MDUSD, Teachers’ Union Reach Three Year Contract Agreement

March 4, 2014 14:01 pm · 108 comments


The Mount Diablo Unified School District and the Mt. Diablo Education Association teachers’ union have reached an agreement on a three year contract.

The following information is from the Mt. Diablo Education Association:

We have reached agreement on a three year contract. This contract returns  medical coverage for our members as well as providing on-going salary increases equal to 9.3% over the term of the agreement. In the words of President Guy Moore, “This contract sets the cornerstone for a new foundation for the district and was only possible with the support, hard work and courage of the School Board, Superintendent Nellie Meyer, and the many members, parents, and community members who worked tirelessly to build support for this change.”

Beginning in January 2015, the district will pay $12,781 per year toward medical coverage for two or more people. Members who select coverage for one person will receive support equal to $6,390. Beginning in January of 2016, the district will pay $16,615 per year toward medical coverage for families. Members who choose not to take Medical through the district will receive an in-lieu payment of $100 per month. These Benefit caps are equal to the caps for other bargaining units.

The contract includes the following salary increases:

  • 3% retroactive to July 1, 2013
  • 2% effective February, 2015
  • 4% effective February, 2016
  • After February of 2016, the salary schedule will be 9.3% higher than the current schedule.
  • Two Professional Development Days will be added to the school year beginning with the 2014-2015 school year.
  • The contract includes additional changes to the transfer article, BTSA, and the Catastrophic Leave Bank. These changes were detailed in earlier announcements.

Your bargaining team and MDEA Leadership are thrilled with this contract and hope you will join us in voting YES!

photo credit: 

Forest Park resident March 4, 2014 at 2:01 PM

Great news! This is a huge step in the right direction for our community. It’s a good thing when the schools of Concord, Clayton and Pleasant Hill become the schools that aspiring young teachers seek to work for. “Thank you” to all the teachers who have been serving our community for so long and for so much less than they deserve.

funny man March 4, 2014 at 2:06 PM


Elwood March 4, 2014 at 2:17 PM

Translation: The board went belly up again.

Once again a public employee union has bullied gutless elected officials into capitulation.

Public employee unions should be outlawed. FDR said they should never be allowed to organize and he was right.

Sherry Whitmarsh March 4, 2014 at 2:23 PM

I’m glad the teachers finally will be getting medical back as this was a major contributor in teacher flight from MDUSD. It also gives all the employees of MDUSD the same medical benefits.

anon March 4, 2014 at 2:26 PM

Where is the money going to come from?

laugher March 4, 2014 at 2:26 PM

added two more “professional development days”

hahaha. In other words, 2 more days off for the teachers during the school year. Nevermind that they already get nearly 3 months off every year during the summer.

We are suckers that are punked under the banner of “it’s for the kids”.

They got their medical back too? You mean the medical they CHOSE to pass on for a salary increase a few years ago?

Suckers. All of us. Our education will still suck, and now we’re paying more for it to suck more.

$1065/mo for medical coverage per couple March 4, 2014 at 2:36 PM

half that for a single. Also, what are “Professional Development Days”?

Not a friend of Elwood March 4, 2014 at 2:43 PM

Dear Elwood (#3),
You sound very angry. I do hope the rest of your day goes better. As for referencing FDR, his views that you are referencing were on “Federal” employees, not “Public” employees. Please read the following… …and note, if you so desire, his VERY pro-union stance overall.

How about supporting the local schools and teachers for a change?

Anonymous March 4, 2014 at 2:45 PM

Ugh. The medical was something they voluntarily gave up. Professional development days are something the union is “thrilled about”

I guess so.

@ laughter March 4, 2014 at 2:48 PM

FYI they dont get paid for the 3 months off as you put it and they have not had a raise in over 7 years. When is the last time you got a pay increase? im sure it was sooner than that.

Our education system sucks because who wants to teach your bratty kid for the same amount of pay they can make working at a starbucks, Parents today teach their kids no manners and then ship them off to be the teachers problem all day.

re: Where is the money going to come from? March 4, 2014 at 2:48 PM

Regarding “anon #5″… Below are two links, one to a local news outlet, and the other directly to the governor’s budget proposal. In a nutshell, the state of California is in the midst of a strong economic recovery.

Upsetjet March 4, 2014 at 2:51 PM

Congrats MDUSD!!!! Its about time you guys get what you deserve.

anon March 4, 2014 at 2:56 PM

I have no problem with teachers getting raises. Look at their salaries compared to some of the other pigs that stuff their faces from the public pension trough.

@Elwood looks like you could’ve used better teachers based on your FDR revisionist ramblings.

From what I see March 4, 2014 at 2:57 PM

walking out of Mt. Diablo High and Concord High, along with the overall test scores of the students, I believe teachers should be paid at the end of the year.

Once there has been time to see just what sort of teaching has been done then the teacher can be paid.

@ Elwood & Laugher March 4, 2014 at 2:58 PM

I get the feeling you both would prefer the term public “servant”. Where does the pay scale for the MDUSD factor into your opinion? Are you aware qualified that teachers leave the District each year for other districts because the pay here is significantly lower? Are you aware that teachers and other school employees don’t get paid for the weeks/months off in the summer? Teachers can have their salaries “smoothed” out over the year, but they are only getting paid for when they are working. Staff doesn’t get that option, no work, no paycheck. What’s the issue you have with that?

