Lucia Mar teachers endorse a strike

March 27, 2015

grocerystrikeThe South County teachers’ union currently engaged in a pay dispute with the Lucia Mar Unified School District voted Thursday to authorize a strike.

Representatives of the Lucia Mar Unified Teachers Association must still meet at least once more time with district negotiators. If the two sides fail to reach an agreement, a strike is likely to begin on April 16.

In addition to endorsing a strike, the teachers’ union filed unfair labor practice charges against the district on Thursday. The complaint filed with the California Public Employment Relations Board alleges the district engaged in numerous illegal actions, including threatening to stop paying health benefits, unilaterally changing leave authorization policies and attempting to undermine union leadership through inflammatory and false statements.

Public employee unions commonly file unfair labor practice complaints during contract disputes.

Several mediation attempts have failed to solve the Lucia Mar dispute. The teachers’ union has demanded a 10 percent pay increases for its members.

District administrators initially offered a 2 percent raise. On Wednesday, they raised their offer to a 6 percent increase to be implemented over a period of three years.

Union negotiators left Wednesday’s mediation hearing without making a formal offer.

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 a 10 percent increase in the current round of negotiations, their pay will have risen 16 percent over three years.

A report compiled by a fact-finding panel is expected to be circulated internally sometime next week and released publicly 10 days later. The two sides must meet release after the release of the report.

District officials have already begun preparations for a strike. They are currently searching for substitute teachers willing to cross the picket line.

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Josh Payne

One of the main reasons our country is failing is the majority of US tax money going to the war machine. While the elite send their children to private schools, the middle class and working poor can only afford public schools. Our public schools are crumbling the same way our infrastructure is.The only way to fix our current debt problem is to cut the DOD’s budget and start to focus funding on public schools, infrastructure, better wages for the middle class, stronger unions, and social programs. A flourishing US economy can only come from a well educated and well paid middle class. The trickle down theory has been tried for the last 35 years and it is a complete failure. It’s time we tried a peace economy from the middle class out, not a war economy from the top down.


OnTheOtherHand

Despite the naivete of some of your comments (the defense industry is bloated and needs to be cut but it is still necessary in the world we live in), they are generally correct.


Mr. Holly

I usually do not agree or support with school administrators as they are usually inept at trying to manage large school budgets with only a school teachers experience. But at this time I do applaud them for standing up to these teachers. The 6% over 3 years is too much but it shows the greed of the teachers and there lack of concern for anyone but themselves. I would support 0% and let them walk. Everyone is replaceable and the world will go on.


LuciaMarTeacher

Mr. Holly: You must not have kids. The beginning of your comment is reasonable, so I will appeal to that side of you. This district has 14 million dollars in reserves when the state only requires 3%. Please allow those numbers to sink in. The teacher union agreed to freeze their salaries when the economic downturn hit, so I think that calling us greedy is a bit incorrect. The district has received a 23% increase to their funds. Please allow that to sink in. Do you see why 6% over three (it’s actually closer to 4) years does not compute? The district is paying a strike specialist 155 dollars an hour, including travel time. Please allow that to sink in. I could go to the next district over and make 18,000 more. I probably will. That’s the problem. We are losing out top teachers because the district continues to fund special projects and create new high-paid administrative positions instead of helping us out. Whatever is left over is added to a cache of money that is already more than 4.5 times what the state requires them to have. This is probably worth fighting.


womanwhohasbeenthere

I don’t know anyone who has gotten raises like these in the private sector.


$60 K a year for a BA is pretty good in my book.


Are some of the teachers close to retirement supporting this to enhance their retirements? Would not surprise me.


Teachers, you knew what your salary was, you knew or should have known what teaching is all about when you went into the profession. If you want to make more money try and find another job! Don’t shortchange your students who have NO control over this. You are using them as pawns. That is disgraceful.


I hope the voters in Lucia Mar remember this the next time a bond issue comes up.


surferdude

The young teachers re frightened and bullied in a mob mentality.

And that lone picketer at AG HS, he’s retiring.

Thank God!

One of the worst teachers my daughter was forced to endure!


Ana di Plosis

“I don’t know anyone who has gotten raises like these in the private sector.” It’s called “public” education for a reason.


