Angie Erickson 0

Pay BUSD Teachers a Competitive Salary and Benefits Package

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We are a group of concerned Benicia Unified School District parents, who are working to help get our teachers the pay and benefit package they deserve. As you may know, our teachers are due for a new contract and have asked for a reasonable pay and benefit increase (4.75%). The district initially offered them 1%, then 2.25%, before ceasing negotiations in favor of paying for arbitration to settle the issues. If an agreement cannot be reached, there is a very good chance our teachers will be forced to strike on May 1st. This petition is to show the school board and the district leaders that Benicia parents are concerned about this issue and want them to meet the teachers demands. We want Benicia to continue to be one of the top school districts in the state. We can't celebrate our awards, without acknowledging how we got them, and that starts with the teachers.

There is a larger issue that if our teachers are not competitively compensated, we risk not being able to attract and retain quality teachers moving forward. Based on information from other districts near us (including Walnut Creek, Pinole, and Napa) our teachers have some of the lowest paid salaries and are at the bottom percentile in health benefits in Solano County. For example, a district in Walnut Creek is offering 8% more in salary, better health benefits and will allow Benicia teachers to keep their tenure. We've already had some teachers leave for better opportunities this year and we currently have multiple open teaching positions that the district is struggling to fill. The district is now allowing non-credentialed teachers to fill those outstanding positions. Our children deserve better.

The school board is saying there isn't money, which is not true. There is money coming in, but the concern is where they're planning to spend it. They call for a need for improving programs and using the money for new technology. If we don't have the teachers to implement the programs and to teach the kids this new technology, they won't be worth the money spent. We should start with the teachers. Please sign this petition so that we can show the board and the district that the parents are behind our teachers and that we stand with their demands to be paid in-line with other schools in our area and in the state.

Thank you.

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