School Board votes "yes" on raises

PASO ROBLES -- The Paso Robles Joint Unified School District Board approved raises for teachers, administrators and classified employees Tuesday night.

The agreements include a two percent salary increase for educators, district management and classified employees. The raises will be retroactive to July 1, 2017 and a 1.5 percent increase to the salary schedule beginning July 1, 2018 for the 2018/2019 school year.

“I just want to say that this is a recognition of all the hard work the teachers do and and your recognition,” said one of the lead negotiators for the educators, Jim Lynette. “Teachers put in so much time and so much effort and this is sending them a message that you honor and respect them and you want to reward them for that.”

Board Member Chris Bausch cast the lone dissenting vote.

“As much as I support teachers and the tentative agreement, really the only power the school board has is the power of the purse and if we can’t use that, our opinions go unvoiced,” he said. “With that being said I support our teachers, I think they deserve at least this much, more.”

He added that the district’s growth in staff will have a major fiscal impact in the near future.

“With that in mind I will be voting against this motion only to offer my support in the future as we begin to reduce administration costs in the district,” Bausch said. “We have far more administrators than other districts our size. We have fewer teachers than districts our size. I’m just going to vote no on this as an indicator of my desire for fewer administrators and more teachers.”

In rebuttal, Superintendent Chris Williams replied, “So we have a ratio of administrators to educators, 85 to 15 percent, that we have to be under and which we have maintained. We have done incredible work on our budget based on some of our board members’ support as we’ve gone through this and we will continue to focus on instructional programs due for our kids in this organization as well as recognizing our staff. Guys, reality is, it’s a 15 percent pay increase over three and a half years. We put our money where our mouth is, we put our support in where it is necessary and we are 100 percent confident where the county is that we can sustain this budget this year and next year and three years out.”

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