In an unprecedented move, teachers belonging to the Temecula Valley Educators Association (TVEA) voted overwhelmingly to reject a contract offer through June 2015 by nearly a two to one margin.
With more than one thousand members casting ballots, there were 649 NO votes ( 64%) and only 361 yes votes (36%). This marks the first time in the twenty five year history of TVEA as a K-12 association in negotiating with the Temecula Valley Unified District that members have voted down a deal brought to them by their bargaining team.
The troublesome points of the offer for TVEA members appear to be the fact that the district in seeking a two year deal offered a 1% retroactive increase to January 2014 and a 3% increase for 2014-2015.
Murrieta teachers recently agreed to a 4% retroactive raise for the same time period this year, and are continuing to negotiate for 2014-2015.
Public schools are now funded under the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF); Temecula and Murrieta which have similar demographics receive similar funding. TVUSD had only offered 2% for 14-15, then put forth an additional 1% by proposing a modification to the California Grade Span Adjustment from the class size requirement of 24 to an increase ranging from 26 to 28 students in Grades K-3.
Members voted two weeks ago and the results were announced on May 23.
TVEA members were seen picketing out in front of all three comprehensive high schools Chaparral, Great Oak, and Temecula Valley on May 27 as they are seeking a “Fair Settlement”.
The contract vote epitomizes the ushering in of a new era for TVEA. In March, long time TVUSD Social Science teacher and TVEA 2nd Vice –President Jeff Kingsberg decisively unseated incumbent Chris Lindberg by a vote of 548-412. This election combined with the rejection of the tentative agreement demonstrate that after seven years of no salary and benefits increase, Temecula teachers are ready to advocate for change and be recognized for their direct contribution to the success of TVUSD.