Lucia Mar teacher strike still a possibility
March 2, 2015
A meeting of school district and union representatives on Friday failed to resolve the ongoing dispute over Lucia Mar teacher pay.
The Lucia Mar teachers are threatening to strike if they do not receive a 10 percent raise. Administrators of the South County school district have offered the teachers a 2 percent pay increase.
On Friday, a panel consisting of a district representative, a union representative and a third-party moderator convened for a fact-finding meeting. The hearing resulted in a call for another meeting on March 25, which is two days prior to the due date for the panel’s final report.
A mediation attempt also took place Friday. It ended with negotiators failing to reach a preliminary contract agreement.
Earlier in the week, the teachers union held a rally, which about 400 people attended. Teachers, students and parents marched in support of the union, walking from Arroyo Grande High School to the Lucia Mar district offices prior to a board meeting.
The school board met in closed session on Tuesday, but no new developments emerged from that hearing.
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, the teachers’ pay will have jumped by more than 8 percent over the last three years.
A contract dispute between the San Luis Coastal school district and its teachers’ union appears to be winding down. The two sides reached a tentative agreement last week that would grant teachers a 4 percent raise at the cost of about $1.4 million annually to the district.
“Thirty-nine teachers have accepted a golden handshake which equals 65 percent of their highest pay, “District Trustee Colleen Martin said.