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Galt high school district unions seek raises for district employees

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Posted: Saturday, October 19, 2013 12:00 am

Galt Joint Union High School District employees would like to see the district invest in them using extra funding.

That was the sentiment at last week’s regular school board meeting, where union members representing a variety of departments attended en masse. An estimated 60 people attended the standing room-only meeting.

“We packed the room with teachers, classified, CSEA and community members,” teachers’ union president Alex Bauer said.

Seven speakers expressed concern about how negotiations have been going, he said.

“We stressed in our presentations that this is the time to invest in their staff as we make the chaotic transition to the Common Core standards,” he said.

The group also noted that the district has 4.62 percent more money to spend this year under a new funding formula, and said they feel the money should be spent on teachers and staff who have not had a raise since the 2007-08 school year.

Since that time, they said, the cost of living has increased by 12 percent, and unions are paying a larger share of their health care costs.

Nearly 83 percent of the budget pays salaries and benefits for district employees.

The district has suffered financial setbacks in recent years and ended up on the state’s financial watch list more than once, but now the new Local Control Funding Formula could help keep it in the financial black beyond the 2015-16 school year, according to district staff.

The formula essentially changes the way districts receive state funding, and increases the amount based on a variety of factors.

The revised budget presented to trustees in August assumes no cost-of-living allowances for employees.

Meanwhile, the teachers’ union is currently in negotiations, as each year its members have the opportunity to discuss item, plus wages and benefits. The entire contract will expire in June.

Those employees who attended last week’s meeting are following up with postcards to board members.

Bauer was direct with the strong public showing.

“Our goal with our demonstration is to get the district to invest in its staff during this critical transition to Common Core,” he said.

Contact reporter Jennifer Bonnett at jenniferb@lodinews.com.

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