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District Makes Compensation Proposal to AEA

Issued By: Superintendent Kirsten Vital (510) 337-7060 and
Board President Nielsen Tam (510) 337-7060

District Makes Compensation Proposal to AEA

AUSD Offers to Raise Starting Teacher Salary to Average of County Districts,

Increase AEA Overall Salaries by 2%, and Provide Additional Financial Incentives for Teachers to Participate in a Two-Year Pilot of Professional Learning Communities

Alameda, Thursday, January 24, 2013 – Today the District’s negotiating team presented a compensation proposal to the bargaining team representing the Alameda Education Association (AEA). The proposal offers to raise starting teacher salaries to the average of comparable school districts in Alameda County, increase overall teacher salaries by 2% and provide additional financial incentives for teachers participating in a voluntary two-year pilot program of Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) aimed at improving student achievement. If this proposal is accepted by AEA, beginning teachers who participate in the pilot would see an estimated total increase of more than 6% in compensation for the next two years and most other teachers who participate in the pilot would see a total increase of more than 3% in compensation for the next two years.

The District offered to increase teachers’ salaries despite the fact that it faces significant ongoing budget risk and uncertainty. With the potential one-time loss of revenue of up to $13.6M in the event that the Court of Appeal and/or the California Supreme Court invalidate some or all of Measure H, any offer to increase employee compensation presents a risk that the District may need to undertake budget reductions in future years. A legal challenge to Measure H in the Borikas, et. al v. AUSD litigation is currently pending on rehearing before the Court of Appeal.

In addition, the Governor’s latest budget proposal presented earlier this month includes novel funding formulas for education, the effect of which on AUSD’s budget are incalculable until the Governor’s proposal is clarified and acted upon by the legislature later this year.

Due to the Borikas case and continued uncertainty in Sacramento over school funding formulas, the salary proposal to AEA includes the opportunity for either side to re-open negotiations over salary next January.

In addition to increasing beginning teachers’ salaries and overall compensation, the proposal includes an annual incentive of $1,000 for each of the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 school years available to every teacher who participates in a PLC.  The proposed two-year pilot is for the specific purpose of closing the achievement gap and improving student outcomes. Evidence here in Alameda and around the country consistently shows that if we build and support PLCs, the achievement gap narrows, teachers and site leaders are supported in leading instructional improvement and students achieve better academic results.

The proposal describes PLCs as teams of teachers, site administrators and staff formally working together to reflect on and improve teaching practices in order to achieve better results for students. For example, working in a PLC, staff share best teaching strategies for curriculum or for particular students or student groups; engage in lesson analysis and refinement based on student outcomes; observe model lessons and instruction; implement Common Core State Standards; analyze student data from summative and formative assessments; and implement site-based initiatives or innovative programs. Many teachers and schools in the District are already engaged in professional work of this nature and the incentive proposal is intended to recognize and honor their work.

The two-year PLC pilot would be funded from Measure A, consistent with the terms of the parcel tax approved by the voters in March 2011. Measure A provides that 16% of parcel tax funds are to be specifically allocated to programs to close the achievement gap. The financial incentives for teachers to participate in PLCs would be drawn from that specific category of Measure A.

Posted by: Rob van Herk, District Admin, Alameda Unified School District Published:1/24/13
Audience: Homepage and Homepage