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December 15, 2006



Teachers are asking for the fair amounts that are listed in their contracts for total compensation. According to the agreed upon compensation formula, teachers get a portion of each year's "new" revenues. These revenues are applied to health benefits and salary. Mr. Johnson's argument regarding rising healthcare costs are invalid in a total compensation formula. The inceased costs of the medical will be off-set by a lower or zero salary increase. This was the teacher's choice in their contract. The district has received new revenues but does not want to follow the contract it negotiated. As reported earlier, the difference between the teachers and the district is $30,000. We have most likely spent more than that amount in lost time as district administrators are paying bulk mail to send home letters like the one above and working on issues that are not related to education. The cost of fighting the issue (which is in the contract) is far greater than following the contract, settling the case, and educating our children.


Did you ever get an explanation of where the $30,000 figure is coming from? At 400 teachers in the SMUHSD, a $30,000 difference would mean that you are each being requested to pay an average of $6 per month for health insurance....As I recall, you stated earlier that the new employee contribution is much higher than that.


The maximum salary mention above @ $89,275 is for a teacher with 22 years of experience in the district, a B.A. degree, a teaching credential and a master's degree or its equivalent. The retirement that is mentioned above is run by a state agency. The district's contribution is a little more than the normal social security contribution. The SMUHSD does not pay into social security for its teachers.

Any out of pocket expenses for teachers is a de-facto loss of salary.

Sept 2005
The Bay Area is the most expensive place to live in California for families and single people alike, a new study shows.

In "Making Ends Meet: How Much Does It Cost to Raise a Family in California?" the California Budget Project estimated two working parents raising two children in the nine-county Bay Area would need to make $79,946 annually to stay afloat.

In comparison, the statewide average annual income for a similar household was placed at $71,377, according to CBP Executive Director Jean Ross.

Ross said the CBP used "bare-bones expenditures" including housing, utilities, child care, transportation, food, health coverage, taxes and other miscellaneous expenses to calculate the incomes.

However, according to Ross, other expenses like saving for retirement and a child's college education, cable television, vacations, and purchasing a house rather than renting were not factored into the mix.

"This study strives to paint an accurate picture of the basic cost of living in California and the economic challenges facing many working families," Ross said. "It shows that making ends meet is virtually out of reach for millions of families in the state."

Ross said the incomes the CBP calculated were not meant to be a reflection of the rock-bottom cost of living in California, but rather the middle incomes that are above the poverty line but would still benefit from public aid.

A Bay Area family of two children with one working parent needs to make $55,740 annually, while statewide the income for a family with one working parent is $51,177, the CBP reported.

Single parents need to earn an annual income of $62,969 in the Bay Area, and the state average for a single parent is $53,987, according to the CBP.

Finally, a single adult needs to earn $27,901 if they are living in the Bay Area, but the statewide average came out to $25,867, the CBP reported.


I think we may have both been posting at the same time :)
So I"ll ask my question again: Did you ever get an explanation of what the $30,000 difference is? A $30,000 difference for health care premiums averages out to $6 per month per teacher. I'm fairly certain you said that the premium that the SMUHSD was asking the teachers to pay was much, much higher than that. If the answer is $6 per month and you are taking that position on principle -- i.e. that teachers shouldn't have to pay a health insurance premium -- that's fine...I just don't understand the difference in numbers that have been reported here.


I don't have the $30,000 details but I am told that this is the amount that it would take to fund the teacher healthcare at under the current contract model.

A teacher receiving full family medical (2 adults + children) HMO will pay $1,300.00 in additional out of pocket expenses for 2007. This teacher will also not recieve a salary increase. These losses are then placed against a Bay Area inflation rate of 3.2% This begins to become a substantial salary decrease in a year when the Bay Area economy is growing.


Thanks. So either this proposal is dispropotionately hitting the teachers with family coverage (who must be very few in number -- 30 x 1000 = 30,000) or else the $30,000 figure is what is off.


By any measure, the district's health package is one of the most lucrative on the Peninsula. Name a private company that provides such a generous benefit.



Teachers have elected to have these benefits paid for instead of taking salary increases. The contributions to the benefits are large because the employees have elected this over salary. Teachers are also limited in income to the tax base. A comparison to a private company is not valid.



Please give examples of your argument above but please make an accurate comparison. The company that you describe need to look like the employee population of the teachers in the schools.

Find a company that employs 450 people each with the equivelent of a B.A. and a single M.A. degree (credential) and many with the equivilent of two M.A. degrees (credential + masters).

1. Find the average wage of this group of employees in the company.

2. Find the value of the TOTAL benefit package of the employees. This would include health, medical, dental, vision, life insurance, and disability insurance.

3. Now add the value of financial benefits beyond Social Security: 401(k) matching contributions, stock options, paid vacation days (teacher do not have paid days for vacation)

I suspect that when you look at the total compensation package of salary and benefits as related to education and experience you will find that teachers are asking for fair compensation.

Running a school district on the peninsula is both a blessing and a curse. We are able to bring in large amount of tax revenue, but are also faced with high rates of expenditures. Attracting and retaining the best and the brightest teachers is going to cost money AND these expenditures must keep up with the cost of living.

Kumbia Dude!


Why did Sam Johnson send this letter ONLY to parents of current students and not the entire SMUHSD. The focus of the letter was on the bond. Is there any chance he sent this our ahead of the Vote of No Confidence?

Who paid for the letter bond money or district money?


Oops- 9 month year...


Sounds as good as being a church pastor, one day work week.



Reality bites, huh?

Anyway, both compensation programs (for teachers or pastors,) do seem "out of this world."

No complaints, here.

Sweety Pete


A few of my best friends are pastors and I know how hard they work, "eight days a week." It was a joke, not a hit.

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