Almost all of the 1,534 educators laid off earlier this year will return to work by Sept. 1 after San Diego teachers overwhelmingly voted to ratify a tentative agreement between their union and the school district.

Of 4,501 votes cast, 3,033 members voted to ratify the agreement and 1,468 members voted not to ratify.

The agreement, reached last week between union and district negotiators, will now go to the school board for final approval Thursday. Four of the five school board members have expressed their support for the contract, and it will almost certainly be approved by the board.


Support Independent Journalism Today

 What benefits do VOSD members get?

“We may not all agree, but it’s important that we stand together during these unprecedented times,” said teachers union President Bill Freeman, who announced the results Wednesday at the union’s headquarters.

The tentative agreement rolls back layoffs thanks to concessions from educators, who agreed to forgo a series of pay raises they were promised by the school board two years ago. Union members also agreed to continue taking five unpaid days off for the next two years.

A more controversial aspect of the tentative agreement is a provision that calls for teachers to take up to 14 additional unpaid furlough days if voters fail to pass either of two tax measures placed on November’s ballot. That would shorten the school year by as much as three weeks.

California Gov. Jerry Brown has threatened to cut billions of dollars out of state education spending if his tax measure fails. San Diego Unified’s tentative agreement budgets for that cut with the additional furlough days.

That part of the tentative agreement has sparked criticism from parent groups and school board trustee Scott Barnett, who argue that the school year’s length should be protected at all costs from Brown’s threatened budget cuts.

But the tentative agreement does guarantee that class sizes will not rise, and that more than 1,000 teachers will not lose their jobs and their benefits.

Will Carless is an investigative reporter at Voice of San Diego currently focused on local education. You can reach him at will.carless@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.550.5670.

Follow @voiceofsandiego

Like VOSD on Facebook.

    This article relates to: Education, News

    Written by Will Carless

    Will Carless is the former head of investigations at Voice of San Diego. He currently lives in Montevideo, Uruguay, where he is a freelance foreign correspondent and occasional contributor to VOSD. You can reach him at will.carless.work@gmail.com.

    128 comments
    Akamai
    Akamai

    The correct route is efficient use of fewer teachers, through the use of available, off-the-shelf technology.

    Allen Hemphill
    Allen Hemphill subscribermember

    The correct route is efficient use of fewer teachers, through the use of available, off-the-shelf technology.

    Lou Dodge
    Lou Dodge subscriber

    Akamai, your stats don't penetrate this mind because first of all, Stockton is not the 4th largest city in CA. San Francisco is. And Stockton has about 292,000 people. So you are saying the CA Teacher Corps which heads 'alternative' programs for teachers especially in impoverished areas, has 342,000 members (not necessarily all of those teach). Where do you find that fact? I know they want to place 100,000 teachers by the year 2020. Where are you getting 342,000?

    4theprofession
    4theprofession

    Akamai, your stats don't penetrate this mind because first of all, Stockton is not the 4th largest city in CA. San Francisco is. And Stockton has about 292,000 people. So you are saying the CA Teacher Corps which heads 'alternative' programs for teachers especially in impoverished areas, has 342,000 members (not necessarily all of those teach). Where do you find that fact? I know they want to place 100,000 teachers by the year 2020. Where are you getting 342,000?

    Jim Jones
    Jim Jones subscriber

    Public teacher pay and benefits needs to be tied to the private sector averages. Back room deals by union owned politicians has resulted in the taxpayer getting ripped off.

    Jim Jones
    Jim Jones

    Public teacher pay and benefits needs to be tied to the private sector averages. Back room deals by union owned politicians has resulted in the taxpayer getting ripped off.

    Allen Hemphill
    Allen Hemphill subscribermember

    In a deep recession of continuing longevity, this is insane. Instead of doing more with less, like the private sector has found ways to perform, California teachers are doing worse with MORE! Insane!

    Akamai
    Akamai

    In a deep recession of continuing longevity, this is insane. Instead of doing more with less, like the private sector has found ways to perform, California teachers are doing worse with MORE! Insane!

    Lou Dodge
    Lou Dodge subscriber

    resident, if you go to SDUSD salary schedule, each position is listed separately. I used the one for 'teachers'. Administrative, psychologists and a few others you spoke of are already filtered out. Though counselors may be included in the teacher list. SDEA did a very good breakdown a few years ago showing our average salary as second from the bottom in the county. Also another page in SDUSD shows the average salary as $57,000. That is not very high.

    4theprofession
    4theprofession

    resident, if you go to SDUSD salary schedule, each position is listed separately. I used the one for 'teachers'. Administrative, psychologists and a few others you spoke of are already filtered out. Though counselors may be included in the teacher list. SDEA did a very good breakdown a few years ago showing our average salary as second from the bottom in the county. Also another page in SDUSD shows the average salary as $57,000. That is not very high.