“$60 K a year for a BA is pretty good in my book.” In this county? Really? BTW, a teacher has to keep at it for about 15 years to hit the 60 grand mark, and most teachers have a masters by that time.


“Are some of the teachers close to retirement supporting this to enhance their retirements? Would not surprise me.” Why would it surprise anybody that a teacher, young or old, would act in his/her own best financial interests? Isn’t that what you conservatives admire so much about the Koch brothers?


“Teachers, you knew what your salary was . . . ” How could they know, since it’s different in every district in CA? So just settle for whatever pittance the quarter million dollar a year man tells you to settle for?


“You are using them [students] as pawns” Actually, the students have shown tremendous support for their teachers, as have their parents.


The only “disgraceful” thing about this whole fiasco is how Jim Hogeboom has misjudged and mishandled it over the course of many months now. It is entirely his fault (and the board’s) that the teachers are able, ready, and willing to go on strike. They don’t want to, but they will. And Hogeboom will never have credibility to lead in this district again.


agag1

Ana,

It’s telling that every post you make insinuates that anyone who’s not agreeing with the teachers is a conservative.


The fact is, your assumption is not correct.

Not sure why you want to take a jab at conservatives at every opportunity, this is not a right / left issue.


Ana di Plosis

Your comment must be a “gag,” because the funding of education and the valuing of teachers is very much a right / left issue. I know many conservatives, some of them good friends, who value what I do INDIVIDUALLY but do not believe that we are worth the money we are paid. There is no way on God’s green earth that the people making the anti-teacher comments on this thread are Democrats. You are either Republicans, Tea Party members, or Libertarians. It is clear that the majority of commenters on this site harbor deep resentments either against their former teachers and/or public schools in general, and they certainly DO NOT consider teachers to be professionals in the same way that they view doctors, lawyers, CPA’s etc. as professionals. You believe that any fool off the street can replace us without any detrimental outcomes to the students, so you see no reason to support a group of teachers when they are low-balled by a rich superintendent. You side with the rich guy every flippin’ time, just as you keep electing (or trying to elect) conservative politicians whose sole concern is for giving tax breaks to those who need them least: the rich. You support charter schools, even though they have not proven themselves to be any more effective than public schools, despite being able to cherry pick their students. You resent having your tax dollars go toward giving children of illegal immigrants an education, yet you don’t mind paying far less for the fruits and vegetables and wine grapes that they nurture and harvest. This particular issue, how could a Democrat possibly side with the fat cat running the show? The fat cat who allocated a disproportionate percentage of the state revenue to pet projects and to swelling the number of district administrators? That is not something that any self-respecting Democrat can stomach. Giving the teachers a bigger slice of the pie will NOT raise anyone’s taxes; it will simply reallocate the resources that Hogeboom has chosen to earmark for his own personal gain/aggrandizement. We see through him, and we will see him change his tune or the pied piper will be piping elsewhere when his contract is up in two years.


racket

Oh, c’mon. You’re not pumping septic tanks, you’re making Play-dough™.


Yes we value what you do. Yes you do get to crawl inside the mind of our most valuable resource. But a big part of the benefit you receive comes from the work itself. If you are no longer receiving job satisfaction, and are trying to make it up with increased pay, then I probably don’t want you teaching my kids at any payscale.


LuciaMarTeacher

Ok, you “value what [we] do,” but you claim we are “making play-dough” for a living. The point is that we are losing our best teachers to higher paying districts. Please get off that high horse, teachers are not leaving nor are they fighting because they are “no longer receiving job satisfaction,” it’s because they can no longer survive. I barely make it from month to month and I do much more than “make play-dough.” The ironic part is that if I got your kid I would try my best to help them achieve success later in life. When you are a teacher, you have to learn that students can’t help it if their parents are fools.


OnTheOtherHand

You may just have lost some of your credibility with me too with that rant. I consider myself a mix of liberal/progressive and conservative — leaning more toward the former due to the radicalization of the right over the past 3 decades. However, saying that the Democrats actually care about you (or any of the rest of us) for any purposes but partisan political support is as much a denial of political reality as some of the conservative accusations about how good the teachers have it. I don’t blame you for disliking the propaganda from the right but don’t be deceived about the motivations of the more powerful elements of the Democratic Party either.


