you for your support.

 

                   (Click on picture for the slide deck)

 

 

 

PAEA Rally - 4/23/24

 

 

Negotiations Update 
3/29/24


Dear PAEA Members,

We are writing to inform you that your Negotiations Team and the district have decided to jointly file for impasse with the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB).

This decision was made after our tireless and good faith efforts to collaborate with the district to find ways to help all of our students succeed by recruiting and retaining the best teachers and creating safe learning environments at our schools. 

The district continues to reject our compensation proposals by claiming they are too expensive. However, we are fortunate to work in a district that has $135 million in reserves ($100 million more than what they are required) and continues to increase their revenue through healthy property taxes. 

Now that we have declared impasse, it is absolutely imperative we stand unified and we organize! The strength of our collective voice and organization is our greatest asset. By fostering relationships, maintaining a single message, and taking decisive actions alongside our community, we will show the district why our solutions serve students best.

Our first step after spring break is to attend a general membership meeting on April 11th at 5:00 pm over Zoom. Please put it on your calendar and continue to check your email for updates.

Thank you for your continued commitment, dedication, and trust.

In solidarity,

Your Executive Board and Negotiations Team

 

 

Negotiations Update 3-18-24

 

Below is a quick update from our negotiations on March 18th, 2024. Thank you for all the support. We must continue to build our pressure to ensure that the district responds to the needs we have brought to the table.

The District’s current monetary reserves is more than $100 million above as required by state law and board policy. Their budget is also incredibly healthy and they find funds for the things the cabinet staff believes to be important. In our latest counterproposal, PAEA continues to be adamant that the District should use those funds and prioritize their budget to hire and retain the best teachers and staff members for our students.

 

At the end of the communication, you can find a summary of all proposals and counter proposals so far on compensation and a summary of economic and budget figures guiding our work.
 

Compensation and Benefits (Article VI & Appendix H)

On March 18, PAEA presented this counter proposal for compensation:
 

23-24: 5.5% on-schedule increase, 5.5% increase for Appendix H

24-25: 5% on-schedule increase, 5% increase for Appendix H, PAEA’s restructuring plan (30 steps to 23 steps), and a 2% off-schedule bonus members at Step 30 in 24-25

 

The District responded with this counterproposal:

 

23-24: 3.5% on-schedule increase, 2% off-schedule bonus, 0% increase for Appendix H

24-25: 2% on-schedule increase, 2% off-schedule bonus, 0% increase for Appendix H, District’s restructuring plan (30 steps to 27 steps) which would affect newer members

 

Working Conditions (Article XIII): Since our last update, the District presented two counterproposals for this article. In between the two, PAEA presented one counterproposal.

 

PAEA is profoundly disappointed the District reneged on two agreements, one that would add back a Case Management Release Period to Education Specialists and one that guarantees members can get assistance from a site’s Safety Care Team if a student is displaying unsafe behavior. They said the whole team was not there to review the counter proposal and they forgot to strike those sections out. The District’s actions delay getting additional support for our most vulnerable students and make it more difficult to create safe learning environments at our schools.

 

MOU – Special Education Support: PAEA and the District are working on an MOU to help decrease the clerical and administrative work of our Education Specialists.

 

The MOU consists of three major components:

Duties Program Specialists will take on to support Education Specialists

Providing a release period to secondary special education ILsStaffing sufficient Program Specialist positions

 

Class Size (Article IX): Both sides reached a Tentative Agreement (TA) on changes to this article

 

Evaluations  (Article X): Both sides reached a Tentative Agreement (TA) on changes to this article

 

MOU – Subbing/Covering Classes: PAEA and the District reached a Tentative Agreement that will make sure taking additional students during instructional time is optional, and that teachers who do so will be compensated. This MOU will last until the end of the school year, after which it will be written into our contract.

 

Compensation and Benefits Summary

 

Economic and Budget Background


As of January 31, 2024, the district has more than $135 million dollars in reserves, equivalent to a 42.7% reserve of their total expenditures. By state law and board policy, it only needs to maintain a 10% reserve. 


The District creates budgets assuming property tax will grow 2% annually. However, in the last 11 years, the annual growth rate has never dropped below 4%. During that time frame, it has grown 6.9%, on average.


The table below summarizes the salary increases over the last three years and scaled ending fund balances for our district and comparable ones. Remember, we haven’t settled for this year, so that isn’t factored in as it is for the others.


