San Luis Coastal teachers demand new contracts

February 4, 2015

teacher-thumb-300x300San Luis Coastal Unified teachers attended a school board meeting Tuesday in Los Osos to protest an impasse in contract negotiations between the district and their union. [Tribune]

Nearly 300 people, mostly teachers, packed the Los Osos Middle School cafeteria to support San Luis Coastal Teachers’ Association President Paul Orton, who addressed the school board. Negotiations between the union and district have stalled over issues including pay; prep time for kindergarten through third grade teachers; and control over collaboration time for elementary school teachers, Orton said.

Teachers’ union members, who are threatening a strike if the dispute is not resolved, are currently working under a contract for the 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 school years. Last fall, they rejected a tentative agreement with the district.

In 2012 and 2013, the school board cut about $4.5 million and $4.2 million respectively in district expenses, which resulted in layoffs and cuts to programs, transportation and teacher training. In 2011-2012, teachers received a 6.6 percent raise.

Orton is one of 74 district teachers who have worked for more than 25 years and is now at the top rung of the salary ladder. The union president said his paycheck is getting smaller every year because he is stuck at the top step and health care costs are going up.

San Luis Coastal Superintendent Eric Prater said district officials are trying to have empathy but still do what is best for the long term.

Last week, Lucia Mar Unified teachers threatened a strike after district negotiators refuse to grant them a 10 percent bump in pay that they requested. Lucia Mar negotiations are currently stalled as well.


Let’s be honest, the reason they gripe is: 1) because they can, and 2) MOST are not employable outside of government.

Of course, the few that are worth their weight in gold are always held up as a shield against the light of truth trying to see what is wrong with the system, and people naturally shy away from the sacred cow that is education.

I think that is changing. We used to have four, basic “sacred cows” in this society: Police, Fire, Education, and Elderly. Mentioning any of those was basically a guaranteed “get whatever you want” proposition.

The Elderly are no longer Sacred Cows, as most of them are just 60’s radicals, and not the “greatest generation” as they once were. You either were a “go to the moon” or a “woodstock” person back then. The spoiled, gimme-gimme-gimme of the woodstock generation pretty much nailed the coffin shut on the elderly “sacred cow” status.

Next came the Police. Many circumstances and standards made it pretty easy to remove police from the “sacred cow” status; which is too bad, as most cops are decent, but there are so many bad apples from the top down in the news recently; all levels, militarization of police (to quote Obama: “We need to have a Civilian National Security Force” – sort of like the SS, I suppose).

Fire may be next on the chopping block for removal from the “sacred cow” club… although, with Common Core and the dumbing down of education (and educators) and blatant indoctrination over critical thinking that occurs in our education system is really giving the Fire Protection guys and gals a run for their money.

In the end, I hope there will not be ANY sacred cows as far as taxes, fees, regulations, etc go. We need to, as a society, clearly think things through (yeah, good luck) before creating new legislation, programs, taxes, etc.