Alpine Teachers to Strike, Beginning February 20
Alpine Teachers Association members will go out in an Unfair Labor Practice strike, beginning at 6:00 a.m., February 20, as the result of a decision made at yesterday's general membership meeting.
Although ATA members were hopeful that the district would return to the bargaining table with fair, reasonable settlement proposals, they were met instead with a rehash of the same offer the district had made in a previous proposal rejected by ATA members on February 5: a 7.58% salary cut and an $8,000 health benefits cap effective January 1, 2014, that will leave many ATA members with 30% or more less per year in total compensation. Because the district will extract double health benefits cuts for May and June, some members will receive NO pay in those months.
“Unfortunately, the district is intent on building their reserve fund and breaking teachers’ backs financially, based on faulty financial assumptions,” said ATA President Gayle Malone. “Ultimately, it is the students and the entire community who will suffer.”
Many Alpine teachers will see their compensation slashed by as much as 30 percent or more, with at least one looking for a 60 percent cut. Because the school district plans to take double health benefits cuts during the months of May and June from teachers with family health insurance plans, these educators will see little or no salary at all those months. Then, because Alpine teachers’ annual salary is divided by 10, they will receive no paychecks in July and August, leaving many in dire financial difficulties until school begins next fall.
“The district not only can afford the fact- finder report recommendations, it can do so and still maintain the amount of reserve funds required by the state,” said Malone. “We had hoped it wouldn’t come to this, but we cannot stand by at the cost of our professional lives and the welfare of our students.”
Strike fund contributions can be sent to: Alpine Teachers Association Strike Fund, 5333 Mission Center Road, Suite 200, San Diego, CA 92108. Strike news updates and a link to express solidarity can be found on the association's website: www.alpineta.org.