Dublin Teachers’ Union and School District Reach Tentative Agreement | New
Public school teachers in Dublin are set to see an 8 per cent pay rise, following a months-long bargaining process that saw a majority of unionized educators in the district in favor of strike action at some time.
Chris Funk, superintendent of the Dublin Unified School District, on Friday announced a tentative agreement with the Dublin Teachers Association for certified staff in the district, which he says is seeking to respond to union calls to support recruitment and retention of educators.
“We would like to thank the DUSD and DTA trading teams for all of their hard work and dedication to creating a happy, vibrant, diverse and valued workforce,” Funk said in the announcement. “The work they have done helps to ensure that our students have the best chance of reaching their full potential.”
Funk pointed to a national teacher shortage that has made headlines recently and the challenges it poses to his district.
“While these challenges are significant, the Dublin Unified School District is committed to creating an environment that not only retains exceptional talent, but also attracts them,” Funk said. “To that end, I am pleased to announce that we have reached an interim working agreement with our certified staff for the 2022-2023 school year. This agreement comes after months of hard and collaborative work on behalf of the Dublin Teachers Association and the District Bargaining Teams.”
In addition to the salary increase, the tentative agreement provides additional health care benefits and a one-time $2,500 stipend for DTA members who have worked in the last academic year and who will continue for the current academic year as well as for new hires in 2022-23. .
According to Robbie Kreitz, who was DTA president before stepping down in the spring, the union had asked the district to return to the bargaining table this month after Governor Gavin approved a state budget. Newsom on June 27.
In April, the DTA, with Kreitz at the helm, held public rallies at DUSD headquarters and Dublin High School, with the aim of gaining community support and awareness for their struggles to achieve a agreement with the district. At that time, DUSD was offering a 3.25% salary increase for certified personnel.
“We are grateful that the district was receptive to DTA’s initiative to return to the table in light of the signing of the state budget and prior to our July 7 mediation date,” Kreitz said.
“This agreement supports DTA’s continued commitment to recruiting and retaining educators who will make Dublin their forever home, because ultimately continuity is best for all students,” said she added.
Earlier in the negotiation process, Kreitz and other DTA members had openly called for a working agreement with the district that would attract teachers to DUSD schools and accommodate cost-of-living increases that it said Kreitz, had pushed his colleagues to other districts.
“The housing crisis means that many teachers cannot live in the community they teach in and with gas being $6 or something a gallon, not being able to cover the cost of a rising cost of living or price increases, we were going to lose some very good teachers who would no longer be able to afford to teach in Dublin because of some of these factors,” said DTA Bargaining Chair Katina Lewis.
Before Newsom approved the state budget this year, Lewis said DTA had been closely monitoring what the budget could mean for education funding that could provide increased pay and benefits for young people. teachers. However, that failed to gain leverage in negotiations with the district until the budget was formalized, she said.
“The difference at the table in April was that DTA could already see where the budget was going,” Lewis said. “
“When the state budget was as high as they said it would be, and then we had the strike vote, I think that kind of thing opened up,” she added.
In a practical strike vote on June 23, 96% of DTA members voted to strike, according to Lewis and Kreitz.
“We were preparing for the worst, which was even with the governor’s budget, they weren’t going to budge, and we had to make sure we had all of our ducks lined up first,” Lewis said.
In addition to the complications facing teachers and school districts amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the growing shortage of education professionals, Lewis said there are communication issues between the administration. current district staff and educators, making the bargaining process particularly difficult this year.
“Because of the way communications are handled from the district office, it makes this year a lot more difficult as communications don’t seem to be handled in a respectful manner,” Lewis said.
Both Lewis and Kreitz noted, however, that collective bargaining is never easy. They credited a long history of continuity within the DTA bargaining team and institutional memory within the union as key factors that helped secure this year’s tentative agreement.
The next steps for the agreement will be ratification by the DTA and the DUSD Board. The next regular meeting of the Board of Directors is scheduled for August 9.