You are also doing your own “cherry picking” if you think that most people with Bachelor’s degrees are making the kind of income (including benefits) that teachers get. I know a lot that can’t even get a job as a professional and have to start out in $20-$30K/year jobs with minimal benefits and more that are in jobs where earning more than that depends solely on performance. I am not saying that teachers in LMUSD don’t deserve a bit more but you will have to convince me that the funds are available if you want me to support anything close to a 10% raise given that so many of us are still struggling to regain past incomes & retirement funds after the big crash of 2008.


Ana di Plosis

“a mix of liberal/progressive and conservative”

Sorry, sir, but that’s a contradiction in terms.


If you know many college grads only making 20 – 30 thousand a year, then it is the fault of the employers and the economy (and the lack of regulation of Wall Street, thanks to conservatives) and not a reason to tell the professional educators of Lucia Mar to settle for less than they deserve. Why not point to college grads making more per year as the example to shoot for? The argument most popular on this website is “Other people have it worse than you teachers, so stop complaining and accept Hogeboom’s low-ball offer.” Do you all feel the same way when professional athletes making millions per year go on strike? Remember the shortened MLB season of 1993 or the shortened NFL season when Dan Marino made it to the Superbowl? Their issue in both situations was exactly the same as the Lucia Mar’s situation: demanding that the fat cats share a bigger piece of the pie (revenues) with the people who do the actual playing / teaching. Jim Hogeboom has gone cheap on his teachers and he knows it. That’s why he’s digging in and doubling down on his ridiculously low offer. Three percent over three years would be a reasonable offer, especially given that he KNOWS that the district will be receiving an ADDITIONAL 8% next year, according to Jerry Brown’s budget, which will be passed. The teachers and their negotiators are not MORONS or doormats, and you wouldn’t respect them if they were, so stop defending Mr. Quarter Million Dollar a Year General, and start defending the rank and file soldiers who work in the trenches day in and day out. For those who truly support “liberal/progressive” causes, this is a no-brainer.


taxpayer

If you’re a teacher then someone needs to save our kids.

This is a prime example of why people home school their children.


Ana di Plosis

Don’t confuse how I defend Lucia Mar teachers with how I go about teaching my students to think for themselves. The classroom is the place to welcome/discuss/analyze all perspectives and not the place for a teacher to advocate for her own views. This, on the other hand, is a public forum for adults to engage in a battle of ideas, a battle with real-life consequences for real teachers. Therefore, I don’t pull any punches. Jim Hogeboom is misleading the public with regard to what the district can afford to pay its teachers. He doesn’t want to pay them their fair share because that would hinder his ability to fund his pet projects (New Tech HS) and increase the # of district administrators and TOSAs (Teachers On Special Assignment). The only way for him to salvage his leadership role in the district is if he comes back to the bargaining table with an equitable offer. Otherwise, he will trigger a strike that will permanently damage his reputation and that of the district.


agag1

Yes, when professional overpaid athletes strike, I feel the same way…

If you don’t like it-GO GET ANOTHER JOB!


There are plenty of people who will happily take your job and be grateful to have it. I hear over 200 have applied and are keeping their fingers crossed that Lucia Mar teachers strike.


Conservative or liberal- – – strike and you will be replaced, this is a no brainer!


LuciaMarTeacher

Right. That is the whole point. They are getting other jobs. Neighboring districts poach the best Lucia Mar teachers every year. It’s free training. Season them a little and send them to another district. By the way-this is a legal strike, so no, they cannot be replaced. I agree with you about the whole “no brain” thing though…


OnTheOtherHand

Parts of my initial response seem to have gone right by your head. If you think that the Wall Street fiascoes weren’t due equally to corruption of Democrats and Republicans, you are ignorant on the subject. My comments about others with equal education being paid less were not intended to say that they (or you) deserve that pay level in a moral sense but to make the points that (1) times are still tough for a lot of people — tougher than for the teachers, and (2) that there are a lot more of those people than you and other teachers seem to realize in your complaints about being underpaid by comparison.


I can and do fit the popular definitions of “liberal/progressive” on many issues and the definitions of “conservative” on different ones. Not all people feel a need to totally identify with one or the other of the dominant political ideologies in this country.


