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Understanding the Purpose of the Teachers Union: Your Kids Are NOT Their Priority

The Union vs. Our Kids: $8.4M for Teachers. Larger Class Sizes for Students

At the Board Meeting on 4/17, the Board will be voting on whether to approve an agreement with the Carlsbad Unified Teachers Union (CUTA) for an $8.4 million salary increase for teachers, bringing their average compensation to $127,000.

What do our kids get with this agreement? Smaller class sizes? NOPE. In fact, the agreement indicates that CUSD is slashing $5.2 million from teacher salaries next year. How do you save money while also giving a raise? You CUT TEACHERS – in this case, the equivalent of ~40 teachers.

Many people sincerely believe that the teachers unions are looking out for the best interests of our kids. Why? Because the unions tell us that, so we believe them. But the reality is, the mission of the teachers union is to fight for the benefit of its members - the teachers - even if that means providing LESS for our kids.

The raise is the perfect example. Although the CUTA President and 100+ members came to the Board Meeting in February to demand higher wages and smaller class sizes, the demand for smaller class sizes was simply a trick to get parents and community members on their side.

In reality, both the raise and smaller class sizes cost $$$$, so when push comes to shove, they'll take the money. Smaller class sizes would benefit both teachers and students, but there's nothing in the CUTA Agreement which requires a reduction in class sizes.

This is the most obvious example of how teachers unions prioritize themselves over our kids. We can't fault them for that - it's the purpose of the union.

So who is looking out for the best interests of our kids? The Board! Here is a recent comment from the California School Boards Association explaining the Board's role in handling layoffs (like the ~40 teachers we'll be cutting this Summer to pay for the CUTA raise):

"One of the primary functions of governance teams is to scrutinize budget allocations and revenue projections to identify areas of potential cost savings. Governance teams need to be ready to listen, ask the right questions and collect the right data to make decisions that will maintain the fiscal health of the district while doing the least harm to the purpose and moral imperative of the school district: success for every student."

Therefore, it's up to the Board to decide if we can achieve "success for every student" by giving the union an $8.4M raise while cutting 40 teachers. Do you think the Board is following their duties? Even if they approve the raise, they can still ignore the Superintendent's recommendation and just keep the teachers that he wants to cut.

Will they? Email and ask them!

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