Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
Manteca Unified has received an increase of 38% to their funding in the last two years, but they have offered the local teachers a raise that averages 1.5% for last year and next year. Not only does the district offer show a lack of respect to our teachers, but 1.5% shows a lack of common sense because the district should be doing everything it can to keep the teachers they have. Manteca teachers currently rank 8th out of 14 districts in total compensation in the county, salary and health care. Yet, Manteca teachers are the only teachers in the county who are teaching students who each have a digital tablet. And, Manteca Unified has the highest graduation rates in the county. During the fiscal crisis, teachers took a 13.5% pay cut along with every single school employee to help the district out. Teachers pay out of their own pocket for classroom supplies, because the district only provides $150 a year for classroom supplies. Teachers pay out of pocket up to $1100 monthly for health insurance. They also pay 8% of their pay into their pension. Teachers aren’t in it for the money that’s for sure, but don’t you agree your teachers deserve a fair contract?
Deputy Superintendent Dr. Clark Burke, who handles negotiations for the district, is getting a 6% salary increase for this last year and for each of the next 2 years. Plus, he is also receiving a $750 monthly mileage reimbursement and a monthly $1000 tax sheltered annuity in lieu of health care benefits. That’s actually like a 12% raise if you add in the mileage stipend. That’s enough mileage reimbursement to drive 1300 miles each month for business use. By the way, the district has 5 electric cars available to district employees to drive around the district, so the need for a mileage reimbursement is confusing. To sum up, that’s an18.72% salary increase from now until June 2017. Plus the TSA. Plus the mileage.
Recently, the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing reports the number of teachers entering teacher preparation programs decreased from 44,000 in 2008 to 19,000 in 2013, a 55% decrease. In Manteca Unified in the last 2 years alone, they have hired 270 teachers out of a total staff of 1110, a 25% turnover rate. Research and common sense shows that maintaining the stability of a school’s staff is crucial to the learning of a child. The district should do everything they can to retain and recruit the very best educators. You can see why teachers are leaving the district.
In addition, the district is setting aside $4 million for each of the next three years for tablet purchases. That’s $12 million to Panasonic which is like a 13.3% raise for teachers over the same time period. Rather than taking care of employees who took care of the district during the budget crisis, the district is taking care of Panasonic and Microsoft. I’m sure Bill Gates is happy about that.
For more information, please visit www.mantecateachers.com or Like us on Facebook at Manteca Educators Association. Hope to see you at the 4th of July Parade as we will be passing out free bottles of water so you can stay cool.
Please support and help your teachers by contacting your school board. Their emails are firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
President, Manteca Teachers