The real problem is poor financial management, and that individual interests in our society all feel that the public should pay for their specific cause. Once you spread the money across get enough interests/issues, nobody gets enough to properly support anything.

As a society, we need to do a better job of taking care of our own business and then helping those who cannot. Too many people seem to feel that since others are helped out, “I deserve my share too”.

Finally, I’m not a huge union supporter in general, but why shouldn’t public employees have the right to look out for their interests? It’s clear that you are not going to.

Mr B March 4, 2014 at 3:00 PM

Why not just give a 25% increase per year, $20,000 towards housing, free car, free gas, free food, show up only when you feel like it, all expense paid yearly vacations and they can never be fired.

Only seems fair and they deserve it…..

re: laughter March 4, 2014 at 3:00 PM

Dear Laughter (#6),
You too sound very upset today. The professional development days are not fewer days, as you supposed, but additional days. I’m sorry you feel that education “sucks”, and that “now it will suck more.” I suspect that your perspective is different than the vast majority of graduating seniors, and I also suspect that more competitive wages will attract an even higher quality of teacher, thus improving the quality of education MDUSD kids are receiving already.

et-al March 4, 2014 at 3:03 PM

……..and the overly generous contract will result in the quality of teachers and teaching to improve by how much?

Sacto Rob March 4, 2014 at 3:10 PM

This is where your Prop 25 tax dollars are going, folks. This is what it means when you vote to increase “education” spending. How many of you non-government employees out there are getting a 9.3% salary increase or two more “training” days per year? How many think your kids are going to come home from school 9.3% better educated?

laugher March 4, 2014 at 3:15 PM

Hey #17. Bite me.

From the Sacbee link below regarding professional development days:
“Whatever you do, don’t call them “personal holidays” — although that’s essentially what they are.”

Don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining. The teacher’s union wouldn’t be “thrilled” by MORE days, now would they?

Mr. Pink March 4, 2014 at 3:19 PM

I agree with #10. And every time this subject comes up we see the same stupid comments about how the teachers voted down benefits years ago. No sh#t. And as it’s been explained every time, that was because older teachers that were retiring were the majority and voted down benefits in order to retire at a higher rate of pay, consequently screwing the young teachers just starting out. Most teachers are hard working and put in a hell of a lot more time than 8-3, including weekends and evenings. Unless you have first hand knowledge of how hard teachers work, shut your pie holes.

Nuttsie the Nutter March 4, 2014 at 3:27 PM

@ Mr B

I’d be willing to bet that you are a conservative Republican. “Why would I think that?”, you might ask. Your give em 25%, $20,000, etc argument is the same old crap as let’s give em $10,000 per hour for minimum wage.

Hell, let’s raise the speed limit to 500 mph. Let’s make rocket launchers legal. Let’s give minimum wage workers 5 months paid vacation every year. All these arguments have one thing in common, they are stupid!

Teachers deserve a decent wage and decent benefits. And once again, they do not get paid for the summer time off, for Christmas break, for Thanksgiving break, for parent-teacher night, for school play night etc. Teachers get NO paid vacation. Would you be willing to work and get paid for only 180 days a year? I think not.

Incognito March 4, 2014 at 3:41 PM

This is positive news, of course, for them. Good for them. Cannot criticize professionals fighting for better wages and benefits. We all strive to obtain these goals, don’t we?

From what I see above is they are doing a lot better than others out there in the working world. Someone made a comment about their not getting raises in about seven years… Yes, that’s a shame. We’ve all been through some pretty tough years lately. I managed to keep my job, but did not get a raise in six years. I also have a friend of mine who works for a major airline directly affected by 9/11 – hasn’t had a raise in 13 years – up until this year. Also, teachers don’t necessarily go without pay for three months during the summer while they are off. First of all, these teachers are not off for three months any more during the summer and, they can chose to spread their payroll throughout the entire year.

Bishop Estates March 4, 2014 at 3:45 PM

It boils down to this…they do their job teaching our kids and they deserve raises just like the rest of us would get. Is cost of living increases too much to ask? The answer is no. You wouldn’t stand for that from your job nor should they.

Bishop Estates March 4, 2014 at 3:46 PM

@ # 21 well said!

MDUSD Special Ed Aide March 4, 2014 at 3:48 PM

@ Sherry Whitmarsh……you have a conveniently short memory. Remember how you and your friend Gary shoved through a cut to special ed assistants hours and benefits in 2011? You were very sensitive then. Just as you were when you and your “friends’ voted to close two schools in North Concord refusing to speak to the community about why you voted to close those schools. Hypocrite!

TY March 4, 2014 at 3:48 PM

I am a happy parent to hear this news. I have two children in the public school system. Being a working parent I dont get to spend as much time helping in the classroom as I would like but I can say that it saddens me that these teachers are grossly underpaid (in comparison to neighboring districts) with classrooms so full causing challenging situations for both the staff members and the students alike. I think the public quickly forgets that these men and women are molding our future and for that they deserve proper compensation. Also with the new Core program I am hopeful that these additional staff days will be geared towards getting our teachers properly trained.

@Mr. Pink March 4, 2014 at 3:55 PM

I do have firsthand knowledge. I’ve seen with my own eyes teachers sitting at the front of class surfing the web during class. I’ve heard them with my own ears sitting around gossiping about what b*tch Ms. So and So is. I’ve been aware of them stealing funds from the classes for their own gain.

