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Dear Editor,

This is in response to recent press regarding contract negotiations, currently ongoing between Oakdale Teacher’s Association and the OJUSD school board.

In 2007-2008, the teachers of OJUSD voluntarily took a reduction in pay to help save jobs of fellow teachers who would otherwise have been pink slipped. Essentially, we loaned the district money. It was not solely a large reserve that paid our teachers. We also had five days cut from the school calendar. Some would argue that we didn’t really take a pay cut. Make no mistake, we may have been working five less days but we were still expected to squeeze in all standards within an already full calendar.

Fast forward to 2013-2014: five furlough days were eliminated from the district calendar and our pay was restored to the 2007-2008 rate. Our ‘reward’ for four years of pay cuts was a 1 percent raise and new standards, math curriculum, report cards, and numerous days away from the classroom for training. Additionally, a 1 percent pay raise does not begin to make up for the cost of living increases experienced from 2007-2013.

The district would like the public to believe that we did in fact receive pay raises during this time period, via the Certificated Salary Step increases. This might be true for some teachers, but for many this is not a reality. The salary schedule freezes at certain steps, so the “$2000/year or 4 percent” is not entirely accurate. Most teachers only see that step increase every four years, while many wait as long as 11 years. Teachers can move across the pay scale by furthering their education; however that is out of our own pockets, which have not seen a respectable pay since before 2007.

Our district boasts many of the top academic and athletic honors in Stanislaus County. We are hardworking people who have a vested interest in the children of Oakdale. It’s time for the district to compensate us fairly.


Concerned Cloverland Teachers

Lori Guyll, Elene Zagorites, Terry Trowbridge, Michelle Holcomb, Donna Bandsma, Sue Moran, Leeanne Bentley, Kerry Thrasher, Nancy Palmer, Shelley Cuenca, Debbie Grigorica, Patricia Roland, Candi Nightengale, Meredith Ruyle