APT survey says PUSD at risk of losing more teachers

In a community forum on March 19, APT leaders presented the results of an internal survey that showed a high number of teachers were considering leaving the district — either by retiring or resigning to accept a position in another school district. APT President Dr. Elise Marks said the community forum was held to highlight the urgency of the situation even as PUSD is exploring the possibility of putting a parcel tax measure on the ballot in November to help boost teacher salaries. While increasing the parcel tax is essential to attracting and retaining teachers, she said, interim measures were also needed to prevent the loss of teachers in the near future. 

“I have never written as many recommendations for colleagues as I have in recent months,” Marks said on Tuesday, noting that PUSD teachers can make higher salaries and have better healthcare benefits in other districts.

APT slides from the March 19 forum:

PUSD and APT are still in mediation over salary and healthcare benefits. Marks said a meeting was scheduled for this Friday.

On Feb. 28 the Board of Education said it would pursue an increase to the Measure H parcel tax as a way to mitigate budget cuts. PUSD is taking steps to assess the community’s appetite for additional taxes before putting it on the November 2024 ballot.

The current PUSD offer to staff of a 9% pay increase over three years requires $1.4 million in cuts for 2024-2025 and an additional $1.4 million in 2025-2026 — or $2.3 million in 2024-2025 to cover both years. According to PUSD, if a parcel tax were approved in November 2024, the additional revenue would be available to cover the projected $1.4 million in cuts for 2025-2026. The district has put forward its plan for $1.4 million in cuts for 2024-2025.

APT said that the district’s offer of 9% — which is broken down over three years (2% for 2023-2024, 4% for 2024-2025, and 3% for 2025-2026) — puts some teachers in an untenable financial position for the next year even if a parcel tax campaign is successful in the fall. Marks said she hopes PUSD can increase its offer based on revised budget numbers from the March 2 interim report.

The union said that rising healthcare costs, especially for the 32% of PUSD teachers who have family coverage, have already exacerbated the financial strain many district teachers experience. In 2011 negotiations teachers agreed to give up full healthcare coverage to prevent deep budget cuts. As healthcare premiums have risen in the years since, PUSD staff have had to absorb that increase.

According to the APT slide deck, the extra revenue from a possible parcel tax increase could result in an additional $2.6 million that would translate into a 7.4% salary increase for PUSD employees and require no further budget cuts.

3 thoughts on “APT survey says PUSD at risk of losing more teachers

  1. Hi, I am a concerned parent who isn’t seeing some information being relayed over the past couple of months as inconsistent or confusing to a lay person, such as myself, but I would love to be corrected if in fact I am not understanding all of these pieces accurately.

    In a Piedmont Pulse (Dr, Hawn’s newsletter) a few months ago, in which the APT president wrote a guest letter to the community, there was discussion of how much salary increase Marin City/Sausalito school district was getting for Fall 2024 (see the link to that newsletter here, 14 paragraphs down) in which was stated, “Sausalito / Marin City, whose salary schedule is very close to Piedmont’s, reached an agreement that will give educators a total 13% raise by the time they enter their classrooms next fall.” https://www.smore.com/th8dw

    However when I look up the salary schedule for the same district, public information here it says it’s a 4% increase. Am I missing something or interpreting it wrong?: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1tkokq7OmNxy6ZQOqcbHAOhLGiO_zJtS2/view

    Yes this is just one little dot linked to many dots but makes me wonder about other things I have heard: are we in the same financial standing as these other school districts? Do we have a Title 1 designation where we get more or less funding from the state because of students needs?

    Thanks for any more information you can provide or another forum during which we can talk even more about this.

    • Amy Griffith, what you’re seeing at the top of Sausalito Marin City’s salary schedule is just showing the 4% additional for 2024-2025 (it says so clearly right at the top). But they hadn’t yet settled for 22-23 or 23-24 during this round of negotiations, so the salary schedule actually reflects a three-year increase, with 4% retroactive for 2022-2023, and 5% for 2023-24 retroactive to July 2023. Adding in the additional 4% for 24-25, that’s a total increase of over 13% (since each new percentage increase builds on the new total from the last one). When I wrote that column in the Pulse, I said Sausalito’s salary schedule was very close to Piedmont’s; I believe the highest salary shown on the old salary schedule (the one from 22-23) was just a bit below Piedmont’s current highest salary in our F25 cell, just a bit below $114,000 as I recall. I don’t have a screenshot, so I don’t have the exact figure. But look at their highest cell now, which teachers actually reach by year 21: $129,052. Assuming it was $114,000 originally, a 4% increase for 22-23 would bring it to about 118,560. Another 5% for 23-24 would bring it to about 124,488, and the final 4% for 24-25 would bring it to 129,467.52. So, as I said, they must have been just below $114,000 to start. Anyhow, where they are now is almost 13% higher than what Piedmont’s salary schedule currently offers its highest paid employees. I would be thrilled if we could get to an agreement in which F25 was at $129,000 by next fall. (I’m an English teacher, not a math teacher, but I am most definitely a scholar at heart, and try to be as accurate as humanly possible in what I share with the public.) I’ve actually been able to find a link to the 4% increase that took place in 22-23, and you can see that it says 4% as of July (i.e., retroactive to then): https://drive.google.com/file/d/1IFyD4QWX3JINAtHuZE3Qq0dQhcPQFiew/view

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