San Luis Coastal teachers demand new contracts
February 4, 2015
San 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.