Paso Robles teachers plan protest Tuesday
April 22, 2013
A “silent rally” is planned by the Paso Robles Public Educators (PRPE) and students’ parents Tuesday at the district’s board meeting to call attention to ongoing differences with board members and Superintendent Dr. Kathleen McNamera
“Instead of raising our voices in anger and frustration, we are going to protest in silence,” said history teacher Robert Skinner, treasurer of PRPE.
Teachers in the district gave McNamara a vote of “no confidence” by a 97 percent margin earlier this year. She has initiated pay cuts and unpaid furloughs for employees for the coming budget year.
PRPE Executive Director Jim Lynett said McNamara’s current plan to cut salaries is tied to what he calls “McNamera’s projected deficit spending” in the 2014-2015 school year.
“This is in direct contradiction to Governor Brown’s budget predicting rising school funding through 2017,” Lynett said. “It’s like buying tire chains for a predicted snow storm two years from now, even though it hasn’t snowed in Paso Robles since 1986.”
Lynett said McNamara “has waged a campaign to bolster her public image.”
Next step in negotiations for officials of the district and PRPE is a process called “fact finding” on May 8 — which Lynett notes “ironically is California’s Day of the Teacher.”
The teachers’ union Tuesday activities start at 4:30 p.m., when parents, teachers, employees, and others will gather in the Paso Robles High School parking lot. They will then march along Niblick Road to the school district office for the “silent rally.” Then, petitions in support of what the union calls “a fair contract settlement” will be presented to board members.