Teachers employed by the Yolo County Office of Education rallied in Woodland last Tuesday, seeking higher salaries and changes to contract language regarding disciplinary procedures relating to district/employee concerns.
Then on Friday, Yolo County Superintendent of Schools made Jorge Ayala what he termed a “last, best offer,” which includes a 5 percent increase in total compensation and a one-time cash bonus ranging from $900 to $1,700 per employee. Several dozen special education teachers are employed by the Office of Education.
The teachers have been working without a contract for more than a year. The California Teachers Association, which with the Yolo Education Association is affiliated, issued a statement warning that the dispute is heading toward a possible strike.
Ayala said negotiations have been underway since September 2012, and that four meetings including a mediator resulted in no agreement. If the final offer is not accepted, the impasse likely will proceed to the fact-finding process required by law, Ayala said.
He described the Office of Education’s offer as “entirely reasonable,” adding that it “does not expose YCOE to financial risk, and is competitive with teacher compensation packages offered by school districts within Yolo County.”
The CTA statement maintains that teachers in the Yolo Education Association “work hard for their challenging students, yet they are not treated with the same respect as other teachers in the county.”
The ongoing dispute between the YCOE and YEA comes as teachers in many school districts are seeking increased compensation. Teacher salaries have generally been flat since the state budget crisis began in 2008, triggering cuts in state funding to schools. Now with the state crisis ebbing, unions representing teachers and other employees are seeking to make up some of the lost ground.
In Davis, the school board and the California School Employees Association — representing secretaries, maintenance and custodial staff and nutrition staff — recently agreed to a one-time, 2 percent bonus. Negotiations on a possible companion agreement with the Davis Teachers Association are ongoing.
In the Woodland school district, teachers recently received a one-time, 1 percent bonus.