Campbell High School Teachers Association and school district at impasse with pay negotiations

CUSD will be looking to cut as much as $5 million starting in the 2018-19 school year.

The Campbell Union High School District (CUHSD) and the Campbell High School Teacher’s Association (CHSTA) did not appear any closer to resolving their impasse on pay negotiations in statements made at Thursday’s Board of Education meeting.

CUHSD teachers rallied prior to the board meeting to demand a raise. Many held black balloons meant to symbolize a “dark cloud” looming over the district.

Negotiators of CUHSD and CHSTA called in the Public Employees Review Board (PERB) to provide mediation at the end of September.

Last year, Campbell teachers at six high schools received a one-time bonus of $5,000. Teachers want the bonus permanently added to their annual salaries, in addition to a 4 percent wage increase, citing in part cost-of-living increases, amounting to approximately $8,700 per year, down from an initial $11,500 proposed earlier this year.

The school district has increased its initial offer of a permanent $4,000 increase to $5,000, plus an additional $500 one-time payment, and a $2,000 retention stipend.

The current negotiations followed a three-year contract ratified in 2019 that gave teachers a $4,000 one-time payment in Year 1 and a $5,000 one-time payment in Year 2. In Year 3, both sides agreed to negotiate an ongoing salary increase contingent on the passage of a parcel tax.

Last year, two separate attempts to pass a parcel tax failed to garner the two-thirds majority, including a $265 parcel tax in March that received 59.9 percent voter approval and an $86 parcel tax In November that received 62 percent approval. A parcel tax previously approved by voters, which brings in approximately $5M a year, is set to expire June 30, 2023.

The district cites multi-year projections suggesting the union’s current pay proposal would cause a budget deficit that could lead to layoffs, increased class sizes and other cuts. However, the union says the district has $33 million in reserve that could go toward employee salaries, and added the district has had a budget surplus of more than $15 million per year over the past three years.

District Superintendent Robert Bravo said reserves fluctuate every year, and added that recent surpluses are a result of COVID money from the state.

“The CUHSD Board is hopeful we can come to an agreement soon so we can get that extra money I the pockets of teachers,” CUHSD Board President Kalen Gallagher said, “but it’s going to take both sides coming together in good faith.

See the CUHSD Board message here.

Learn more about CHSTA perspectives here.