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By Ed Sibby

Brea Olinda Teachers Association (BOTA) members held a rally at Thursday’s Brea Olinda Unified School District board meeting to send a clear message that one-time bonuses in lieu of fair compensation is unacceptable. 

Scores of members were on hand in support of their negotiating team and the decision to reject the district’s last offer. Members consider their own 4% offer fair and reasonable and made the statement with their participation in the rally after a full day of classroom instruction.

On Wednesday, BOTA negotiators declared an official impasse with BOUSD. The teams could not reach a compensation settlement that would attract new educators with competitive salaries and benefits during the current ten-thousand-teacher shortage in California. 

BOTA negotiators could not agree to compensation that was a 44% off-schedule bonus after the district received ongoing money from the state. Negotiations Chair Jenn Collier explained; “When educators take less, it not only becomes a permanent loss to incomes now, it makes it more difficult to recruit Brea Olinda educators in the future. 

CTA Executive Board Member Joe Bartell in solidarity with President Glenda Bartell and Bargaining Chair Jennifer Collier at the BOTA rally

“When a district receives ongoing funding yet offers one-time bonuses instead of competitive wages, they can expect the adverse reaction they received here tonight.”  

CTA Board member Joe Bartell

Mediation will require a state-appointed official who will attempt to find a compromise and move the teams toward a settlement. If this step is unsuccessful, the mediator will move the impasse to a fact-finding process and a report will be submitted. If this does not lead to settlement, the district may impose its last, best, and final offer, and BOTA members will be free to engage in job actions, including striking. 

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