By Karen Billing
The Rancho Santa Fe School District and the Rancho Santa Fe Faculty Association settled their negotiations for a new teachers agreement for 2013-16, a process Superintendent Lindy Delaney said went very well.
The agreement was ratified at the school board’s May 1 meeting in a 3-0 vote with trustee Todd Buchner abstaining.
“I love our teachers but I still struggle with the step and column process,” Buchner said of the salary schedule that determines a teacher’s pay. The step refers to the number of years an employee has worked and the column to the amount of education the employee has. “It’s hard to understand this is the right thing long term for our school and schools statewide.”
In May 2012, the Rancho Santa Fe Faculty Association made its initial proposal to the board on its new three-year contracts, requesting increased salary and benefits and a continuation of the board policy to allow faculty children to attend R. Roger Rowe.
The district did not complete contract negotiations last year and recommended a cooling off period until after the 2012 elections in light of Prop 30 being on the November ballot.
Negotiations started up again in March 2013.
“Overall we were pleased with the negotiations,” said teacher Steven Rossier. “They were completed in a cooperative and productive manner.”
The teachers settled on what amounts to a bonus for the current year of 2 percent of their current salary.
“This isn’t much when you consider we haven’t had an increase in four years but we were pleased the district was willing to move,” Rossier said.
The RSF School board also agreed to continue its policy that allows children of faculty members who are not residents of the district to attend Rowe through June 2016. Delaney said this year that amounts to nine teachers’ children, next year there will be 10 and the possibility of 11 the year after that.
Buchner also abstained from the 3-0 vote.