Although teachers at Escondido’s Central Elementary School Tuesday afternoon walked out of the school right after the last bell to signal all of the extra time they spend in the classroom, the Escondido Union School District on Wednesday said negotiations are “cordial and amicable” and that it was unclear why the demonstration took place.
According to a report in the San Diego Union Tribune about 15 teachers wearing union T-shirts indicating that they were representing Escondido Elementary Educators Association. They told the reporter that they were leaving the campus precisely at the 3:15 p.m. bell to make a point that they put in many more hours than they are paid for.
“We’re walking out at the contract hours, which never happens,” one of the teachers told the U-T reporter.
The Times-Advocate contacted the school district and received this statement from Kevin Rubow, assistant superintendent of Human Resources.
“Our negotiations with EEEA have been cordial and amicable. We presented an offer to EEEA at our last bargaining session. This proposal can be found on our website. We went a long way in our latest proposal to try to meet what EEEA has requested, including increasing our salary offer. We are awaiting the teachers association’s response on March 8, when negotiations will resume. In our bargaining sessions, we haven’t experienced anything other than differences of opinion. We have two more negotiations sessions scheduled, March 8 and March 13.
“The district offer is 5.17% salary increase over two years, retroactively effective to Feb. 1, 2019. EEEA has asked for a 5.5% increase for one year, retroactively effective to July 1, 2018, as well as removal of the cap on benefits. However, removal of the cap on benefits is not feasible in order for the district to remain fiscally solvent. Regarding health benefits, in past years at the association’s request, the district has not added money to benefits and has put all of the available money toward salary.
“We are unclear as to the reasoning behind the demonstrations from our teachers because we have been working fairly and in good faith with EEEA and have not received any feedback to indicate otherwise.”
The statement concludes: “Negotiations began in September between EUSD and both employee groups – Escondido Elementary Educators Association (EEEA) and California School Employees Association Chapter 150 (CSEA). We presented a similar offer to CSEA on Tuesday, March 5, when we met for negotiations with that classified employees’ bargaining team.”
The Times-Advocate also left a phone message for the president of the EEEA but at presstime we had not gotten an answer back. If and when we do we will post an amended copy of this story on our website.