Education Labor Unrest Continues in Redlands

Redlands Educators and Education Support Personnel have been working 14 months without a contract.

After over a year without a contract and no success in mediation, several hundred members of Redlands Education Support Professionals (RESPA) and Redlands Teachers Association (RTA) rallied at Redlands Unified School District (RUSD) board meeting to show solidarity for their bargaining team during extended mediation and to send a clear message; substandard pay and benefits will not attract the next generation of educators in one of the most expensive cities in San Bernardino County.

As teachers took to the streets of Redlands during the Tuesday rally, parents, education support personnel, and teachers spoke about the need to end the increasingly contentious negotiations and bring a competitive, fair offer that brings a measure of parity to the hardworking professionals of Redlands.

RESPA and RTA have been working diligently on a deal that has included several sessions of mediation, several issues still remain. Chief among those issues is the pay penalty- RUSD compensation is lowest in a comparative analysis to other surrounding districts. An offer that closes that gap will help attract the next generation of teachers and support professionals to the Redlands education community.

RESPA President Gladys Kershall explained members’ frustrations; “We are becoming increasingly pessimistic about a deal; we know district movement is required to get there and we haven’t seen enough of it.”

If a deal cannot be reached, the state mediator will certify the issue for factfinding; it’s there that both sides will make their case and defend their settlement positions. It will be followed by an official release of the factfinder’s report.