Lucia Mar preparing for teacher strike

March 11, 2015

teacher1The Lucia Mar Unified School District has hired a consultant to help administrators prepare for the possibility of a teacher strike.

District officials and the Lucia Mar Teachers Association are currently in a contract dispute. The district has offered teachers a two percent raise, but the union is threatening a strike if its members do not receive 10 percent pay increases.

On Tuesday night, the district board voted unanimously to hire consultant James Whitlock at a rate of $155 per hour.

“There is no positive outcome from a strike, and everyone will be losers — the community, the students and even the teachers,” board member Colleen Martin told CalCoastNews following the meeting.

Whitlock is tasked with advising district officials on staffing and security issues that would arise from a strike. District administrators say they have never before dealt with a strike.

When a strike occurs, new rules take effect. For instance, a nurse must be stationed on each campus in the district to handle allergy issues or illnesses that may arise because the teachers aware of the student’s health needs are on strike.

In attempt to resolve the contract dispute, the district has engaged in a fact-finding process and mediation with the teachers’ union. The fact-finding process is already complete, and mediation efforts have thus far failed to produce a tentative agreement.

The next mediation hearing is scheduled for March 25. If the hearing fails to produce an agreement, the fact-finding panel must release a report.

Though the district is preparing for a work stoppage, it has the power to temporarily stave of a strike. Regulations allow Lucia Mar officials to impose a settlement if they fail to reach an agreement with the teachers’ union.

The average Lucia Mar teacher currently receives an annual salary of about $61,000. Lucia Mar teachers received a 2 percent raise in 2012-2013 and a 4.3 percent bump in pay in 2013-2014.

If they receive just a 2 percent salary increase in the current round of negotiations, their pay will have jumped by more than 8 percent over the last three years.

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I am no friend of the administration, I agree they are top heavy and that needs to change, but stopping the union from raping the taxpayers has to start somewhere and if the teachers strike I would tell the admins to take a page from Ronald Reagan and how he dealt with the air traffic controllers.


You’re kidding about Reagan and the firing of the Air Traffic Controllers and doing this act today against the teachers, aren’t you?

The irony is that Ronald Reagan was president, 1947-1952, of Hollywood’s “Screen Actor’s Guild” which was a UNION. While being president of SAG, the “Gipper” staged a showdown with studio executives and won the creation of the “residual payment system” that lives today that benfitted his UNION actors! Come on, you have to laugh at the irony relative to you using the firing of PATCO members, Reagan, and the teachers Union, yes?

Then when Ronny became president of the United States, those damn Air Traffic Controllers had the audacity to ask for better working conditions which allowed more safety to their profession, more time off between shifts, FOR SAFETY OF ALL AIRLINE PASSENGERS, and yes, a higher wage for the expertise work that they did relative to airline wages that were paid to their employees. Hey, this notion sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

The “Gipper” will always be known as a puppet to the rich in this time period, and a hypocrite for fighting against the Union that gave their workers a decent wage and protections that he gave his SAG members within their Union. Can you believe a UNION that sticks up for their members if they were unfairly treated. Can you imagine that?

August 5, 1981, when President Ronald Reagan fired every member of the air traffic controllers union who’d defied his order to return to work “after only being on strike for just two days”, is the start of the killing the middle class in America. Thanks Ronny!

Ted, liberals will always love Clinton and Carter. I actually voted for Carter over Reagan (I fit Churchill’s definition – that’s the difference between young and old for all of you in Rio Linda). But when Reagan passed, I admit I shed a tear of sadness at his eloquent funeral. Don’t think that will happen when Clinton or Carter passes, sorry to say.

As far as the air traffic controllers go, that was classic. Now. Let’s say you are sitting in an airplane flying at 30,000 ft. Would you still say that it’s ok for the air traffic controllers to strike for “only two days”?


I as well had tears of sadness when Ronald Reagan passed away, because I knew that his legacy will always be known for the impetus of killing the middle class as it was known at the time. Can you share where you purchased your crystal ball in determining that no one will shed a tear for Clinton and Carter upon their demise?

As far as the PATCO employees were concerned, only half of them went out on strike at any given time. Wasn’t it just horrible that PATCO wanted more time off between stressful working hours to make sure they were wild-eyed and bushy tailed when them came to work so that those 30,000 people in the air were SAFER because of it?

“These unions need to see what the rest of us live on ……” Oh for Christ’s sake, stifle this ever so ignorant and weak talking point once and for all!

To use this cry-baby analogy in chronological order, then the SLO firefighters and police department need to see what the poor teachers live on! It’s all relative to the faction that always makes less than the other guy. Get it?

