RSF teachers union, district to begin negotiations

The Rancho Santa Fe Faculty Association presented its initial proposal to the Rancho Santa Fe School District board for public sunshine at the Sept. 13 meeting, the beginning of contract negotiations for 2018-19.

The Rancho Santa Fe Faculty Association (RSFA) is requesting an on-schedule salary increase effective July 1, 2018 that meets the rising cost of living in San Diego, an increase in stipends to promote higher education, health benefits covered to the highest cost for employee plus one and compensation to employees who decline health care.

“Our goal in this negotiation is to compensate our professional and dedicated teaching staff in a way that is competitive with surrounding school districts. In doing so, we will be able to attract and retain highly-qualified professionals who have the passion and desire to continue to grow in our career development,” said Elaine Dolnack, co-president of the RSFFA. “The end result? Our students will receive the highest quality of education as expected by our administration, school board, parents and community.”

Dolnack said that Rancho Santa Fe teachers are not being adequately compensated compared to neighboring Encinitas, Del Mar and Solana Beach districts. She said it was imperative that teachers have salaries that commensurate not only with their professional abilities but that also allow them to maintain a basic standard of living.

“Many of our members commute as they cannot afford the increased costs of living locally in San Diego,” Dolnack said.

As they have in the past, the RSFFA requested that their first negotiations meeting be held with just their negotiating team and the superintendent.

“We believe that eliminating district lawyers and union representatives during the beginning of negotiations would create a positive and open dialogue that is needed during this transitional time in our district,” Dolnack said.

Last fall, the RSF School board agreed to a one-time, on-salary schedule payment equal to 2 percent for classified and certificated employees, as well as a one-time 2 percent on-salary schedule payment for both employee groups. District contributions to health care also increased.

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