FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
La Mesa – Thursday evening GEA President Bruce Seaman addressed the Grossmont High School Board at its monthly public meeting and informed the board members that the Association has filed an Unfair Labor Practice Charge with the Public Employees Relations Board against the district for bad faith bargaining.
At the meeting, Seaman chided the school board for allowing the district's bargaining team to misrepresent its finances in budget documents. Seaman said, "It is unconscionable for the school district to manipulate its budget, just so it can tell the teachers it can't afford a pay raise. But that is what the Grossmont District has done and we are not about to accept it." The Association, representing more than 1100 teachers, counselors, nurses, school psychologists and speech therapists, is also claiming the District has attempted to undermine the Association by making claims to its members that the Association is not bargaining in their best interests and is too incompetent to understand budgets. Seaman pointed out that in addition to its bargaining team of GEA members, the association has access to two full time California Teachers Association staff consultants and a CTA Negotiations and Organizational Development Specialist.
During the 2003-04 year, top Grossmont administrators received 7 percent salary increases while the teachers received 0%. This year after receiving a 3.86% Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) from the state, the District is giving its administrators a $2,000 increase to their Tax Sheltered Annuities while offering teachers only a 1% salary increase. Seaman concluded his remarks to the Board by saying, "Our members are only asking for a fair cost of living increase and nothing more. It is our hope that you will direct the Superintendent to return to the bargaining table and negotiate a fair settlement, so that we all can focus on doing what we do best and that's teaching our kids."
GEA President Seaman will be available for interviews via phone at the GEA offices (619-460-3465).