To the cry-baby whiners that felt they didn’t need to go to college for 5 years for a teaching credential, quit your belly aching because more than likely you could no more be teachers than an Astronaut! When we undervalue a profession, we also tell the next generation of bright educators they shouldn’t bother teaching. If they do, then to appease a certain jealous whining faction that doesn’t want them to make more money than they do, then they must take a vow of poverty along with the stress of a teaching profession. Remember this adage, “you get what you pay for?”

Do these same whiners of the wages paid to teachers take this same scenario into the medical field, where heart surgeons “need to see what the rest of us live on?” Oh, boo hoo. Laughable.

To all that disparage the teachers in salary wages and increases, you’re comparing apples to oranges by using the same old talking points that have been used ad infinitum by PEOPLE THAT ARE TOTALLY IGNORANT OF ALL ASPECTS OF THE TEACHING PROFESSION!

I agree with you in part but you go to the opposite extreme in your arguments. The big difference is that we all MUST pay for the wages of public employees through taxes and have no direct say in the pay and benefits bargaining. (Incidentally, I think that all public employees receive disproportionately generous benefits while few of the rank and file are grossly overpaid.) Contrast that with the surgeon or lawyer who must convince you that he/she can do you enough good to justify their pay or they don’t get anything at all.

Perhaps it is you who has no appreciation how hard some people have to work to make half of what a teacher makes. I am talking about a large percentage of the service industry as well as most of the retail sales people. You think that the waitress serving you at McClintocks or the guy installing the new retaining wall behind your house doesn’t work hard? How about the guy turning a wrench in an awkward position under your car or the gal trying to solve problems behind the customer service counter at a big retailer? Now if you want to fund these public servant pay increases by eliminating tax dodges for the wealthy or with taxes on non-productive types like hedge fund managers, go for it. If you can get either of those done, I would be fine with paying teachers more. There would be much more “trickle down” from them than those wealthy enough to tuck it away off-shore.


You forgot to proffer “subjectively” I go to the extreme in my arguments, you’re excused.

Your weak analogy of the surgeon that has to “convince you” of needing him, and for the sake of this discussion, a cardiologist, is moot because he doesn’t have to convince you too much if he is telling you that you need him or you’re going to die. In other words, for the most part, you don’t go to a cardiologist because you’re feeling good. Furthermore, you have absolutely no say in what he charges you that goes against your stated argument, period.

It seems that to appease your kind of thinking, teachers should just get minimum wage and be done with it. Your perspective seems to be, the hell with their 5 years of college, mandatory continued education, the teachers off the clock work before and after school, unpaid PTA, teachers, and parent meetings, field trips, working at home, sometimes on the weekends, putting up with large class sizes, very few aides, and for the sake of brevity, I’ll stop at these facts and leave the “plethora” of other expected unpaid work unmentioned.

In the same vein that you have no say in the wages of public employees, especially your nemesis, the teachers, since when do you have this say in what the mechanic is paid that fixes your automobile or the price of medication, doctor and emergency room visits, etc.? The list outside of the public sector that you disparage, and that you have no say in their wages too, is a long list that you have to put up with, so I’ll stop herewith to any further examples in this respect.

Relative to paying teachers out of the tax base, you should be happy to do so that allows them a decent livable wage. Seemingly contrary to your belief, education and teachers should be the number one priority that one should show respect. Personally, I thank their UNION that fights for a decent wage in our expensive area of living. Respectfully, albeit that your resentment of teachers wages is from ignorance of what their profession asks of them on a continued basis. Whereas the aforementioned work force that you’ve mentioned and their modus operandi are apples, to the oranges of the teaching profession.

To keep teachers in our high cost of living area, so they can teach the little germ wagons, you should like to pay taxes for schools, even though you may not personally have a kid in school, because you shouldn’t like living in a country with a bunch of stupid people!

I can’t believe that in 2015 you mentioned the ruse of “trickle down economics!” How’s that been doing for the past 26 years for the middle class, huh? Even Hubble can’t see this infinitesimal super microscopic “drip” that is still bantered about by the GOP right! Anyway, thanks for the laugh.

Here Here! I think that Auto mechanics should form a union just like the teachers! After all they have a specialized skill set that nobody else has and they could easily force negotiations with shop owners and dealerships, go on strike and make YOU fix your own car.

It would be the biggest boost for public transportation ever.

Be careful what you say about public employees, the other options may be worse.

Sounds like a Teachers rant who knew the pay going into the job, but wanted the sumers off.

Sorry…stop stealing the tax payers blind…. Pay for your own obamacare and then come tskn to us.

