November 8, 2021
On Monday, November 8th Special Magistrate Dennis Campagna, submitted recommendations as to teacher compensation and other issues at impasse. The Magistrate’s decision contains several well-reasoned recommendations that would benefit our teachers and the public interest and should be accepted. The Special Magistrate recommended:
The Magistrate also rejected the District’s position at bargaining that only state categorical funds can be used for raises; however, he ultimately found that the District may not have the funds for additional recurring salary increases this year, and therefore accepted the District’s proposal of a $25-$175 base salary increase (depending on evaluations) and a one-time $2,500 supplement for teachers.
The Magistrate acknowledged that failure to provide a longevity supplement will perpetuate harsh inequities that have led to disproportionately lower pay for experienced teachers, and his recommendation would be a huge step towards mitigating these discrepancies and increasing veteran teacher pay for years.
Further, the Magistrate agreed with the Union that the District cannot increase the cost of health care, during a pandemic, and at the time that the majority of its proposed wage increase comes in the form of a one-time supplement. The Magistrate wrote:
it is important to note that our Country is just beginning to break free from the negative effects caused by the pandemic. During this time, the record reflects, and there is no dispute, that bargaining unit members put their own health at risk by continuing to perform their teaching duties with students on an in-person basis. In addition, the record reflects and there is no dispute that numerous teachers spend their own money to ensure that their student’s educational and safety needs are met. Moreover, the record reflects that many bargaining unit members are forced to work more than one job in order to meet the needs of their family budget. To this Magistrate, it would be unconscionable to recommend that bargaining unit members pay more than the status quo for health care. While there may be a time to do so, now is surely not the time. . . this Magistrate recommends NO CHANGE to the current health coverage.
The OCCTA bargaining team is taking this under consideration.
The Impasse Timeline for Salary, Benefits and Working Conditions: