Special education teachers represented by the Yolo Education Association have rejected what County Superintendent Jorge Ayala described as the Yolo County Office of Education’s “last, best offer,” which Ayala also described as “entirely reasonable.”
YEA members voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday to reject the offer, which the association described as “divisive.” The next step is to move to the state’s fact-finding process, “and a possible strike,” the statement added.
The teachers were close to accepting an offer that included “a modest increase in benefits intended to lift YCOE from its place of dead last in all county offices in the state in benefit contributions, and a reasonable offer for 4 percent ongoing increase to salary to conclude negotiations for this year as well as last year,” the statement said.
But it added, “Unfortunately, the Yolo County Office of Education came to the last session of mediation with a salary schedule adjustment that gave the majority of their employees less than the 4 percent, while several members ended up with a much larger raise. The county office refused to budge on its proposal, but the teachers agreed to take it to their members even though they had not reached agreement.”
It was that offer that the teachers rejected.
In the statement, YEA president Penny Gilman took a jab at Ayala, saying “We at YEA are extremely concerned about who will be the next superintendent of schools for Yolo County. We sincerely hope it’s someone who will actually be an advocate for teachers and staff. We do not need more of the same.”
Ayala is elected by Yolo County voters.
Negotiations on the teachers’ contract have been ongoing since September 2012. The teachers work with students in the various school districts throughout Yolo County.