Part of the problem is administrative costs. Why is a $250,000 Superintendent necessary with a cadre of $200,000 assistant superintendents. Schools are top heavy. Any Lucia Mar taxpayer should drop by the Superintendent’s office and see the opulence there as compared to the classroom your child (and their teacher) live with each day. This is a perfect reason why all school districts in SLO should be consolidated under the County Superintendent. How can we say we are better off with 11 school boards, 11 payroll systems, 11 superintendents with their bloated staffs, and 11 of this and 11of that when one would do nicely. A consolidated SLO school district would be smaller than LA, SF, San Jose and a whole bunch of other districts. Money is going to pay for bloated administration that has nothing to do with educating students in the classroom.


You hit the nail on the head! Subjectively, unneeded administrators are draining resources that could go to classroom instruction, teacher salaries, teacher numbers, teacher aides, books, computers, etc.  These unneeded administrators are a dead loss because they not only suck up resources, but impose bureaucratic procedures that make everyone else’s job harder. Ask any teacher. 

The irony is the fact that their main job is to make teachers’ lives more difficult, as if they don’t have enough on their minds at any given time with all the new age “undisciplined little Johnnies” disrupting the classrooms.

Agreed about the ridiculous small districts. Even 3 instead of 11 would be better. North, south, SLO and the Coast.

As far as those figures… They look high.

The principal pay is barely more than a teacher. No wonder it’s hard to convince good teachers to become principals!

Does that mean the schools will be shut down during a strike? I hope so. I’m getting tired of my kids losing to Arroyo Grande. Win by forfeit is still a win.

Go Eagles!

No that is a CIF violation due to abandonment.

Every AGHS coach I know is totally dedicated.

If you want a good job with higher wages, perhaps your best bet would be to get a job as a union boss of one of the nation’s largest public-sector unions.

The head of the American Federation of Teachers, Randi Weingarten, pulled down $557,875 in total compensation in 2014, including $375,174 in straight salary, according to the latest U.S. Department of Labor report. The total includes more than $50,000 in “allowances disbursed,” and $105,000-plus for “official business.”

Robbing the taxpayers is sweet racket, a very sweet racket.


Oh my god, stop the presses right now! Randi Weingarten is only getting $ 375.000 a year? Blasphene! Thank you for pointing out this low wage for her position to Cal Coast News!

God forbid, you pick which god, Randi Weingarten is a lawyer and has an important one of a kind national executive position for a large and influential Union. Randi makes a base salary of approximately $360,000 per year. The “benefits” are within equal amounts to any other CEO making this same amount of salary with the obligations she has for her profession. It’s just unspeakable that she has to travel with fulfilling her profession, and have expenses by doing so! How dare she?!

Randi still makes a lot less than your average reality or sitcom TV star, or professional football player, who by the way gets the summer off. Once again a certain faction get’s real uncomfortable with her wage, but in turn, has absoluely no concept of what she has to do on a daily basis. The irony is that this same faction has no problem with Wall Street CEO’s that make 20 to 50 million per year as they steal your IRA and retirement accounts out from under your feet in a manipulated and foreseen economy collapse of 2008!

What kind of salary do you think Randi Weingarten should get for being the head of the Teachers Union, and that would appease you so you can sleep at night? Furthermore, what ever amount you come up with, would you work in her position with the responsibilities that she has for said amount? Yes?

Bitter-cliger comment alert..

Clinging to the public tit…and bitter when the milk runs dry.

Ted: obviously your bible doesn’t teach economics. Regarding nfl players and what they are paid: If you we’re so good at your job that 60k people would pay a lot of money to watch you work, you would make a lot of money too. Football players are a perfect example of someone being paid their value and when they are no longer of value, they are cut.

The problem with government having taken over education is that the free market does not determine the value of the employees. It is negotiated by unions vs government officials. Teachers are likely worth what they are paid in private schools, considerably less.

Achillesheal, why of course NFL players are worth their value only if your a football fan, and these million dollar players have the summer off too! These multi-millionaires are way more important to our society than the average paid teachers at $45, 000 per year.

Instead of just players, teachers are the coaches to their game, and are expected to turn every student that walks into their classroom into a star in a game where nobody is allowed to lose! Their team usually consists of 30 players playing 5 days a week, with no other coaches except themselves. In short, try running an NFL team with only one coach, 30 players on the field where every one of them is expected to play and excel at all times, and see how long the league survives. To put teaching in a football analogy, it is a far better game to play for our overall society.

Cause and effect, and that cannot be addressed in an absolute manner, is the fact that academic performance rests primarily in families, where the critical thinking, reading, and listening skills so essential to success in a high-tech economy, needs to be modeled from the earliest possible age of the child.

When parents engage in lifelong learning, their children will follow suit. There’s only so much a multi-million dollar star athlete, a multi-million dollar coach, and a $45.000 teacher can do to achieve excellence when those they are working for, or working with, do not share the same no-excuses commitment to excellence.

Their value is based on the amount of money that they earn for their employers.

Societal value has nothing to do with it. If it did, we should pay stay at home moms $1M/year, however in order to do so, the money would have to be confiscated from others as they create no revenue.

achilles heal thyself:

NFL players and other professional athlete (all of whom are unionized, by the way)

sometimes strike for higher wages as well, even though many of them are already

making multi-million dollar salaries. Why in the world would they strike? Because

they believe that they deserve a higher percentage of the revenues being generated

through THEIR blood, sweat, and tears.

Likewise, the Lucia Mar teachers are simply demanding a more equitable percentage

of the tax payer dollars that their district has ALREADY RECEIVED from the state.

So, to clarify this point, once and for all, by supporting the teachers you are NOT

supporting an increase in your taxes. You have ALREADY paid your state taxes,

which the governor/legislature have ALREADY sent to each district according

to the size and socio-economic make-up of its student population. The Lucia Mar teachers

are asking that the superintendent/school board distribute those funds more equitably,

especially since Lucia Mar teachers receive significantly lower compensation for their

exemplary work relative to their superintendent’s compensation (highest paid super in

the county) and relative to their counterparts in practically every other district on the

Central Coast. Even if Lucia Mar teachers were to receive the full 10% raise that they are

seeking, it still would not raise their salaries up to the same level of compensation being

earned by their counterparts in other districts. Jim and the school board need to

demonstrate that they value their teachers every bit as much as the superintendents

and school boards in other districts value their teachers. Money talks or the union walks.

So by your logic of comparing teachers unions to NFL Players Association, shouldn’t each teacher have to individually negotiate his/her contract based on their own merit?


Compare to Paso and Atascadero and Lucia Mar is right on.

Is sounds to me like Lucia Mar teachers want to work in Arroyo Grande and get the pay as if they are working in Santa Maria ( with school reaching 1,000 kids and NO parent support combat pay!!!)

$155 per hour is what, six teachers per hour? The high cost of administration may be part of the problem?

Sounds like both sides need to hunker down and hammer out a negotiated agreement away from the kids and the classroom.

Taking their contract negotiations to the kids and the people of this community is NOT OK! Grow up! Most of the South County voters NEVER made $60,000 EVER!

The community has worked hard to support sports and programs at the schools and we will not stand for the teachers to have a tantrum and wash it down the drain.

Grow some and settle!

$61,000 for a part-time job, no less

Whats wrong with that? Either you don’t like people negotiating a wage they want or you don’t like teachers, take your pick.

Let the tax payers and kids eat cake.

The greedy Big Union Thugs want their cash and bennies…. Community be damned.

Its time to bust the Teachers Union when this is how they treat the boss….the tax paying citizens.

Ya, because it’s all about the community! Why you sound just like a Commie.

And you must be a teacher that failed the class in sarcasm….

These unions need to see what the rest of us live on- – their benefit packages make most in the private sector drool with jealousy, or bitter with resentment.

I’m sorry, I just can not feel sorry for them.

If their total package is so great, why don’t you go to college for five years and change your occupation?

Then, the other WalMart clerks will be jealous of your salary and benefits!

Are those thumbs down from WalMart greeters?

No unlisted. They are from another greedy un-unionized company with employees with lots of tats that sells groceries and other items.

I went to college for 3 years and would welcome a raise to 60% of their current average salary right now. There are a lot of people struggling to make ends meet here on the Central Coast and not because we live in McMansions, drive Hummers or buy wine by the case every week. I made more at the peak of my career but, even then, not quite what they are getting and I had almost no paid benefits. To imply that those not making that kind of coin are ignorant losers unable to rise above Walmart clerk status is less of an insult than a simplistic view of the complexities of the life in the modern world. I say give them a 10% raise in exchange for elimination of their defined benefits retirement pay.

Those in the education establishment are often times arrogant and snobish when dealing with us general rubes that pay their salaries. You see it all the time. How dare you not respect and may me more, they chant. No pay raise no Peace.

Put me in coach, I’ll scab for a month or two at that salary! Where in the world do you grab 8% pay raises over a three year period then threaten to no show when more isn’t coming your way? Clean house.

By the way, I’d be willing to bet there won’t be any strike.

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