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.


If we really cared about our students, we would do away with the teachers union and create a students union. A union that is dedicated to improving the education of students – not improving the lifestyle of teachers.

If any teacher is dissatisfied with how much they make – quit! Go get a different job that pays more. This is how most of us move up. This would make room for all of the young teachers that are looking for jobs. Now we all know that they won’t do that because most of them have a great deal going, especially when they can coerce continual pay raises and benefits.


Sadly, too many good teachers are quitting. In California we have an attrition rate of over 30% in the first five years of joining the profession. The majority of new teachers leaving education cite poor working conditions and low pay. The myth of summers “off” to take a second job is part of the problem as public perception of what the job really requires (working many weeks over summer for no pay, paying to continue education and stay eligible to teach, and outrageous hours during the school year) contributes to the problem of educator attrition.


I am a business man, I charge what the market will bear for my goods and services. If I charge too much I lose business. If I give a better service I can charge a little more. If I contact other businesses in my field and suggest we all raise our prices across the board the government will prosecute me under anti-trust rules or price fixing or some other regulatory rule. But my costs have all risen mainly due to the government taxing everything substantially more than they used to. So how is it fair for you to hold us hostage for more money and the same strategy for me is illegal. I say for the amount of work you do, the job security and benefit package you are adequately paid. There are a lot of younger teachers who are willing to do your job at a much lower rate.


As a person who has run a business, I have to say I don’t believe all the stuff you’re slinging; yes, price fixing is illegal, so don’t go there.

“But my costs have all risen mainly due to the government taxing everything substantially more than they used to.”

First, I doubt that all your costs have risen, but I do realize it is somewhat possible. Second, I seriously doubt that the only reason that your costs have risen is due to increased taxes. If you count on having goods delivered to you via shipping services like FedEx or UPS, fuel costs have actually gone down over the last few months, and gas taxes haven’t been raised in a couple of decades. Perhaps you deal with goods made overseas; import tariffs haven’t been raised for a very long time either. Maybe you have to comply with government regulations because you either service or sell to a governmental agency; unless you are taking out permits to build or construct, there is a very small likelihood that you are seeing any increases in dealing with a government agency. Perhaps some of your costs have risen because it is due to the “free enterprise” system and your suppliers are passing on cost increases to you.

In the reporting, it mentions some cost cutting practices the school district enacted; ever notice how a school district implements cost cutting measures only on the schools themselves, never on the costs associated with the administration? How many times have district personal received cost-of-living increases, how many times do the head honchos get their healthcare costs covered completely, vehicles furnished at no cost to them, and other perks that are never even considered when it comes time to “tighten the belt”?


since the early 90’s police and teachers have been unionizing raising their salary, benefit, and pension packages from lower to middle class to what is an upper middle class pay package in today’s environment.

AND now they WANT MORE!

Look up any active or retired civil servant’s pay or pension on Transparent California and see if you have any sympathy for these AZZ HATS.

Outta control pay and pensions are now the norm.


How is Mr Orton’s situation any different from the rest of us out here?

Who do we go cry to when our costs go up,

or the government creates yet another permit or fee for our business to pay

in order to be in compliance?

Welcome to the club.


What…..? It is so inexpensive to live here!


I’m so glad to see the Hispanic community stepping up to the plate here and helping fund these needed raises. For many, many years, the “English as a second language” learners have stressed our communities resources and lowered our school’s overall ranking in the USA. Finally, realizing the costs associated with all the special treatment, the Hispanic’s have formed an alliance to contribute to the overall success of our programs and our teachers. The alliance realized that “undocumented” residents don’t file or pay income taxes, don’t contribute to state tax rolls, and don’t often have the infrastructure (insurance, investments, property, etc.) that others in our community have . Bridging this gap with contributions was a brilliant idea. The millions raised from this alliance will really help.

Thank you for helping us all be successful!


How about merit pay for teachers? Raises to the top teachers and cut the pay or fire and replace the terrible ones. Our kids would be the winners.


