Santee School District (SSD) and Santee Teachers Association (STA) are in mediation today January 25 over a longstanding contract dispute that has some teachers resigning and taking positions with better pay and benefits in surrounding districts. President Lori Meaux and Crisis team member Chris Stanley helped organize a successful rally at the Previous SSD board meeting, and spoke to several media oulets regarding the unresolved issues at the table. Meaux explained, “When you rank 43 out of 45 in healthcare benefits in San Diego County, you cannot attract new staff in a time of teacher shortage.”
Teachers are hopeful for a positive outcome in today’s session, and are prepared for further engagement in order to bring a settlement if necessary. STA plans to continue to protest the district policy of retaining 24 percent budget reserves while paying teachers among the lowest in San Diego County. “We want to keep Santee’s outstanding educators in our community, and be able to attract the next generation of teachers too” Meaux said.
If mediation proves unsuccessful, a state fact-finding panel will be certified to conduct a investigation into both side’s claims in the unresolved dispute.