Are teacher unions the same as other unions? No. Public entity unions need to achieve a balance between the wishes of teachers and the wishes of their employers, the public. Most labor unions don't have such a conflict; they are negotiating with private corporations.
School Districts Push For Teacher Pay Cuts During Contract Talks
By Ana Tintocalis
February 17, 2010
SAN DIEGO — The San Diego and Vista unified school districts are trying to negotiate new labor contracts with their teachers unions while they push for teacher pay cuts.
Crowds of teachers have disrupted San Diego and Vista school board meetings recently because of stalled contract negotiations and proposed budget cuts.
Teachers in both districts are angry officials want to cut their salary as their unions struggle to hammer out new labor contracts.
Vista Unified wants teachers to take a 2 percent pay cut and five furlough days. San Diego Unified is calling for an 8 percent pay cut.
The proposed cuts are making contract negotiations even more hostile. In fact, a state mediator is now leading talks in Vista.
Jim Groth is with the California Teachers Association. He says an increasing number of school districts are offering aggressive contract proposals so they can balance their budgets.
“Yes, we (teachers unions) are very aware of the economy and what is going on out there. But we want the districts to look at all options before they are going to make those cuts to the classroom.”
The Chula Vista Elementary School District is also considering pay cuts. All public school districts have to finalize their budgets by summer.