Chula Vista Teachers Enter Mediation With District
Tuesday, August 5, 2014
Aired 8/6/14 on KPBS News.
The Chula Vista Elementary School District and its teachers union are in mediation after contract negotiations stalled.
The main issues are:
1: Class Size
Chula Vista Elementary has one of the lowest teacher to student ratios in the county. For every teacher there are 22 students in Kindergarten through third grade; 28 students per teacher from fourth to sixth grades.
The union wants concrete language to keep class sizes low.
Chula Vista Elementary School District SUMMARY OF INSURANCE PREMIUMS
2: Medical Costs
The union said on its Facebook page that “teachers with 2 dependents pay nearly $10,000 compared to San Diego Unified where such teachers with a similar Kaiser plan pay $0.” The administration disputes this, pointing out that “two-thirds of employees pay no out-of-pocket expenses, or actually receive $1,200 annually through our unique health waiver/opt out program.“
Chula Vista Elementary School teachers with dependents could spend as much as $760 a month for Anthem Blue Cross - Select Network HMO coverage. According to a report by the internet insurance broker Ehealthinsurance.com, 72 percent of individual plans cost between $100 and $400 a month.
3: Teacher Salaries
The union said its members have not received a raise in seven years; they want a 7 percent raise.
The district points out the state mandates merit raises for teachers when they accomplish goals, like getting masters degrees, and that those should count.
The district proposed a 2-percent pay raise. They said if the union accepted those terms the Chula Vista Elementary “would have the highest compensated teachers in the South County.“
Chula Vista Elementary Superintendent Letter to Parents
District spokesman Anthony Millican said administrators are “confident mediation will help us reach an agreement.” In June nearly 80 percent of teachers voted to approve a strike should the mediation process fail.
Chula Vista Elementary is one of the county’s largest districts with about 2,700 employees.
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