You don’t know me, and you don’t know what I know. I’ve had many kids go through MDUSD, and believe me, I’ve had my share of exposure to MDUSD teachers and their union.

Using your argument, since the WONDERFUL old teachers screwed the unsuspecting new teachers, it’s our responsibility to make them whole? Your argument about how selfless the teachers are falls flat with your own story.

good news March 4, 2014 at 4:10 PM

Finally !! My son likes most of his teachers at a public high school, he says they work so hard. Many of them even are involved in clubs organized by students and they do it for free after school. I know not all the teachers are great, but majority of the teachers are excellent.
The teachers in the district are not paid enough compared to most of the other districts in SF Bay area, and as Mr. Pink says they ones who voted down benefits are no longer working, which is not fair to the current teachers.

anon March 4, 2014 at 4:12 PM

I guess nobody remembers the furlough days and school employees had their hours cut because there wasn’t enough money.

Marianne March 4, 2014 at 4:49 PM

This is great the union leader was proactive in bargaining a contract that could be lived with; benefits are by no means a small measure.

Sherry Whitmarsh March 4, 2014 at 5:05 PM

@MDUSD Special Ed Aide

I do not have a selective short term memory. I remember all of the cuts that were made from 2008 – 2012. It was a time of recession in California and now that the economy is doing better, education is receiving additional funding. This board elected to use some of the funding for teachers. I would be willing to bet that you will see the other unions asking for a similiar raise in the next two – three months.

I hope that the new funding model will allow MDUSD to bring back 20:1 class sizes, elementary instrumental music, high school sports, response to intervention, and many of the other budget items that were reduced or eliminated during my tenure on the board.

PH Dad March 4, 2014 at 5:06 PM

More professional development days? Really? They already have four weeks off in the middle of the school year, several “in-service” days during the year when the parents have to take a day of vacation or find alternate arrangements… Not to mention the entire summer off. Sure, they spend some of the that time off preparing for the next school year, but they do get paid fairly well for the number of days that they do work. That’s what it boils down to: Salary earned vs. # days worked…

Teacher Wannabe March 4, 2014 at 5:07 PM

@laugher & Elwood. You have NO clue. Finally teachers are getting what they deserve.

Good for all those hard working teachers March 4, 2014 at 5:07 PM

Anyone who does not understand the complexities of teaching should just keep quiet right now and sit down, please. Public teaching is a thankless job as it is. With all the belligerent ill mannered litter bestowed upon these teachers, in my opinion they did not get nearly enough in salary increases and benefits. Not with the high cost of living in the bay area!

And to those fools (Elmwood) who believe that public employee unions are evil – take a moment to reflect on what these teachers make, relative to the cost of living in this area. Their salaries (with the exception of the top school district board members, superintenants, etc.) are insanely low. Unions are created for public workers to make sure that their wages/benefits can be sustained relative to the rising inflationary increases. So, please stop complaining about teacher salary increases which only occur about once every decade.

Kitty March 4, 2014 at 5:11 PM

Words of wisdom-and words to live by.

Concordres March 4, 2014 at 5:11 PM

Of course there are teachers that abuse their job, as in any career. The plain truth is that we work weekends, holidays, and evenings. We deserve provided healthcare and we deserve time off. If you think you can do it better, apply to the district and prove to us just how easy it is. Go take a run and get some of that anger out. Sheesh.

Teacher Wannabe March 4, 2014 at 5:14 PM

@ Mr Pink #21. THANK YOU!

Good for all those hard working teachers March 4, 2014 at 5:23 PM

@Mr B
Please eat some more doggie crap while you are at it. I am sure that in your profession you would DEMAND a raise if you were a high performer, worked long hours and did your job very well. And I am also quite certain that if you did not get that well deserved raise, you would be raising more hell than the devil himself….

Perhaps you should put yourself in a teacher’s shoes, or at least talk to them about how much time they spend preparing lessons, working with students after the school day ends, and then going back home to their very modest living accomodations. Not like your nice hill house mansion up in the clouds somewhere.

Go Charter March 4, 2014 at 5:34 PM

I’ve been told that teachers at CVCHS get paid much more now that they’ve left the district. Is that true?

If so, the teacher’s union should be clamoring for all of the schools to go charter. Cut out the district middleman that just siphons off funding to pay for unnecessary administrative costs.

RanchgirlCA March 4, 2014 at 5:38 PM

Everyone deserves a raise for a job well done. My problem is tenure and unions protecting people who aren’t doing their jobs as well as they should, especially teaching our children. Also glad to see medical coverage back in play. Well done.

Only issue I see is the professional development days. Really? How about getting rid of the minimum days every Wednesday? That isn’t district wide, so get rid of it. It seems kids spend less time in school than when I grew up, yet are expected to learn more.

California Nightmare March 4, 2014 at 5:45 PM

Truly outrageous. MDUSD teachers, like their greedy BART union cohorts, use their MONOPOLY power to EXTORT higher wages and higher benefits for less work from weak boards THEY helped elect.

The losers here are the children.

Just Some Guy March 4, 2014 at 5:52 PM

This is really great news. An investment in the teachers and our schools which are critical to our community, not to mention our property values.

I’m very pleased the board was able to extend come to this agreement and give our hard-working teachers at least a little bit of what they deserve.

For all your haters. #suckit

Vanessa March 4, 2014 at 5:52 PM

I’m glad to see the district has renegotiated the contract. The benefits are well deserved, giving them more money is not something that’s beneficial in the long run. I believe the salaries compensate the time spent in the classroom to educate the children. The extra days at the beginning of the school year make sense because the core curriculum wouldn’t be fully implemented at this time.. All in all, a reasonable deal.

Vanessa March 4, 2014 at 5:53 PM

Yes, teachers at charters get better compensation.

RIII March 4, 2014 at 6:00 PM

If the quality of the education our children receive and the results of their education were proportional to the money we spend per student, this would be a “Win Win” for all of us. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. I have read that the highest dollar per student in this country is in Washington DC and the lowest achievement rate is also in that very same place. However, there are school districts where the dollar per student is much less and the level of achievement is much, much higher. Perhaps there should be some connection between the two, better results mean higher compensation. As for the time off for “Two Professional Development Days,” where is that concept seen in the private sector? How many do they get now? Who was sitting at the table representing the tax payers of the community? We know who was sitting there for the teachers.

Boneguy1 March 4, 2014 at 6:21 PM

Thank you all for selling out our Kids and our Grand kids future. Another reason we need vouchers and merit pay.

I also see that “Good for all those working Teachers’ is a practitioner of the fine vocabulary he learned at MDUSD! Wow what an intellectual whiz!

Just me March 4, 2014 at 6:45 PM

Teachers gave up medical on there on free will for a pay increase. Now they get there medical back $1000.00 + a month plus a raise, I think they Stoll from the district

Homeowner March 4, 2014 at 7:01 PM

Well paid and respected teachers = good schools. Good schools = higher property values. I want to live in a nice area, which is why I chose Claycord, and taking care of our educators is a big part of that.

Good for you MDUSD teachers!

@Just me #48 March 4, 2014 at 7:04 PM

“Teachers gave up medical on there (sic) on (sic) free will for a pay increase. Now they get there (sic) medical back $1000.00 + a month plus a raise, I think they Stoll (sic) from the district”

I really hope you didn’t graduate from MDUSD. How embarrassing!

MDUSD Grad March 4, 2014 at 7:17 PM

$60k for 9 months of work… So that’s about $6500/month. If they worked 12 months/year, they’d make about $80k. Reach tenure and you’ve got all kinds of job security. Sure, you don’t work 8-3, but what full-time profession has 7 hour workdays?

I’ll never feel bad for teachers making what they do. They knew what their career outlook was when they decided to become teachers.

MDUSD Special Ed Aide March 4, 2014 at 7:27 PM

@Sherry Whitmarsh
When you were on the board and cut my hours and benefits, did you give up your board stipend and benefits.? No, you didn’t….Nice you guys looked out for yourselves but that’s how you think.

Hey laugher.... March 4, 2014 at 7:37 PM

you sound very immature for your age. telling people to “bite me”? I mean come on, at least have a little more creativity behind the most commonly used phrase by teenage girls….

Perhaps you had some bad experiences with teachers when you were in high school, or wherever, so you take out your anger on those who now benefit from wage increases long overdue. I just hope you don’t teach your kids to show the same type of animosity towards teachers in general.

Next time, just think about what teachers do everyday – from planning lessons, to teaching, to keeping discipline and order in the classroom, to working after school hours helping those who are struggling, and preparing students for state wide tests. Perhaps the simple act of telling a teacher “nice job” or thanking them for how they helped your goes along way to making their day, for an otherwise thankless job.

J March 4, 2014 at 7:58 PM

My spouse has served as an MDUSD teacher for over 16 yrs. I’ve negotiated union contracts in the private sector for over 20. Some observations…

9% over 3 yrs is a pretty standard COLA settlement that both parties can be happy with. Nobody is getting rich off this. The fact that some posters are complaining about not getting raises in a long time only speaks to their need for collective bargaining.

Staff development days are extra work days for teachers in addition to the days they already teach. It’s as if your boss added two days to the calendar. FYI my spouse would rather be in the classroom on those days, too.

Teachers were not given a raise in lieu of health benefits. They could elect to get benefits or take the money the district would have paid for the benefits. The overall cost of the contract remained unchanged at the time, and is probably illegal now because of the ACA.

Overall this is great news for teachers and the district. Hopefully the adversarial days have given way to more collaborative & supportive times between both parties–that’s ultimately what’s best for our children.

Tk March 4, 2014 at 7:59 PM

@elwood and other haters,
Please remember that the teacher’s union is made up of people. This is not some abstract thought or idea. They are a group of local hard working professionals with families to support.
And to all the rest of you who seemingly want to keep teachers pay down: I’m glad to see that the district is now looking forward to the future and is trying to improve our schools by making them more desirable to come to. With a pay raise like this, medical benefits for the educators that work with our children every day, we should begin to see things improve for our schools, communities, and families.
I’m glad we won’t see the other option. Nice job Guy Moore, and Dr. Meyer.

Teachers: you deserve everything you’re getting.

The one March 4, 2014 at 8:05 PM

I know that there were numerous teachers in the MDUSD who lost their jobs last year based on poor performance. The actions were fully supported by the teacher’s union as well. What are you talking about?

Marsman March 4, 2014 at 8:30 PM

Meanwhile your local police departments haven’t had raises in years and are paying more and more in benefits…

Tax paying Mom March 4, 2014 at 8:44 PM

Great news! Teachers are worth the money. I’ll pay higher taxes to fund it. This is good news for an industry that has been hammered for too long. I’m in full support.

