Teachers continue negotiations for salary increase

Mr.+Jesse+Armas+negotiates+with+the+board+as+the+school%27s+staff+rallies+behind+him+in+support.+Photo+by+KAVLEEN+SINGH

Mr. Jesse Armas negotiates with the board as the school’s staff rallies behind him in support. Photo by KAVLEEN SINGH

Sign-in sheets were filled top to bottom as hundreds of teachers and parents flooded in displays of maroon and blue through the tight spacing of the district office doors on Feb. 19 at 7 p.m. to fight for an increase in wages.

“I’m here tonight to support all the teachers in the Rocklin Unified School District who are trying to get an increase in their pay and benefits,” art teacher Mrs. Deborah Lane said.

After a color guard presentation from ROTC and the bestowing of an award to the Rocklin High Mock Trial team, the district board opened the floor to those who wished to discuss any non-agenda items, meaning it was time for those negotiating higher salaries to speak up.

“We’re in the process of negotiating contracts and whatnot, so I’m here to represent us, tell how hard-working we are and that we should be compensated a little bit better,” Spanish teacher Mr. Jesse Armas said.

Armas spoke to the district board regarding salary raises for teachers and how they make less in comparison to neighboring schools, such as Roseville and Woodcreek.

“We stay countless hours, we do activities, we stay until 8 at night, we do whatever it is for kids, for what’s best to provide them a safe environment. Tonight, I am asking for you to give us the highest level of compensation that equals our commitment and our hard work for the students in Rocklin,” Armas said to the board.

Rocklin P.E. teacher Mr. Grant Depue also spoke to the board at the meeting regarding this issue.

“One of my fears is that all of my colleagues are going to retire. The awesomeness, the teamwork, the camaraderie that I’m so accustomed to working with isn’t going to be there once my children are going through school,” Depue said. “My fear right now is losing morale, losing the teamwork and community that we have working together to provide excellence in education over numbers and negotiations.”

Going into this negotiation session, the Rocklin Teachers Professional Association’s proposal included a 7 percent increase to the salary schedule with a $75 increase in monthly benefits. In contrast, the District’s proposal included a 4 percent increase to the salary schedule and a $22 increase to the monthly benefits cap.

Today, the District rejected the RTPA proposal and suggested a two year offer with a 7 percent increase to the salary schedule and a $75 increase in monthly benefits.

 

by KAVLEEN SINGH