    David Cohen
    David Cohen subscriber

    Admittedly that conventional wisdom, although widely endorsed, was not accepted by everyone. Now that we have persistent fiscal distress, wisdom seems to have changed.

    fryefan
    fryefan

    Admittedly that conventional wisdom, although widely endorsed, was not accepted by everyone. Now that we have persistent fiscal distress, wisdom seems to have changed.

    Jim Jones
    Jim Jones subscriber

    What won't correct is our schools placement compared to teh US or the world. We will still be bottom of the barrel.

    Jim Jones
    Jim Jones

    What won't correct is our schools placement compared to teh US or the world. We will still be bottom of the barrel.

    Jim Jones
    Jim Jones subscriber

    People are making noise like there are real option choices, but the only variable is where the layoffs hit and when the school board goes under state control, and that's maybe a one year window of variability..

    Jim Jones
    Jim Jones

    People are making noise like there are real option choices, but the only variable is where the layoffs hit and when the school board goes under state control, and that's maybe a one year window of variability..

    Allen Hemphill
    Allen Hemphill subscribermember

    The worst possible outcome! We incur the cost of technology without receiving the benefit.

    Akamai
    Akamai

    The worst possible outcome! We incur the cost of technology without receiving the benefit.

    Dennis Schamp
    Dennis Schamp subscriber

    In the long run, it's the final statement in the agreement that gives me - and the other 3,000+ educators that voted yes - hope: that SDUSD, SDEA, and the other local labor groups will continue with open, ongoing discussions. Of course, the naysayers will continue to say they can't trust anyone, so those talks would, in their eyes, be meaningless. Since I don't want to go through this again for the next few years, I choose to be optimistic and MAKE it work. I truly hope "they" come back and work towards that as well.

    Dennis Schamp
    Dennis Schamp

    In the long run, it's the final statement in the agreement that gives me - and the other 3,000+ educators that voted yes - hope: that SDUSD, SDEA, and the other local labor groups will continue with open, ongoing discussions. Of course, the naysayers will continue to say they can't trust anyone, so those talks would, in their eyes, be meaningless. Since I don't want to go through this again for the next few years, I choose to be optimistic and MAKE it work. I truly hope "they" come back and work towards that as well.

    JamesS
    JamesS

    Our students' education is our social responsibility. The teachers made pay concessions to preserve small class sizes and teacher jobs. It's on the rest of the public to approve the November tax initiatives and prevent the furlough days. It's almost silly (and definitely sad) that there are still people shaming the teachers for not solving this problem on their own without the help of the taxpayers. We all need to contribute.

    James Speros
    James Speros subscriber

    Our students' education is our social responsibility. The teachers made pay concessions to preserve small class sizes and teacher jobs. It's on the rest of the public to approve the November tax initiatives and prevent the furlough days. It's almost silly (and definitely sad) that there are still people shaming the teachers for not solving this problem on their own without the help of the taxpayers. We all need to contribute.

    Mary Turnberg
    Mary Turnberg subscriber

    In the second place, if ALL the revenues were there then perhaps the expenditures wouldn't exceed the revenue.

    Mary Turnberg
    Mary Turnberg

    In the second place, if ALL the revenues were there then perhaps the expenditures wouldn't exceed the revenue.

    ScrippsDad
    ScrippsDad

    I just don't see any other way to do it - I'm open to other suggestions on how to cut 80-120 million, not harm children, increase student performance and all the while remain solvent.

    ScrippsDad
    ScrippsDad subscriber

    I just don't see any other way to do it - I'm open to other suggestions on how to cut 80-120 million, not harm children, increase student performance and all the while remain solvent.

    James Speros
    James Speros subscriber

    So even though we're all still arguing about it, teacher compensation is not the problem. As Jim Jones continually reminds us, student performance is the problem. Everything else is just an attempt at the solution (with varying degrees of success.)

    JamesS
    JamesS

    So even though we're all still arguing about it, teacher compensation is not the problem. As Jim Jones continually reminds us, student performance is the problem. Everything else is just an attempt at the solution (with varying degrees of success.)

    James Speros
    James Speros subscriber

    Are you of the opinion that private-school teacher pay and student performance would be unchanged if private schools had no control over their admissions?

    JamesS
    JamesS

    Are you of the opinion that private-school teacher pay and student performance would be unchanged if private schools had no control over their admissions?