Ruby Tuesday March 4, 2014 at 8:50 PM

Where would we be without our teachers? Respect them, and pay them well, including good benefits.

For those who say they work shorter hours than the rest of us, keep in mind the amount of preparation at home.

MadMom March 4, 2014 at 9:01 PM

Our teachers deserve this and so much more! I’m glad to see they are finally being respected!

Valorie March 4, 2014 at 9:02 PM

I support Vanessa, teachers are compensated based on a scale. The district did the right thing in letting go employees who were not performing or showed poor performance. These same teachers would be put on the same scale as other employees who have diligent work ethics.. I support the teachers who are deserving of a raise and continue to let those go who show no improvement or are just basically poor performers.

@marsman March 4, 2014 at 9:07 PM


@53 March 4, 2014 at 9:22 PM

“Next time, just think about what teachers do everyday – from planning lessons, to teaching, to keeping discipline and order in the classroom, to working after school hours helping those who are struggling, and preparing students for state wide tests.”

I might feel differently if this was actually the case. The vast MINORITY of teachers do this, which is why the loser teachers love the union. Just like MDUSD Grad said, they knew what they were getting into when they decided to be a teacher, about $60k a year for 9 mos. of work and for some of them, no need to ever grow up.

Too many of you put these teachers on a pedestal that is not deserved. Sure, some are wonderful, but the union has made sure that they’re all treated exactly the same. Crappy ones get the same benefits, so why try so hard? Merit pay is the only answer. Unions pander to the lowest common denominator. Why won’t the union support merit pay? Because the majority of the teachers wouldn’t support it, they know they’re not going to earn it.

If you’re over 40, you probably did have some great teachers. The profession has changed over the years into how to get by with the least amount of effort and hide behind the skirt of the union when you’re caught being ineffective….or worse.

All of you so thrilled with this new contract believe that throwing money at a problem is the answer. We can see at nearly every level that throwing money at a problem is just wasting money. The MDUSD just voted to waste more of OUR money.

Remember when the teacher’s union gave $100,000 to the no on 8 campaign? That was in the middle of them screaming that the teachers were underpaid with lousy benefits. Yet they throw $100,000 at a social issue? Give me a break, and yes, bite me.

Teacher Wannabe March 4, 2014 at 9:51 PM

@PH dad. I don’t know where you get your information. “Development days” are days off for students, but NOT for teachers. They’re working. And they get paid didly for the days they are there. Considering they frequently work before school hours, after school hours, weekends and on holidays preping, correcting, etc they deserve some days off. You probably have a cush cubicle job where you get paid 3X what they do, put in ypur 40 hours and then don’t have to think about work til the next day.

MDUSD Grad March 4, 2014 at 9:54 PM


Here’s my experience with the teachers in MDUSD (I graduated high school less than 10 years ago, probably much more recently than most other commenters on here):

They make lesson plans. Once. Then they reuse them every year. Once they have their lessons plan done the first year of teaching, it’s mainly an issue of minor tweaks and changing questions on tests. Several of my peers who went into teaching readily admit that this is the case.

They maintain discipline… Kind of. Most of them either let the class run the show, or would just send kids to talk to VPs instead of dealing with it themselves. AP and Honors classes obviously were a different story, as those classes mainly consisted of smarter, more respectful students.

Working after hours? Sure. But school ends at 3. Most people who get to work at 8 work until 5. Sorry, no sympathy for having to put in a full workday. Many, many people also have to work at home at night or on weekends. Heck, I just got done working for an hour tonight.

Preparing kids for statewide tests? Well, yeah… That’s their job! Complaining about that is like a bartender saying his job is hard because he has to mix drinks.

I’m not anti teacher. But let’s be realistic about this. Teaching is not the hell-hole profession for slave wages that many would like everyone else to believe. Work is work.

Dennis March 4, 2014 at 10:31 PM

… and left unmentioned is that these benefits go not only to the teachers, but to all the administrators too.

As far as the propaganda that “more money improves education”, we’ve been hearing that same old lie for 40 years. Pump more money into education, and we’ll cure Cancer, have dozens of Einsteins, and produce as many engineers and computer experts as China.

Right. Same song and dance every year about “potential”. Still no results to validate those promises.

All we are doing with our education money is babysitting those kids, hand holding them through college, thus keeping them from going out in the real world and getting a real job to pay their own way. Live with mommy and daddy, tax increases to pay for all the administrators to handle the paperwork for wages and vacations for employees, and … occasionally … throw a bone to the actual teachers.

Sorry, but teachers have no-one to blame but themselves, for allowing the unions to bloat the administrative ranks, and praise seniority, at the cost of the new teachers.

You say other districts pay better than MDUSD? the correct answer is to CUT THE PAY for those other districts.

Better yet, determine the “cost” of each student each year, and give the parents a voucher for that much money, to spend at whatever school they choose for their kids. Make it a tax credit, so if the parents aren’t filing taxes, they can’t collect tax money paid by others.

What’s that? There wouldn’t be any kids in public schools? They’d all be in charter schools where the teachers have to perform to get their contracts renewed each year?

What a concept.

Michelle March 4, 2014 at 10:46 PM

Dennis, you make perfect sense; and why not? A school is the most important aspect in a childs life-through adulthood. If we have a poor educational system, then we are lacking as a unit. If the teachers cannot teach, what is the use of having them. In the MDUSD, they already undergo a yearly evaluation; this should be extended to all schools.

