Unit 3—representing Professional Educators and Librarians—continued its efforts today to demand the respect and the pay that’s due to our members. It’s a key theme we’re using to guide our negotiations with the State to raise the principles and practices that govern our work to the level enjoyed by the broader educational system across California.

“We are providing quality educational services and deserve the recognition that’s accorded other members of our profession,” said Bob Holtz, Unit 3 Bargaining Chair.

Our focus today was to provide a more appropriate salary for the Teacher Specialists we represent, who work in the state’s diagnostic centers providing services for some of the most under-served kids in the system who face the most significant educational and developmental challenges. We’re also asking for a salary schedule that offers a greater incentive for career longevity.

Today’s Subject Matter Expert (SME) was Heather DeFelice, a Teacher Specialist in the SoCal diagnostic center, who spoke about why a more competitive salary was reasonable to solve recruitment and retention issues for a job that demands five years of experience and two advanced degrees.

“The gap between the salary of Diagnostic Center Teacher Specialists and school district specialists has widened.  In general, we make less than the educators we support. Many of us have stayed because we believe in the mission, but we are paid more similarly to new graduates and now more of our teacher specialists are thinking about returning to neighboring school districts,” said Heather in her presentation to the State.  

Heather’s testimony was in support of Article 22 and our efforts to increase pay at Special Schools, and we’ve had a number of SMEs in to speak on the topic.

We continue to focus on reaching agreement on sections relating to our Unit 3 members’ hours of work and work assignments. Those discussions are moving forward, incrementally. We also received some counter proposals from the State on several additional proposals, which we’ll review.

Finally, we reached tentative agreement with the State on section 22.2.2 – Academic Year-Special Schools, which we proposed as a roll over to continue previous contract protections.

You can review each of our current contract articles online at contract.seiu1000.org

Unit 3’s next meeting with the State is scheduled for Tuesday, June 6. To read about what happened in all of our bargaining efforts, please visit the Contract Action Center page at seiu1000.org

There’s real truth to the Local 1000 slogan, Stronger Together. We only win a great contract with a strong Local 1000 membership. So, if you’re not already a member, we encourage you to join us today.

And be sure to save your spot for the upcoming June 8 March to the Governor’s mansion here.