Sunday, May 15, 2011

Teacher Compensation

I have heard from many community members regarding the comments of the LATA recently published in the Town Crier. In an interview with the paper, the head of the union proposed some specific terms that the teachers "could afford".

I have been chastised in the past by the LATA leadership for what they perceived as "bargaining away from the table". In negotiations with public employees, there are restrictions about what can be said outside of the negotiation sessions. During the parcel tax campaign, it would have been beneficial to have talked publicly about some of the concepts we were discussing with our employees. Due to the confidential nature of those discussions, though, we did not. It is simply too difficult when the negotiation process is conducted in public.

I want to say simply that we are not done with this process. As a Trustee, I have spoken repeatedly about the need to bring employee benefits in line with what we see in private industry. We passed the parcel tax with the underlying message that all groups would do their part. Parents contribute through LAEF and PTA donations. The community supports the schools through two parcel taxes in addition to our property taxes. We expect that our employees will help make the district successful through meaningful changes to compensation that help reduce the structural imbalance we have.

I want to reassure community members that this dialogue is not over yet. We are not yet where we need to be.

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