Lucia Mar teachers threaten strike

January 28, 2015

school6Members of the Lucia Mar Unified Teachers Association packed a school board meeting Tuesday night as they rallied for an increase in pay. Many of the teachers held signs noting the show of force was a ‘dress rehearsal.”

After the district received a $6.6 increase in state funding to its $80 million budget, teachers asked for a 10 percent pay increase.

However, district officials said the first priority should be to fund tutors and services for disadvantaged students at a cost of about $2.3 million. The district’s plan is to provide teachers a 2 percent pay hike at a cost of $1.3million per year while also spending money to close the pension gap and improve school programs and facilities.

The teachers association argued that teachers have gone several years without pay increases while having the greatest impact on their students. Teachers with the Lucia Mar have an average annual salary of $61,000.

Negotiations are currently stalled and both sides are scheduled to meet with an arbitrator on Feb. 27.



  1. r0y says:

    However, district officials said the first priority should be to fund tutors and services for disadvantaged students

    Basically, if one is a student in the public school system, then they are a disadvantaged student.

    Also, is that $61,000 just the pay? Or is that the pay package (insurance, retirement, paid leave/time off, etc)?

    I have no problem paying teachers more, but my only caveat is: ALL moneys taken for teacher compensation are taken from Administration salaries. Heck, eliminate a good chunk of the useless administration of these fiefdoms and use that to pay teachers. While I’m dreaming, let’s make it a merit-pay system.

    (3) 5 Total Votes - 4 up - 1 down
  2. TheOwl says:

    To all the brave teacher bashing people out here, why not grow a pair and talk to us at the next board meeting and face a teacher with all of you great wisdom about the subject. Or better yet how about just tell the football coach, or baseball coach how you feel or maybe the women’s soccer coach, I have even a better idea why not walk up a 60 year old woman who has waited over 20 years to reach that crazy $61,000 a year. You have no clue, how you just get on over to the nearest class and join in on all the fun and games, and see what’s up….?? any takers….did’t thinks so…bla bla bla

    (-7) 13 Total Votes - 3 up - 10 down
    • racket says:

      If she waited 20 years for it, she is deluded. Teachers teach for the love of teaching. If money were their prime motivator they would have chosen a career in banking, finance, prostitution, or some other endeavor that yields a high-cash return at the expense of personal satisfaction.

      (2) 10 Total Votes - 6 up - 4 down
      • achillesheal says:

        There are actually many careers that give one personal satisfaction and financial reward.

        It’s also gratifying to not have to whine about how much you are paid because you are being paid your market value rather than some arbitrarily union negotiated wage.

        (5) 9 Total Votes - 7 up - 2 down
    • agag1 says:

      Owl, if you think everyone who works 20 years manages to earn $61K, gets summers off, three weeks vacay at Christmas, a week at Easter, plus all the other days off, etc..GUESS AGAIN!
      If you’re that unhappy, and feel like you’re taken advantage of–QUIT!

      Go find/do something that makes you happy.

      (-1) 1 Total Votes - 0 up - 1 down
  3. aft50s says:

    I saw the article in the Tribune yesterday. Can anyone answer me what does “dress rehearsal” mean – are the teachers going to put on a production at the Clark Center?

    I have no problem paying someone what they are worth, but how would the taxpayers know what teacher A is worth versus teacher B. Why should they be paid the same?

    Maybe a better way to approach teacher pay is each one makes the same base salary and end of the year testing of the students determines next years “stipend” which would be added to the base salary to reach the total compensation for that year.

    Teachers chose their profession, as did I. I am thankful we have most of them and I feel like they are dedicated and should make a good wage. My only gripe with the system is the across-the-board raises when individual performance is not taken into consideration.

    If you’re gonna go out on strike, then get on with it. That way I can plan some fishing trips with the Grandsons.

    (-1) 7 Total Votes - 3 up - 4 down
  4. guest says:

    Are they kidding me? Liberal teachers’ salaries are funded by the taxpayers, and they are complaining it isn’t enough.

    The worst yet is that liberal teacher’s unions always use union dues to fund, support, and endorse Democrats only, including Obama.

    Liberal teachers want more taxpayer money so they can engage in political bias. Am I understanding this correctly?

    (5) 11 Total Votes - 8 up - 3 down
  5. doglover says:

    Those teachers have it much better than most of the families of the kids they teach.
    They go skiing over winter break and the free lunch kids go 3 weeks without breakfast and lunch.

    The 5 cities will not be sympathetic to a strike from employees who already get a “Spring Break”.

    There are plenty of Cal Poly grads waiting for those cushy jobs.