Elwood March 4, 2014 at 10:52 PM

Remember, “it’s for the children” and other bull****.

Some of you need to reread post #3.

And spare me the minor semantic quibbles about FDR.

Slugga March 4, 2014 at 10:59 PM

What this boils down to is that MDUSD is going to be able to attract and retain more quality teachers, which will improve the quality of the schools, which will raise property values in the district.

As for the gripers, you have never taught a day in your life and you haven’t the slightest notion what this job entails. You would turn into a bowl of jelly after six weeks in the classroom. So cram it.

Kelly March 4, 2014 at 11:06 PM

It is for the children, but there are some self-righteous teachers that will take too much advantage of the system. Granted there are leeways and bypasses in all systems reserved for deserving teachers–sometimes just to give them a chance to do the right thing. But if the teachers continually show no progression what else could be done. MDUSD recognized this and set up a system to evaluate the teachers–if they do poorly, hire someone else to do it the right way. The children are the ones who end up losing in the long run with poor performing teachers.

Silva March 5, 2014 at 5:03 AM

It’s not easy work, and I couldn’t do it.

The one March 5, 2014 at 5:14 AM

I honestly have no idea what you are trying to say.

Silva March 5, 2014 at 5:30 AM

And I’m from a very long line of teachers.

Runner Girl March 5, 2014 at 6:49 AM

At Sherry Whitmarsh:
Please don’t forget the TEACHERS VOTED for a pay increase in lieu of Medical Coverage a number of years ago. That move forced many great teachers to leave the district. I know because both my children attended MDUSD schools for 12 years…Don’t make it sound like someone took it away

chalkboy8 March 5, 2014 at 8:19 AM

How much does the Union (not the teachers or students) benefit from this new contract.

Couldn't pay me enough !!! March 5, 2014 at 8:21 AM

Back in the early 90’s when my oldest daughter came to me and said, “Mom I want to be a teacher”, my first response was, “I’m proud of you baby, they couldn’t pay me enough to be a teacher.” She has been teaching for 19 years. I have seen first hand how many hours she puts in to being the best teacher she can be. Nights, weekends, holidays, you name it she does it. She has also spent her own money on supplies so her kids won’t go without. Not to mention the additional hours she spends after school trying to help those students that are either having a difficult time with school work or the ones that have a difficult home life that come to her crying and she doesn’t have the heart to turn away. Yes there are mediocre teachers, there are horrible teachers, my daughter is one of the well educated, kind, understanding, but firm teachers who deserves a decent salary and good benefits. I believe that the majority of kids are good kids, dealing with the other children that aren’t getting the love and support at home is another story. Once again, you could not pay me enough to be a teacher !!

Cuzzzzzzzzzzzzz March 5, 2014 at 8:23 AM

Ever wonder why the Lomarinda schools are better than those in the MDUSD???? Perhaps it is due to the fact they have better pay/benefit packages therefore attracted better teachers. Maybe it is because the parents in those districts have a higher set of standard and expectations for education. You complain about the schools in the MDUSD……..Well part of the problem is the undocumented non-english speaking students. A lot of time and attention needs to be spent on these students taking away time and attention of the english speaking students. Yes these children need to be educated but do they need to be intigrated into every school in the district. Maybe carve out a couple of schools (Meadow Homes could be one) where these children can get the attention they need while not neglecting all students in the district.
As parents in the district demand higher standards from the schools. Demand standards that are higher than what the state requires. Demand the same standards as those in neighboring districts like Lafayette, WCUD, Orinda, and the Acalanes HS district. Why not???? Your childrent are just as good and just as deserving as childrent that live in Lafayette, Orinda, WC etc. There is a reason that California schools overall,are in the lower percentile nation wide. The state standards are low.

Payscales March 5, 2014 at 8:35 AM

Would someone please tell us what the grossly under

Kelly March 5, 2014 at 8:36 AM

@The one
I feel sorry for you literacy problem, maybe some time at one of the MDUSD elementary schools will help.

Really?! March 5, 2014 at 9:25 AM

Same old tired polarized arguments on all sides.

Teachers work hard and deserve more…
Don’t you care about schools and kids education?…
The schools suck, teachers are lazy and unions are bad…

None of this matters. The fact is that CA is broke despite what the Gov. says. Check out the facts of CA being a trillion dollars in the hole.

CA can’t keep paying unrealistic salaries and benefits no matter how much someone deserves it when it doesn’t have the money.

And whether you love or hate Unions, look at how they spend money; more money on political contributions than direct supporters. What does that tell you about how our tax dollars get funneled through Unions to support politics they want on our dime. How can anyone say this is just?

Wanting to live within ones means and being realistic doesn’t have to equate with hate towards teachers or unions.

All of these posts here end up resulting in name calling and finger pointing away from logic and facts.

And sadly, money doesn’t equate with better education. That’s been proven year after year. Any honest teacher will tell you that no amount of money or school supplies or programs will solve core problems when PARENTS are not involved enough and participating in their kids’ education.

Really?! March 5, 2014 at 9:38 AM

To all you that think there’s no problem with the Unions or salaries or pensions of anyone in CA involved in the school systems.

Take a gander at these FACTS

This site shows the real pay and benefits and TOTAL package people are getting.

Hmm, $330K for a director within the teachers retirement system administration.