I do think that professional athletes (and most other professional entertainers) are grossly overpaid. I do almost nothing to contribute to their wealth (rarely pay for tickets to performances, consciously critique ads for products they endorse, etc.) None-the-less, I have the option to do that. I don’t really have the option to refuse payment of taxes if I think a public employee is overpaid. Anyway, I am not opposing the proposed pay increases because others make less but because I haven’t been convinced that the resources exist to fund such raises. Instead of crying about persecution, why don’t you make your case with verifiable numbers?


Finally, I do agree that most high-level bureaucrats are also overpaid. Practically speaking, I am not sure how to reduce their pay but I would be more than willing to cut it by 30-50% and spread the resulting savings on teachers’ pay if I could. I think the effects on teachers’ pay would be minimal but it would be a good symbolic gesture.


Ana di Plosis

OnTheOtherHand: You made many reasonable points with which I agree, and which give me hope that we can reach a middle ground on these issues. When the fact-finding results are made public, we’ll have more objective facts to work into our discussion. Unfortunately, Hogeboom has not been forthcoming with the actual #s; superintendents never are–unless they are forced to do so, as it is in their best interests to keep as much $ in reserve and squirreled away to fund their own resume-padding projects. Honest to God, teachers are not greedy people, otherwise they would NOT have gotten into the education business. But remember this: while no teacher gets into education for the $, EVERY teacher who goes into administration does it primarily for the $. Most school site administrators earn every penny of their salaries, but it is a RARE district-level administrator who does. Anyway, thanks for taking the time to consider our perspectives.


truetoblue

If you closed down New Tech and fired all the administration would they be able to give the 10% raise this year and sustain it indefinitely?


Just asking a question…


I don’t think it is a; right wing, tea party, conservative, Koch brothers, induced perspective.


achillesheal

If they are underpaid why don’t they go where they will be paid their value. No one is forcing people to work for Lucia mar district.


This is what people who live in the real world have difficulty fundamentally understanding. . If I didn’t think I was being paid my value in the workplace, I would quit and seek the right fit.


LuciaMarTeacher

That’s the whole point. They are. Our young talented teachers are trained in Lucia Mar-which costs money, by the way-then poached by higher paying districts just north and south of us. This-as you might suspect-is not an equation for building an effective staff.


SanSimeonSam

I agree that the teachers are underpaid. I say give them a very healthy pay increase but make them fend for themselves for retirement like i do. The administrators are grossly overpaid and that needs to be adjusted. A major problem is the entitlements package for public employees. We cannot afford it. Now as to the comment from the wingnut Slotownman….get a life. You need to learn to read and comprehend the discussion. Not everything is tied to the immigration issue…geez


SanSimeonSam

Of course its the teachers that will lose financially. If they strike now it will not be settled until the start of the next school year. The loss wages will take years to recover even with a % increase in wages


taxpayer

The real losers will be the students whom the school teachers have no problem using as pawns in their union chess match against the District leaders.


LuciaMarTeacher

We can. You are failing to see that the district is including their fat-cat salaries in their numbers. You are getting bamboozled.


achillesheal

Will there be scabs for hire?


Where can I sign up. I love crossing picket lines.


voiceofreason123

Your wit astounds me…..


racket

Dave Congalton’s Question of The Day yesterday was whether teachers should be allowed to strike.


My thought is, yes, of course, they should be allowed to strike. And we should be allowed to replace them with Team Players while they’re out.


surferdude

We had a teacher who fell asleep at her desk.

How about the one that brought her boyfriend to “help” everyday.


Do I pity teachers?

Drive by their parking lots and check out the BMWs Lexus and Mercedes.

Hell no!


agag1

Teachers are like employees in any other field.

There will always be those that put their heart and soul into it, have a passion for it and would teach regardless of the pay because it is what they love to do.


But those are the exception, not the rule.

I wish only the good ones stayed and the others went on their way, but that is not the case. The weaker ones hang on, not because they can’t do anything else, but because the money is good, the time off is good, the benefits are good, retirement is GREAT!


The retired teachers I know are traveling in Europe, and have done so almost on an annual basis. Do I begrudge them- -heck no! But if they can manage to do so while not working full time, then I’d say they were well paid. Most people can’t afford to travel, or retire early after having worked full time their whole life.