    (10) 36 Total Votes - 23 up - 13 down
    • CentralcoastRN says:

      Are you kidding me? 2/3 of the Lucia Mar students are Obese. They aren’t missing meals. You are spamming talking points. If parents aren’t working, accessing food stamps and food banks and the PLETHORA of resources, then they aren’t doing their jobs. Have you driven by Arroyo Grande High School lately? The kids drive newer cars than the teachers and most of US. And just so you know, the reason the teachers get 3 weeks off for Winter break is because of our latino population, did you know that? Oh yes. Lucia Mar gets about $35 a kid per day. So, it is known that the month of December is pretty common for hispanics to travel to Mexico to visit family; so much so that California schools were losing out on revenue. To capitalize on capturing as much revenue as possible, schools such as the Lucia Mar Unified School District decided to add a week to Winter Break and start school a week early.

      Additionally, what does a teacher do when kids become more challenging? What do you mean, you ask? Glad you asked! Well, we have diabetic kids, we have allergic kids, gluten free kids. We have substance/drug exposed kids. We have ADD/ADHD kids. We have foster kids, mentally challenged children. We have autistic children. We have multilingual/multilcultural children. And IT IS NOT FAIR THAT ALL OF THESE PRECIOUS CHILDREN BE EXCLUDED FROM A TYPICAL CLASSROOM!

      So, this HIGHLY lazy and overpaid teacher must simultaneously teach ADHD kid, peanut allergy kid, kid that speaks 3 words of english, 28 pre-pubescent 10 year olds with no teacher’s aide or helper all 5th grade common core math. YAY. If he/she doesn’t meet the State standard with all this awesome in her class, you mean to tell me that somehow she/he was just not magical enough? Did she not have enough Ritalin blowdarts for the class?

      Central Coast teachers make about 65k a year. Mastered prepared educators. Sad. 65k does not go very far here. I don’t think the teachers are expecting a 10% raise, but you negotiate high for bargaining room. It is absolutely rediculous for the district to spend any more money on special programs for underserved populations. They keep duplicating services over and over. At some point, the parents need to become involved and take interest with their child’s education.

      At some point, we as citizens need to come together and support fellow middle class citizens. The cost of living keeps rising, and we need raises to somewhat keep up. We can’t just keep angrily grimacing at one another and holding each other back. Instead of saying “I haven’t had a raise in 5 years, so you shouldn’t either”, why aren’t we saying, “we all need costs of living to go up?” Social security goes up every year. I am sure Congress gets a nice raise. The Board of Supervisors gave themselves a nice 5% raise………

      (8) 12 Total Votes - 10 up - 2 down
  6. racket says:

    Seems like a lesson in economics is in order:

    The universities keep cranking out Teachers — there is a virtual endless supply of them. This is because caring and committed individuals want to make a difference by educating young minds.

    Until the supply of capable teachers becomes constrained, or demand for capable teachers increases, there can be no increase in price for capable teachers.

    (-1) 27 Total Votes - 13 up - 14 down
    • achillesheal says:

      There is no economics in government. People are paid based on how long they have been employed, rather than the value they bring.

      The entities for which they work do not earn revenue thus salaries are negotiated out of the clear blue sky.

      If you want to see the true economic value of a teacher, look to private school teacher salaries.

      (11) 27 Total Votes - 19 up - 8 down
  7. 3 putt says:

    The trouble here is that Lucia Mar is FAR behind other school districts in teacher pay. Accordingly, really good and effective young teachers are leaving to go to other districts. In some instances, the top pay level is a difference of over $20,000. That’s 20k of “in your pocket” money.

    To say that teachers don’t work a full year doesn’t really look at the whole picture. I know several that work 16 hour days while in session. Of course there are lazy exceptions–but they are not the rule.

    2 per cent is not enough–especially given the fact that these teachers have not had cost of living adjustments nor pay increases for YEARS.

    Who could possibly be more important than the person that teaches your child?

    (4) 36 Total Votes - 20 up - 16 down
    • info says:

      National Average (per Niche) = 46K
      Atascadero Unified = 67K
      Slo Coastal = 69 K
      Lucia Mar = 71K
      Santa Maria = 75K
      Paso Robles Unified = 75K
      Templeton = 87K

      10% raise will leave them above most districts in the area just behind Templeton. I’m thinking they want 5% so they ask 10%? Both sides can save face during negotiations.

      My vote is for year-around schooling.

      (1) 23 Total Votes - 12 up - 11 down
    • achillesheal says:

      Nobody is forcing them to teach. If there are better jobs out there that pay them their value, why not test the market?

      Most of us have never had a cost of living increase. We get incentives and raises due to performance.

      (9) 37 Total Votes - 23 up - 14 down
      • 3 putt says:

        Most, if not all, of the really great teachers have a burning passion for the job. They have a love of imparting knowledge and genuinely care about their students. They have a talent.

