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By Ed Sibby

Perris Elementary Teachers Association (PETA) held a “Unity Rally” at Rob Reiner Community Center as their bargaining team presented evidence in a fact-finding session, urging an end to six months of negotiations with Perris Elementary school officials.

PETA members carried signs and marched to the community center as they communicated their desire for a settlement that would keep great teachers while helping recruit the next generation of educators for Perris schools.

Outside the fact-finding meeting, approximately one hundred fifty chanting PETA members let the teams inside know they expected a fair settlement. Clearwater Elementary teacher Chrissie Soto took the bullhorn and shared to a cheering crowd, “We wake up, we show up, and we do it all over again. We need acknowledgment, appreciation, and support!”

Members have shown strength and resilience as they continue to push for a competitive salary in a community where students are among Riverside County’s most economically disadvantaged.  

With twenty-five thousand open teaching positions in California, PETA has made it plain that Perris must work even harder to bring educators to our community.  

According to PETA President Socorro Gonzalez, the decision to support work-to-rule protests at sites across the district underscored the frustration over the stalled negotiations and helped leverage an agreement.

“Our members know we’ve been bargaining in good faith since last August. Working-to-Rule showed how much unpaid work teachers do outside their workday to give Perris students a great elementary school experience.” 

–PETA President Socorro Gonzalez

After the rally Gonzalez was enthusiastic and encouraged by the effort; “In unity our members stood alongside the community and sent a successful message to the district that you cannot put Perris students first if you put PETA members last.”

PETA negotiators settled on a two-year agreement that included a 6.85% increase (including all stipends tied to the salary schedule) retroactive to July 1, 2023. PETA will hold a ratification vote in the coming days and is confident members will strongly support the successor agreement.


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