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Disputed Figures Add to Orange Teacher Tensions

April 28, 2002

Re "Capistrano Unified Can Afford Teacher Raises," Letters, April 14:

I have remained silent long enough. I have been a team player, believing in the leadership of the Capistrano Unified School District. I've been doing what I consider the most joyous calling on earth, the job of educating our children. But today I must break my silence and appeal to my community.

I am bewildered by the apparent lack of awareness of the leaders of Capistrano Unified. I am confused by the constant trickle of incomplete information that they are releasing to both the staff and the community. I am amazed that they are unwilling to do for their teachers what they are so willing to do for themselves.

What is wrong with the calculators at the district office? It has been printed numerous times that Capistrano Unified teachers received a "13% raise" last year. Although the teachers were given a 13% raise, it was not retroactive for the entire year. Therefore, only a 10% raise ended up in our pockets last year.

Teachers in Capistrano Unified are losing faith in their leaders. The district superintendent is the highest-paid superintendent in Orange County, while the district's teachers are 16th and dropping. I entreat the public to lend their support to the 2,200 teachers as we seek a just settlement in our contract negotiations.

Amy Journey

English teacher,

Dana Hills High School, Dana Point

*

I am compelled to make certain that facts are clear regarding negotiations between Capistrano Unified and its teachers union. With all due respect to Richard Broberg's April 14 letter, the salary schedule for Capistrano teachers was improved by 13% last year--not 10% as asserted in his letter. Not only is this 13% increase a matter of public record, but it was acknowledged by Broberg's own union in the Feb. 11 edition of its publication, Bargaining Bytes. In addition to the 13% increase, 75% of the district's 2,200 teachers received an additional increment of between 2.5% and 11% simply as a result of moving up on the salary schedule. Barbara Ness is simply incorrect in her April 21 letter to assert that the district is citing salaries for non-classroom personnel with teaching credentials. Top salaries of $81,000 and more are being earned by teachers in the classroom, a fact that we cite to show that we indeed value well-paid teachers.

David Smollar

Director, Communications,

Capistrano Unified School District

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