Teacher Contract Conflict Resolved

Teacher Union and SVUSD Sign Salary Contract, Averting Possible Strike

A Makeshift Red for Ed Lanyard

A Makeshift “Red for Ed” Lanyard

Following months of contested negotiations over salary contracts, the dispute between the Valley of the Moon Teacher’s Association and the SVUSD has come to an amicable close. Beginning last fall, the VMTA has rallied for teacher contracts that would have higher pay and more benefits including raising the average teacher pay to meet state levels.

On November 18 the new contracts were approved by the district, allowing for an 8% increase in salary for the SVUSD teachers. Money and salaries are the largest issues within the contracts. SVUSD is funded 21% more than the state average for other school districts. However, the teacher’s salaries were 14% less than the state average for teacher pay.  Additionally, averages for pay throughout the state had been much higher than what the teachers were earning within the district. The state average percentage of total district funds allotted for educator salaries is 37%, while SVUSD was allotting
only 30%.

A crisis was averted when the district approved the new contracts. The teachers were threatening a strike if their demands were not met. The VMTA authorized a strike of teachers district wide if negotiations were to fall apart.

According to Bernadette Weissmann, bargaining chair for the VMTA, “We won’t settle [until we] get to the state average.” SVHS teachers held demonstrations in front of the school twice and carried their frustrations to the school board meetings. Every Wednesday, teachers around campus could be seen sporting their red shirts and iconic red lanyards displaying catchphrases such as, “Love Students” and “Red for Ed.”