Santee teachers rally at board meeting

With mediation scheduled January 25, teachers share frustrations

Low salaries and sub-standard benefits

Santee Teachers Association (STA) is supporting their bargaining team’s position to retain and attract the highly qualified teachers needed to provide all students with the excellent education they deserve through competitive pay and compensation.

Santee educators have been making the case that low salaries are placing the students and community at risk of losing highly qualified teachers, and as retirements increase, undercutting the ability to attract new employees who are equally skilled. Additionally, Santee School District offers among the worst (14 of 16) healthcare benefits in San Diego County.

Santee District’s offer doesn’t measure up to comparable districts

Compared to colleagues in other districts, Santee teachers are falling further behind. Recent increases in compensation in surrounding districts are leading local educators to consider a move to the higher-paying districts of San Diego County. Students are at risk of losing some of their most experienced teachers.

The district’s offer last year included conditions that were unacceptable. Santee teachers want future salary schedules that reflect gains that keep Santee consistently competitive and ensure retention of their outstanding teachers.

Communication failures have made the current situation worse

During comments at the school board meeting, former San Diego County Teacher of the Year and veteran of twenty years, teacher Chris Stanley spoke about how communication has broken down between educators and the administration. The result has been evident; program changes, expenditures and uneven technology roll-outs that continue to be problematic for educators and the community. Breakdowns in communication were at the heart of each of the failures.  He explained “I enjoy the pioneering spirit along with many others, but without communication, it’s like pioneering with the Donner Party.”

Competitive pay keeps teachers in our classrooms

STA President Lori Meaux spoke about the value of the district’s greatest resource- its teachers. “We want to make sure that we can keep our outstanding teachers from leaving Santee while we attract new teachers in this time of growing teaching shortages in our state. In the end, STA  wants to ensure every student receives a high quality education. We can do this by appropriately compensating our high quality teaching force”.

STA has planned an additional rally on January 25 to coincide with the all-day State Mediation session.