This Presidents Day weekend has taken on added meaning for local teachers’ union Chula Vista Educators (CVE) as they rallied before the Chula Vista Elementary School District (CVESD) board meeting on Tuesday night. Adorned in stovepipe hats, educators, parents, and students honored President Abraham Lincoln with a request that CVESD follow in his footsteps and tell the truth about the budget and its excessive and inappropriate reserves. According to CVE President Susan Skala, “Honest Abe would be disappointed in the district’s use of scare tactics about budget discrepancies to force concessions at the bargaining table. It’s a cynical and dishonest attempt to manipulate data to meet a predetermined outcome.”
While CVE continues to organize around the issue of class size, CVESD negotiators have chosen a cynical ploy to pit educators against their students by linking a raise to an increase in class size. CVE President Susan was clear in sharing the union’s position on the matter; “While the district is backpedaling on its offer after a public relations nightmare, CVE has remained resolute. We will not agree to a settlement that adversely impacts students in our classrooms.”
CVESD’s history of producing inaccurate projections at the table is a longstanding practice. By overestimating expenses and underestimating revenue, the district has sown distrust and has made bargaining unnecessarily complex. CVE wants to move the process forward, but their negotiating team is limited by projections that have been historically inaccurate.
For the scores of CVE members who participated in the rally, it’s still about professional respect. By honoring Abraham Lincoln, educators encourage CVESD officials to follow his example of honesty in its interaction with educators. CVE President Susan Skala explained, “CVE members want a fair settlement that improves the conditions of teaching and learning in our classrooms. We plan to keep fighting because Chula Vista students are worth it.”