PASO ROBLES — The board room was packed at last night’s Paso Robles Joint Unified School District meeting. About 30 or so Paso Robles teachers showed up with hand-written signs protesting a salary cut.
Jim Lynett, executive director of Paso Robles Public Educators, spoke twice at the podium, representing the teacher’s outrage at a future salary cut.
“Now we are negotiating for 17/18, and we have hit a wall,” Lynett said. “The wall is a pay cut for 17/18. Four full days of negotiations… and the result is a pay cut. Teachers will be comparing their 6/30 paycheck with their 9/30 paycheck, and the amount will be less.”
Negotiations are expected into October, and some board members stressed the need to compromise. The teachers present, however, were open to working on other ways to cut spending, ways that would not affect their salaries or benefits.
“The new priorities are clear, and they are not your hard-working employees,” Lynett said.
Teachers stood up during public comments to show their presence and brought signs that expressed their disapproval of the Board’s recent negotiations that include a possible nine percent pay decrease to keep the district from spending from a deficit.
Board President Field Gibson let the public know he and his fellow trustees are working hard on the matter, and expressed the negotiations were not at all finished.
“I understand the passion… but I deal more in facts and reality,” Gibson said.
“I have said this many times. I am never willingly going to go back to stripping everything out of the cupboard, especially in the good times,” Gibson said, and warned of that districts that resort to deficit spending do not fare well.
There is much more to the issue, so please stay tuned as Paso Robles Press investigates for a more in-depth story next week.