    ScrippsDad
    ScrippsDad subscriber

    Bottom line - I truly appreciate your analysis and I agree that the complexity of any legal document goes far beyond the written words. Between the CBA's, MOU's, Ed Code, and litigation, there are many many issues to review and evaluate. However, we must be careful and either we have the latitude to make those adjustments for intent, or, we use the letter of the Agreement - it's when we try to use both to benefit our own interpretation of specific issues that creates confusion.

    ScrippsDad
    ScrippsDad

    Bottom line - I truly appreciate your analysis and I agree that the complexity of any legal document goes far beyond the written words. Between the CBA's, MOU's, Ed Code, and litigation, there are many many issues to review and evaluate. However, we must be careful and either we have the latitude to make those adjustments for intent, or, we use the letter of the Agreement - it's when we try to use both to benefit our own interpretation of specific issues that creates confusion.

    Lou Dodge
    Lou Dodge subscriber

    Sweetwater only pays for the employee but the salary schedule is higher to make up for the lack of family benies. That way it comes to about the same. Should private school teachers make the same as public? Maybe in some cases but in too many cases private is a whole different ball game. i.e. They may have much fewer students in a class, shorter school times, religious instruction that someone else does. There are too many variables not controlled for to say they should make the same. Besides, their funding may be completely different.

    4theprofession
    4theprofession

    Sweetwater only pays for the employee but the salary schedule is higher to make up for the lack of family benies. That way it comes to about the same. Should private school teachers make the same as public? Maybe in some cases but in too many cases private is a whole different ball game. i.e. They may have much fewer students in a class, shorter school times, religious instruction that someone else does. There are too many variables not controlled for to say they should make the same. Besides, their funding may be completely different.

    Jim Jones
    Jim Jones subscriber

    Fair pay would be for public school teachers and private school teachers to share the same median pay, right?

    Jim Jones
    Jim Jones

    Fair pay would be for public school teachers and private school teachers to share the same median pay, right?

    Lou Dodge
    Lou Dodge subscriber

    good job, MattK refuting Scripps Dad analysis of teacher pay. He always quotes the average teacher pay in CA but the average teacher pay in SDUSD is 58,000 or less and he always says there is no performance criteria but there is most def performance criteria. it starts on p. 61 of cba Maybe it's not the kind of perfromance criteria he would like to see, but it is peformance criteria non the less. The fact that he exagerates to make his points makes me question why he is so hell bent on saying we earn too much. What exactly is the goal?

    4theprofession
    4theprofession

    good job, MattK refuting Scripps Dad analysis of teacher pay. He always quotes the average teacher pay in CA but the average teacher pay in SDUSD is 58,000 or less and he always says there is no performance criteria but there is most def performance criteria. it starts on p. 61 of cba Maybe it's not the kind of perfromance criteria he would like to see, but it is peformance criteria non the less. The fact that he exagerates to make his points makes me question why he is so hell bent on saying we earn too much. What exactly is the goal?

    Mary Turnberg
    Mary Turnberg subscriber

    Maybe teachers need to be billing for the hours they work after school like the lawyers do. All the phone calls to parents in the evenings, preparation for lessons, evaluation of student work, grading essays and exams on the weekends, developing lessons during the summer, writing college recommendation letters. I dunno, it's a possibility.....

    Mary Turnberg
    Mary Turnberg

    Maybe teachers need to be billing for the hours they work after school like the lawyers do. All the phone calls to parents in the evenings, preparation for lessons, evaluation of student work, grading essays and exams on the weekends, developing lessons during the summer, writing college recommendation letters. I dunno, it's a possibility.....

    Matt Kocik
    Matt Kocik subscriber

    5. What about the teachers' transfer rights to you find umbrage with?

    mattK
    mattK

    5. What about the teachers' transfer rights to you find umbrage with?

    ScrippsDad
    ScrippsDad subscriber

    Hope this helps understand the math behind my comment -

    ScrippsDad
    ScrippsDad

    Hope this helps understand the math behind my comment -

    Mary Turnberg
    Mary Turnberg subscriber

    You are saying that the teachers are working only 6 months with the number of days in a school year but you are counting a working month as having 30 work days to it. Who works in a job that has their employees work all 30 days of every month? So the employees that work a 12 month work year will work all 30 days of every month with no weekends off and no vacation time? Can someone explain this math to me?

    Mary Turnberg
    Mary Turnberg

    You are saying that the teachers are working only 6 months with the number of days in a school year but you are counting a working month as having 30 work days to it. Who works in a job that has their employees work all 30 days of every month? So the employees that work a 12 month work year will work all 30 days of every month with no weekends off and no vacation time? Can someone explain this math to me?

    David Cohen
    David Cohen subscriber

    Prepare to homeschool your kids and be their daycare provider ascwell.

    fryefan
    fryefan

    Prepare to homeschool your kids and be their daycare provider ascwell.