And that’s nothing. Take a look at the ridiculous salaries that come from our tax dollars. We’re being robbed day after day after day and our kids are being robbed too.

The Mamba March 5, 2014 at 10:01 AM

How does MDUSD rank in the state?

The Mamba March 5, 2014 at 10:07 AM

Nevermind, found it! Ouch.

MDUSD Grad March 5, 2014 at 10:55 AM

@Cuzzzzzzz #77

Maybe the Lamorinda schools are better because the students come from more educated families and have more parental involvement. Just maybe.

@Michelle #67

A school is not the most important aspect in a child’s life through adulthood. A home with a parent or parents who teach them to work, be respectful, and how to treat others is. Don’t take away the responsibility from the parents

MamaP March 5, 2014 at 11:16 AM

There are 11 years between my children. I can vouch for the fact that the same lesson plans are ongoing, year after year, (slight tweaking) right down to the arts and crafts and holiday programs (ALL the same). There is an occasional “tweaking” such as “new math” which was touted (I am sure because someone in the district had a relative or friend who sold the program) which was thrown out right after my kids graduated from high school. There were several articles on what a waste it was (AND how detrimental that particular program was). The math books were very PC-If Schmoe the Eskimo rented a boat from Jorge in Venezuela….yadda, yadda…..the problems NEVER fit what they were studying. If it was addition, they’d ask questions about subtraction-which they had not yet been taught. Yes, with my 4 kids, we had a hand-full of GREAT teachers and you could not pay them enough. Even those few thought the “professional development” days were a WASTE…lots of huggy-touchy garbage. There is nothing wrong with merit pay applied wisely. I saw a teacher rough up a kid outside the classroom door (she did not see me)…and the kid told his mother-she went to the district and NOTHING was done! We had a horrific principal who was stealing money from the parent club…we blew the whistle and they transferred her to a school down the road (cronies?)? Long story short, unless you can afford a private school (and they have their problems as well), you’d better hope to get one of the few WONDERFUL ones we had-the old-fashioned kind whose beliefs were NOT to hug and kiss your child as they walk in and out the door…but those who said…”They can get that at home…I am here to TEACH them something.” BLESS THOSE INCREDIBLE TEACHERS!

Cuzzzzzzzzzzzzz March 5, 2014 at 11:23 AM

MDUSD Gead #84 – Yes parental involvement is key. The point I was making is rather than sitting on a blog pissing and moaning the parents that are complaining about the schools need to get involved. The parents do have the power.

Cuzzzzzzzzzzzzz March 5, 2014 at 11:24 AM

Opps……….Meant “Grad” not “Gead”……key with out letters/numbers is not fun

Rick March 5, 2014 at 11:40 AM

A smart kid will do well regardless.

Doctor J March 5, 2014 at 12:05 PM

The Board junked Class Size Reductions which should have been implemented this year under LCFF — nearly 10% raises to ALL administrators [me too’ers], teachers [plus $12,000 a year in medical they took as salary years ago], and all other unions who piggy backed onto MDEA negotiations. No return of lost hours for classified many who no longer qualify for benefits. But to steal Class Size Reduction from the children for money is unforgivable. It’s a mockery of “Where kid’s come first”.

Michelle March 5, 2014 at 12:41 PM

You are right about parent involvement, MDUSD Grad. All parents have to take responsibility for their children. The state initiative is “No Child Left Behind” but that is only possible if the parents go the extra mile at home with their children to ensure their success.

MamaP March 5, 2014 at 4:04 PM

And, by the way, they only want you involved when they need something…, party goods, help in the classroom….if you DARE question something-no matter how small-they get back at you through your child….but good! I was very involved-financed supplies, party goods, taught “extra” classes during the school day. Believe me, if you call attention to anything they do not want uncovered WATCH OUT! My daughter’s 2nd grade teacher was going through a divorce and was literally SCREAMING at the kids all the time……I kindly went to the principal and gently pointed out that while we all knew as parents that she was going through rough times, could she please not scream at the kids. There was HELL TO PAY and my kid got it the worst!!! Again, we did have a handful of SUPERB teachers-but they were few and far between.

Rm. 28 March 5, 2014 at 5:46 PM

To whom it may concern:

1. It’s 9.3% over 3 years…Barely covers inflation and you realize inflation
numbers throw out gas and groceries.
2. No raise the last 7 years… That’s a loss of 17.5% in wages w/o factoring
in gas and groceries.
3. As far as I’m concerned, if the union accepts this offer, they’re getting
“taken to the cleaners.”
4. Union should never negotiate 3 years into the future.
5. Yes, I’m a teacher… The ignorance of some posters rivals that of Bill

The one March 5, 2014 at 8:54 PM

My comment should have been made more clearly. I apologize. I’ll be more direct. The fifth graders in my class have better communication skills than you do. Your original post makes no sense at all. I have no problem with literacy. But I will say this: if I did, then I would be happy to study in a Concord High School English class, or my partner’s fifth grade classroom. There are outstanding teachers in the MDUSD, and they deserve to be recognized for their effort and their hard work, not bashed on this site.

Kelly March 5, 2014 at 9:09 PM

Well said, The one, no harm no foul, and there are outstanding teachers in the MDUSD, We were fortunate enough to have good teachers retained at Clayton Valley Charter High so our children could finish with good teachers.