        They may be able to make more money selling BMW’s– but then who loses?

        Lucia Mar teachers deserve to be paid commensurate with their abilities and on a level equal to the surrounding districts. They should not be punished because they chose a noble profession,

        (0) 22 Total Votes - 11 up - 11 down
        • achillesheal says:

          All true, and they knew the projected salary for the next 20 years when they entered the profession. How is it punishment to not receive a 10% cost of living raise when the cost of living according to CPI is rising at less than 1% (debating those number is a different discussion).

          Who else in the world besides government employees gets a cost of living increase just for being there?

          (5) 17 Total Votes - 11 up - 6 down
        • achillesheal says:

          If teachers “deserve” to be paid based on their abilities then the pay shouldn’t be equal with anyone else. Each person would be evaluated and paid accordingly.

          If an excellent mother imparts knowledge and genuinely cares about her children, shouldn’t she be paid $100k/year with bennies? The only way she can be is by taking money from other people. Taxpayers have had enough of government confiscating their money to give to government employees.

          Not to mention the real point of the raise is to jack up the underfunded retirement benefits for those nearing retirement age.

          Because these wonderful teachers have a burning passion for their jobs, why do we have to pay them for the rest of their lives after they have left their jobs?

          (3) 17 Total Votes - 10 up - 7 down
          • 3 putt says:

            you most definitely have the “heel” part right.

            your response is wacky

            (-9) 15 Total Votes - 3 up - 12 down
          • 3 putt says:

            maybe you didn’t have good teachers

            (-4) 12 Total Votes - 4 up - 8 down
            • achillesheal says:

              Not at all. I loved my teachers. There is just no economic basis for them earning more money. Since you can’t argue facts and have to result to insults, you must b a liberal.

              From which branch of government do u draw your welfare check?

              (2) 8 Total Votes - 5 up - 3 down
        • surferdude says:

          Santa Maria teachers do a different job with no space and absent parent support.

          The SLO teachers get paid because they have a 20 million dollar reserve jacked up each year by the Diablo Cyn Power plant property taxes.

          How are their salaries compared to Atascadeo and Paso Robles?
          I bet similar.

          (0) 8 Total Votes - 4 up - 4 down
    • surferdude says:

      Read the article in the Tribune. They received 6.3 % in the last 2 years. Now they want 10????
      Have you seen the lack of technology?
      I have not received that kind of raise since before the recession :have you?

      (12) 28 Total Votes - 20 up - 8 down
      • doglover says:

        The full time teachers also receive $8,600 towards their medical benefits each year.

        And if they decide to retire at age 55 with at least 10 years teaching,….. Lucia Mar pays the bill for 10 more years of medical benefits until they roll onto Medicare. (That’s another $86,000 gift to retire!)

        This year they are promised at least 50% of their highest salary as a bonus if they retire ( if they can convince at least 40 of their friends to join them)

        I wish someone would pay me to quit my job!
        (Oops! Steve Adams was paid to quit his job too!)

        It’s like the measles – catching!

        (4) 12 Total Votes - 8 up - 4 down
    • surferdude says:

      They have has a pay increase for the last two years says the article.
      And they recieve step and column no matter what. I call that a raise!
      If your pay goes up, that’s a raise.

      (6) 12 Total Votes - 9 up - 3 down
    • OnTheOtherHand says:

      3 putt: Your figures for pay differentials are way different than those “info” quotes in response and both are different than the ones “surferdude” says were in the Tribune. Does anyone have sources for their figures so that we can figure out whose are current and accurate? (I don’t consider the Tribune an accurate source unless they got the figures from someplace that is.)

      (4) 6 Total Votes - 5 up - 1 down
      • surferdude says:

        I bet the California dept of Ed has all the data

        (1) 5 Total Votes - 3 up - 2 down
  8. info says:

    If Lucia Mar teachers worked through summer, Christmas, Spring Break, and Thanksgiving break – they would average roughly $81,333 a year. That’s assuming 10 sick days, 10 paid vacation days, and 13 paid holidays (industry std for government).

    Is this an reasonable average salary for a Bachelors degree with a teaching credential? How about if a 2% increase plus securing some of the pension liabilities?

    They turned this down? I find that interesting.

    (6) 26 Total Votes - 16 up - 10 down
    • surferdude says:

      They could have $100 a month more if they did not pay their Teachers Association dues.

      For a thirty year teacher, that is 30 grand. What a waste!

      (14) 30 Total Votes - 22 up - 8 down
  9. agag1 says:

    Teachers aren’t the only workers to go years without a raise.
    They have great benefits and don’t work a full year.
    If the increased funding is going to improve facilities,
    and lift up the disadvantaged students,
    they’re lucky there’s anything left over at all.

    (5) 29 Total Votes - 17 up - 12 down

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