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Coronado's Sunshine Clause — pffft!

“I’ve heard some teachers say, 'I’m going to stay now.’”

After months of negotiations, the Coronado Unified School District announced a new salary agreement with the Association of Coronado Teachers during the first week of May.

The new contract, which will last through June of 2017, stipulates that teacher salaries will rise between 5 and 11 percent over the next two years.

Coronado High principal Jenny Moore said that the district's teachers have gone eight years without a raise, despite inflation and increases to the cost of living.

“I’ve been hoping that our teachers would be honored with a monetary increase despite budget woes,” Moore said. “I feel that a salary increase is not only a symbolic, but practically important, thing to have happened. I’m very pleased.”

The new policy guarantees that every teacher will receive a pay raise of 5 percent, but certain groups of teachers could end up seeing a bigger proportional raise, depending on their education level and number of years in the district. The school board’s intent is to bring every Coronado educator up to San Diego County’s average teacher salary.

CHS English teacher Heather Bice said that another positive part of the new agreement is that teachers can expect more consistent increases in pay.

“Before, a teacher wouldn’t get a raise from years ten through fifteen, which put them at a significant disadvantage,” Bice said. “Now, teachers will see a salary increase every year for years one through thirty.” Though Bice cannot speak on behalf of the Association of Coronado Teachers, she considers the new policy to be a fair deal. “It’s going to help Coronado recruit quality teachers…and keep us here,” she said.

For years, the school district has justified the low wages for teachers with the “Sunshine Clause,” which implies that because Coronado High School has a high quality-of-work experience, teachers should be willing to accept less compensation.

“The Sunshine Clause doesn’t say that working in Coronado is so wonderful that teachers should be willing to work for pennies,” said Moore. "There is nothing so wonderful that you can feed your family on it, so despite how much our teachers love to work here, there are times when the bottom line has to dictate their life choices.”

Moore describes the school board’s offer as a show of faith and teamwork between teachers and board members that demonstrates mutual respect and understanding.

“This is a pledge to keep our talented teachers here and away from other districts that may pay more,” said Moore. “Since the board reached an agreement, I’ve heard some teachers say, 'I’m going to stay now.' That is wonderful for me to hear.”

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After months of negotiations, the Coronado Unified School District announced a new salary agreement with the Association of Coronado Teachers during the first week of May.

The new contract, which will last through June of 2017, stipulates that teacher salaries will rise between 5 and 11 percent over the next two years.

Coronado High principal Jenny Moore said that the district's teachers have gone eight years without a raise, despite inflation and increases to the cost of living.

“I’ve been hoping that our teachers would be honored with a monetary increase despite budget woes,” Moore said. “I feel that a salary increase is not only a symbolic, but practically important, thing to have happened. I’m very pleased.”

The new policy guarantees that every teacher will receive a pay raise of 5 percent, but certain groups of teachers could end up seeing a bigger proportional raise, depending on their education level and number of years in the district. The school board’s intent is to bring every Coronado educator up to San Diego County’s average teacher salary.

CHS English teacher Heather Bice said that another positive part of the new agreement is that teachers can expect more consistent increases in pay.

“Before, a teacher wouldn’t get a raise from years ten through fifteen, which put them at a significant disadvantage,” Bice said. “Now, teachers will see a salary increase every year for years one through thirty.” Though Bice cannot speak on behalf of the Association of Coronado Teachers, she considers the new policy to be a fair deal. “It’s going to help Coronado recruit quality teachers…and keep us here,” she said.

For years, the school district has justified the low wages for teachers with the “Sunshine Clause,” which implies that because Coronado High School has a high quality-of-work experience, teachers should be willing to accept less compensation.

“The Sunshine Clause doesn’t say that working in Coronado is so wonderful that teachers should be willing to work for pennies,” said Moore. "There is nothing so wonderful that you can feed your family on it, so despite how much our teachers love to work here, there are times when the bottom line has to dictate their life choices.”

Moore describes the school board’s offer as a show of faith and teamwork between teachers and board members that demonstrates mutual respect and understanding.

“This is a pledge to keep our talented teachers here and away from other districts that may pay more,” said Moore. “Since the board reached an agreement, I’ve heard some teachers say, 'I’m going to stay now.' That is wonderful for me to hear.”

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Comments
6

There are multiple ironies in this story. It is most unlikely that any of the Coronado teachers live on Coronado--if any do, they are independently well-off or have spouses who are in a much better paid occupation. So, they are not part of the community in the way most of us would like to see. Then there is the issue of the work. Certainly teachers in "tough" schools populated by poor and minorities would usually prefer an affluent community like Coronado. But that can be a mixed blessing in that those rich parents expect a great deal from the schools, even when their kids are not fully cooperative. And when they become dissatisfied for any reason, they can make life miserable for the teachers. Lastly, the teachers really have to know their subject matter and make sure they pass it on to the students. Poor performance on tests, including the PSAT/NMSQT and the SAT, can be and is blamed on the teachers. So, to keep things on an even keel, everyone needs to stay happy with the situation.

I'd say that the advantages of the affluent students with educated parents are balanced off by the demands of those educated parents, and that they should be paid just about on par with the rest of the county.

May 30, 2015

8 years without a raise. Can you imagine how it would be without union representation? Conservative School Boards would cut wages and benefits without consideration of the teachers or other workers. Many will decry the unions but unions are about representation. Without representation and an employment contract one is left to their own devices. In today economy the unrepresented have no chance of gaining any economic ground.

May 31, 2015

Alex, keep in mind that the claim of no raise in eight years doesn't mean that every teacher has been receiving the same annual pay each year for that many years. What it does mean is that the pay scale hasn't been boosted in that period. Most teachers get increases most years, due to progressing up the steps of the scale from step 1 (for new teachers in the district) up to as high as step 30 for those with that many years of service.

Don't overestimate the clout of teachers unions. If this one in Coronado had much power to influence the board, it would not have acquiesced to eight years without a salary adjustment. And if you read the story the way I do, this boost came in response to teachers leaving the district, or at least the potential for losing their better performers. That is the market at work, and as it should be.

May 31, 2015

Visduh: what you say is true my point is that without representation teachers would get low pay and minimal benefits. The market does work and should work but the workers should have a say.

May 31, 2015

So how much do they make as things stand? What are the salary ranges? Would be helpful to know for purposes of comparison. Five percent or 11 percent of how much?

May 31, 2015

Maybe some reader could access the pay scale sheet and provide a link to it. (Don't hold your breath.)

May 31, 2015

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