I agree. My son was physically removed from a classroom for chastising the “teacher” for lack of involvement and just putting in the time for retirement. Because of a new law for inner-district transfers he moved to a new school district and bloomed. Daughter did same.


Let me give you an analogy.

You are sheep herder. You will herd them so they can graze for the wealthy farmer, who will pay you generously based upon how well you care for his little flock.

You may not use a staff, as that is mean. You may speak to the sheep to guide them. It doesn’t matter they don’t speak your language, you must try harder to get them to “understand” you. Read some books, attend some seminars, rub some sheep smell on you so you know more about sheep culture. You may NOT have a sheep herding dog of any kind. There is no money in the budget for that. You may not buy special treats for the sheep, as some of the sheep may have dietary allergies.

You hope to buy a scary mask to keep the sheep in line, but P.E.T.A threw blood on you and said no fair.

You found a shady doctor to medicate the ADHD and unruly sheep, but now they are so dopey they are falling behind and the coyotes are trying to pick them off and they will not eat. They won’t look very well when they get to the farm.

Flash floods strike the land, taking with it some of the weaker sheep and those unable to get to the shore.

So, after the long journey, after the struggle, the nurturing, getting the flock there 85% strong even WITH all those limitations… are told the sheep are dirty and “unhappy”. You will get minimal pay. In your mind, you try not to get down. You know the land! Next time will be better. You know the hazards. You know how to handle the flock. It will be ok. And you will be able to traverse and teach the flock well. Only there’s just one problem. The farmer has decided that this year you will not herd sheep. You will herd Zebras. Zebras can surely be tamed with the right kind of L-O-V-E. And there will be NO fences. We don’t believe in holding talent back. Now go forth and herd!!!


where is my mute button? you are a nutter.


You may disagree with me, but it does not make me crazy. Name calling makes you sound unintelligent.

Teachers are challenged with students much different than one or two generations ago. They have larger class sizes and do not have the teacher’s aide that teachers often did back when I was in elementary school.

In addition, teachers are often made to move grades, and it is a challenge to go from teaching a grade you know and love to one you may not be accustomed. Not to mention common core.

I am not opposed to INTELLIGENT and creative discussion. I am capable of both. Are YOU?


ive seen, read, heard, and been around intelligent people for a long time. you are not it. sorry.


I used to believe that myth about teachers dealing with larger class sizes nowadays until I pulled out my old elementary school photos and counted 30 or more kids in some of my classes. And we did not have teacher’s aides. Don’t know when you went to school, but you might want to take a look at some of your old class photos. There are also stats online on this topic.


Poor analogy, go back to school


Then you try one. Educate me. I’ll wait.

While I wait, I’ll correct your grammatically incorrect sentence.

Poor analogy; go back to school.

You’re welcome.

I love a good debate.


Sounds like Orton is a casualty of the Peter Principal (“…employees only stop being promoted once they can no longer perform effectively…”).

I haven’t had a raise in 3 years and I, like Orton, have seen an increase in health insurance costs too. The difference between the two of us is I PAY ALL OF MY COSTS, while he pays a small portion.

The sense of entitlement by government employees is incredible these days.


They have a right to ASK for more pay. So do you. Why don’t you ask for more pay? Are you lazy? Don’t you deserve it?

I am not being facetitious. I am honestly curious.

It costs a LOT of money to live on the Central Coast. Even the tame Tribune wrote some article that said it costs about $31 for a family with 1 school age child and a preschooler to live on the Central Coast, and that is if one could find housing for $1200 a month.

The teachers have a right to collectively bargain. The school district can say no. The school district can also lay off teachers next year.

Why are CEOs, white collar executive, and those who abuse their positions of power, (like the City Attorney of AG) allowed to negotiate; however, middle class teachers, nurses, rank and file workers cannot without being EVIL?

Help me understand.


because money doesnt grow on trees?


The public sector thinks it does


apparently nurses do too. but medicine has become the public sector too now that medicine has been socialized.


“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.”

BaaWaa. I’m retired, on Social Security, Medicare, a pension from a former employer and savings. Yes, the tail end end of life is tough.

Man Up.

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