 
 
 

 

  Negotiations Update 3-1-24

 

Negotiations Update 2-12-24

 

Negotiations Update 1-22-24

 

Compensation and Benefits (Article VI & Appendix H): Today, the District responded to our salary proposal with a 2% on-schedule increase and a 1% off-schedule payment for 2023-2024.  They proposed the same numbers for the 2024-2025 school year. They also proposed an alternate restructuring of the salary scale that solely focused on new hires by removing the first two columns and first two steps. The District management feels strongly that their priority is new hires and that teacher retention is not something the district struggles with at this time. We were disheartened by this first salary proposal from management. It does not keep pace with inflation and fails to recognize the financial reality that many of our educators are experiencing in this high cost-of-living area during  an inflationary period.

 

 

 

Our counter-offer was a request for 6% on-schedule this year, with an additional 2% off-schedule bonus paid out to members who will not immediately benefit from the salary restructuring. We proposed 5% on-schedule for next year with 1% one time off schedule and trigger language for excess property taxes above the projection used in the budget. We are also continuing our efforts to restructure the salary schedule over two years instead of all at once. Our rationale for this restructuring is to provide a faster path to maximum salary - you will reach the maximum in 20 years instead of 30 years under our current proposal. This has a positive impact on your retirement benefits and total lifetime earnings. For teachers in the first years of their careers, our proposal also contains an increase in starting salaries AND the elimination of the “0” and “15” credits column. We’re planning on creating a video soon that will give you a better idea of what this proposed salary restructure means for you.

Class Size (Article IX): The negotiations team is deeply committed to supporting our Special Educators. We continued that today when we proposed (for the second time) language that would limit case management loads.  In addition, we proposed tightening language around class size limits, with generous remediation that would be paid directly to teachers on a quarterly basis.

Evaluations (Article X): Both sides are close to finalizing language that will add piloted evaluation options into the contract as well as formalize staff assessment of administrative performance.

MOU for Covering Classes: PAEA and the District are close to finalizing an MOU ensuring all teachers will not be compelled to receive students from other classes during their regular instructional or prep time. If they choose to help, the MOU will make sure they are compensated.

Working Conditions (Article XIII): PAEA is continuing to receive input regarding the needs of our members in order to draft a proposal for this article.

You can see all of the actual proposal language on the Negotiations 2023-24 tab

 
Negotiations Update 12-11-23
 
Comp & Benefits: On 10-16-23 PAEA proposed a restructure of the salary schedule eliminating some steps so that there is a total of 22 steps instead of 30. We also proposed an 8% raise. For health benefits, we proposed to make the MOU language permanent and have the district cover 100% for an individual plan and 90% for the tiered plus one and family plans. This has been how the contributions have ended up working out for many years. (see proposal on the Negotiations tab) 
 
Class Size: PAEA proposed making the average class sizes in the contract actual maximum caps. We also proposed language for Special Ed and Related Services caseload maximums. Both of these allow for educators to give more individualize attention to all of the students in their classes. It will help all students but especially those falling below the benchmarks and our full-inclusion students. Since there have been more combination grade classes (with the exception of the Ohlone School model), PAEA proposed that educators need to agree to teach these classes and if they do, they will be paid 120% for the year. Educators who are instructed to teach a combo class have to teach 2 full grade levels at the same time. It is double the work, prep, and evaluation. (see proposal on the Negotiations Tab).
 
Evaluatons: See the previous updates sent to members. All proposals and counters are on the Negotiations Tab.
 
 
 
About Us
 
The Palo Alto Educators Association is the exclusive representative of the certificated employees of the Palo Alto Unified School District.  We have around 900 members and are affiliated with the California Teachers Association (CTA) and the National Educators Association (NEA). As an association, we are dedicated to ensuring the best possible achievement, both academic and social/emotional, of our students.  We represent the rights and working conditions of our members and therefore, the learning conditions of students.

 

Who Is the Teachers Union?

97% of the eligible educators in PAUSD are members of PAEA. Role of the union: When the union takes a position, it comes from our membership. As union leaders, we are proud to speak on their behalf to share their insights and concerns.

 

 

PAEA and CTA Elections

 

 

 

 

PAEA Letter to PAUSD Board of Ed Member Collins

 

 

 

 

 

PAEA Educators supporting their Negotiations Team

 

 

 
    
 
  
 
  
 
 
PAEA - Palo Alto Educators Association
 
The Palo Alto Educators Association is the exclusive representative of the certificated employees of the Palo Alto Unified School District.  We have around 900 members and are affiliated with the California Teachers Association (CTA) and the National Educators Association (NEA). 
 

As an association, we are dedicated to ensuring the best possible achievement, both academic and social/emotional, of our students.  We represent the rights and working conditions of our members and therefore, the learning conditions of students.

Who Is the Teachers Union?

97% of the eligible educators in PAUSD are members of PAEA. Role of the union: When the union takes a position, it comes from our membership. As union leaders, we are proud to speak on their behalf to share their insights and concerns.