Kelly March 5, 2014 at 9:20 PM

But then there are those who deserved to be bashed on this site.

Pro Fi March 5, 2014 at 10:21 PM

WOW! The very fact that you can read & post some of these comments shows a teacher made a difference in your life. How many teachers in this country, hell this county, go to work everyday not knowing if they will come home. The classrooms we all were in aren’t the same as they are today. It is truly sad that you are comparing an administrator’s salary to that of a teacher…. apples and caviar..

laugher March 6, 2014 at 9:05 AM

Oh boy. Now teachers are risking their lives to teach our children. What incredibly wonderful human beings they are to lay down their lives so our kids can properly punctuate. Move over Mother Theresa and Ghandi, teachers need a little elbow room. Warm up the bagpipes men, teachers are leaving the house for one more day in the kill zone, so you and I can raise our families in freedom! There goes a true hero, driving his Prius to school to surf the web….

“How many teachers in this country, hell this county, go to work everyday not knowing if they will come home.”

Pro Fi March 6, 2014 at 9:30 AM

Tell that to the teachers at Columbine, Sandy Hook, Berrendo Middle School, Taft Union High School, Hillside Elementary (in San Leandro) and Sparks Middle School. And those are just K-12 schools. There were 28 deaths in 44 school shootings since the Newtown tragedy.

I am so saddened to see that you actually think violence in our schools is a laughing matter. Tell me how that works out for.

Pro Fi March 6, 2014 at 9:36 AM

By the way, I am an educator in the higher ed system. I commute to work using public transportation so that I can grade papers for my night classes and prep for the day. I work 40+ hours a week for $49K gross pay a year; pay for half my medical and I am constantly harassed by helicopter parents checking in on their “kids”. I don’t sit at my desk making $$ for some big corporation. And I am an Army vet that served during Desert Storm.

laugher March 6, 2014 at 10:36 AM

Then quit and find a better job. Problem solved. If life is so terrible, then why do we have ANY teachers? It’s not terrible, that’s why. Teachers and their unions have just perfected the art of whining and making claims like “it’s for the kids”, and “we may not make it home alive”, and “more money will do the trick”, and “if we just has a couple more professional development days”. Unfortunately, since the unions have pandered to the weakest teacher and done everything they can do to protect their jobs, we no longer can differentiate between the good teacher and bad one. It’s the union’s doing that we now have to use a broad brush, just as they have in protection of the losers.

If it’s really true you’re a DS vet, you should really re-think your position that teaching is a life threatening job. If you’ve really been in combat, you’d never say such a thing. I don’t believe a word of it.

Walter White March 6, 2014 at 10:51 AM

@ laugher Wow, you sound like a real a-hole. Sounds like a duck, must be a duck.

MDUSD Grad March 6, 2014 at 12:17 PM

@Pro Fi

“Harrassed by helicopter parents” – does that mean you DON’T want more parental involvement?

Additionally – I agree with laugher. Going to work at a school not knowing if you’ll make it home that day? Don’t be ridiculous. Unless you’re referring to the possibility of getting in a car accident on your way there, or you teach in a prison/correctional school that’s an insane position to take. I’d wager more people die each year choking on french fries than do in school shootings.

MDUSD Grad March 6, 2014 at 12:19 PM

I’d like to say that I go to work each day at my office not knowing if I’ll make it home. I could die from boredom. Or a disgruntled ex employee. Or a bomb threat. Or a plane could fall from the sky and land on our building. Or an earthquake. Or falling down the stairs. Or the elevator could slice me in half. Or dehydration.

Working at a desk around other people… it’s a dangerous job, but I’m willing to do it.

Pro Fi March 6, 2014 at 12:53 PM

Believe it or not it is true. I could care less what you think.
@MDUSD GRAD – I am in the university system… Legally I can not talk to parents about their students unless the student consents. Yet, I still receive emails asking me what a student can do to pass my class….

Some of us actually enjoy the profession, which is why we stay. So maybe my comment about worrying about going to work and being shot at was a bit extreme… point taken. I just am really tired of people assuming that the old adage.. “those that can’t do teach” is even relevant today. Teacher credentialling (sic) is a pretty rigorous and at times expensive process.

What my original post did not include was that it is a PARENT’S responsibility to try and determine why their child is having a tough time, trying to be as objective as possible without defaulting to “the teacher is bad, my child is brilliant” argument. Very few people have actually taught yet are the experts when it comes to education.

Back to the point… Congrats on the contract!

Doctor J March 6, 2014 at 5:58 PM

the UGLY secret the Board does not want the public to know: secret raises to administrators will cost the district more money than the raises to teachers during this fiscal year. Administrators have a secret “me too” agreement through DMA (Diablo Managers Association) — but secretly the “me too”, in order to benefit the big Four whose contracts expire June 30, 2014, has been sweetened to a 3% retro raise to 7/1713. Additionally administrators employed in Feb 2014 will get an additional 2% bonus on top of the 3%; both payable in April. those costs greatly exceed the total cost of the raises to the teachers for this fiscal year. You don’t believe me ? ask for full disclosure from the Board.

Who woke the Dr up? March 6, 2014 at 6:35 PM

Heeeeeeee’s back.

Pro Fi March 6, 2014 at 6:57 PM

@ Dr. J….
Now THAT p$ss%s me off!

Annie CSEA March 6, 2014 at 8:38 PM

The (me too) is only for 2013-2014. DMA gets what classified gets.

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