LuciaMarTeacher

What are you talking about? As your name is surferdude I will assume that you were in some pretty low classes and that this might be why your teachers were slackers. The car thing is right, though. I am a teacher and I have 4 BMW’s. I live in a mansion and have a few butlers too. You should try teaching because it really is a glamourous lifestyle. As I am assuming that you are not very bright surferdude, I might also mention that I am being facetious…it’s like a fancy word for “not being serious,” surferdude.


voiceofreason123

I seriously wonder which parking lots you’ve been driving by? And how many more fake “I knew a teacher who….” stories you can make up. Dumbass.


Jorge Estrada

Can you amagine how many qualified applicants there are in India that would gladly work 180 days for $30K. Don’t laugh, it is already being done in other industries and teaching is not exempt from the globalization of our economy. They will not have two cars, live alone in a 2500 sq-ft house but they will be resourceful and likely will not need wages in a short order.


achillesheal

No thanks. They were all my college professors and I couldn’t understand a word they said.


taxpayer

Can you imagine how many graduates from Cal Poly would be willing to start teaching 180 days a year from $30,000?


SloTownMan

Why don’t we hear about paying to school kids who are here illegally?

Send them home a.s.a.p. if not sooner


scoopone

Why don’t we hear about the salaries paid to administrators working in the school district main office? They are mostly people who never teach a classroom or see a student.

That’s where the problem lies.


isoslo

That is a separate but more severe problem. Part of the problem with the teachers is because the administrators are so grossly over paid it makes the teachers feel underpaid. The teachers are adequately paid, the administrators are overpaid and the taxpayers are overtaxed.


racket

Sour grapes.


If you want the bloated administrative salary, there is nothing stopping you from working toward becoming a bloated administrator.


kayaknut

Because many of them were at one time teachers.


agag1

Typical government program, too many layers at the top!

Government needs to give itself a haircut but when is that going to happen?


achillesheal

That’s obviously a rhetorical question to which you know the answer.


NEVER!


LuciaMarTeacher

Transparent Calfornia: a website which provides the information for EVERY teacher and admin. Hogeboom, for example, makes 222372.94 per year. That’s a pretty big chunk of change.


surferdude

If you want to make more money, apply for a different job, become a principal, but my God! Stop complaining. It’s uncool.

How many people everyday whine and moan to their bosses that they do not make enough money?

If you want a lower cost of living, move to Bakersfield.

Have fun, dude!


It’s hot over there.


Ana di Plosis

surferdude: You should feel grateful that LuciaMarTeacher and I are taking our free, off-duty time to attempt to educate you about this issue. But we’re used to it, as we both grade piles of papers on our own time. So here’s today’s lesson: You asked “How many people everyday whine and moan to their bosses that they do not make enough money?” Here’s your answer: none. We don’t have to whine and complain because we have this process called collective bargaining that allows us to seek our fair share of the public funds sent to our districts. That’s how it works. No individual teacher ever walks into his or her principal or superintendent’s office and asks for a raise.


And when is the last time, prior to the dispute in Lucia Mar, that you heard about teachers picketing because of pay disputes? It’s actually rare because it’s rare for a superintendent to squander his funds as Hogeboom has done. He thought if he hugged and back-slapped enough teachers that they wouldn’t notice when he switched to back-stabbing them this year. He was wrong. He is wrong. And he will be proven wrong when the fact-finding is released to the public in about 10 days. Then he’ll have one last chance to do the equitable thing. If he’s really worth that quarter million dollar salary, he will.


voiceofreason123

It seems that you are the only person besides LuciaMarTeacher who isn’t a complete idiot on this website. Very well said. Thank you.


truetoblue

so anyone that ask a question, disagrees, or has a different perspective is a complete idiot?


Wow!


The two people doing most of the talking on here and claiming to be teachers are very “loose cannons” and paint with a very broad brush. I hope and pray that they don’t attempt to indoctrinate and intimidate their students in the same fashion.


The world is just not black and white.


LuciaMarTeacher

Truetoblue-when our entire profession is attacked because some moron “had a teacher who…” we put them in their place. Call me a loose cannon if you wish, but I am bringing actual statistics and numbers to the conversation. If the fact finder report says that the money is not there, I am NOT going to support a strike. Until those numbers come out, forgive me if I dare to doubt the word of a board and superintendent who have spent years lying to us and the community to feed pet projects and stroke their ego. How is it illogical to say that I am not going to support it if the money is not there? If we find out that they are lying (again), they will get what has been coming for a long time.