Lee Schollnick | Classified Employees Overdue for Raise

Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor
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If you live and/or work in the Santa Clarita Valley, you might not be aware of the current William S. Hart Union High School District negotiations with the classified staff. The classified staff make up the backbone to every school and our district office. Our recent salary negotiations looked like this: 

Our initial proposal, presented May 7, was for a 5% on-schedule salary increase and dental and vision benefits paid for by the district. The negotiations team met with the district (in mid-May) and as expected they presented a counter-proposal for salary and benefits. The district’s counter-proposal offers are:  

Option 1: 1% increase to the salary schedule effective June 1, plus a 1% off-schedule payment. No change to health benefits. 

Option 2: 0.5% (one-half percent) on-schedule salary increase effective June 1, plus a 1% off-schedule payment. Vision paid for by the district.  

It has been six years since classified staff have been given any raises.  

Here are some points to help you understand our position:  

Classified staff provide relevant and valuable service to the district, the schools and its students. 

The district would not be able to function without classified employees. 

Classified employees have not had a salary increase since 2015.  

Classified employees have a much higher out-of-pocket cost for health benefits when compared to ALL other employee groups within the district and earn less.

Dental and vision benefits for teachers are paid in full by the William S. Hart Union High School District as negotiated by their union, the Hart District Teachers Association. 

Unfortunately our union, the California School Employees Association, does not have the power of the HDTA and we are treated as such. The HDTA would not stand for these options whereas our union does not have any leverage to fight back. “Negotiations” such as they are, are ongoing. 

Would you be satisfied without a raise for six years and then be faced with the above options? The rise in the cost of living makes it very difficult to be satisfied with the options presented, no less the cost to live here in Santa Clarita. Classified workers need to be treated with respect in all areas. A pat on the back does not pay the bills. 

To those of you who have children in our district, to those who are members of the CSEA union, stand up for your fellow workers/community members,  stand up for yourself and the value we provide to our district and the schools. Make your voices heard at the board meetings, by a letter or email, and show your support for equitable treatment. 

Lee Schollnick


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