The OUSD fact-finding report says…

It’s been a hectic day, and I’m off to interview Diane Ravitch before her 5:30 p.m. talk at UC Berkeley’s Sibley Auditorium. I’ll have some more thoughts on the report later, but for now, here is a copy.

Fact-finding panel Chairman Christopher Burdick recommends, among other things, a shortened work year for Oakland teachers (though the same number of teaching days); to give teachers a 5 percent boost at 28 and at 30 years of service; and a salary schedule increase of 2 percent, effective January 2012, in addition to any revenues generated by a parcel tax.

He also thinks the district should set aside 60 percent of all new, unrestricted state funding for pay increases or to keep class sizes smaller.

What do you think?

Katy Murphy

Education reporter for the Oakland Tribune. Contact me at kmurphy@bayareanewsgroup.com.

  • del

    Looks good. I’d prefer a bigger raise, but so would anyone. Let’s all sign it and get back to work. I’d also like to thank Mr. Roundtree for his predictably good work.
    My favorite line:
    “… Blaming those who came before us for their (multitudinous) errors and miscalculations, while surely cathartic, merely condemns us to preoccupy ourselves with the past and to abandon hope for the future and surely does not produce any new revenues.”
    The committee really seems to understand both sides and the needs of our community (even suggesting that the board should make some of the decisions). Most impressive, however, is that the guy managed to write the entire document and still show some style, voice, and humor!

  • Union Supporter-But

    The recommendations seem fair.

  • Cranky Teacher

    Um, Del, that wasn’t an offer from the district.

  • Cranky Teacher

    I read it. It’s OK. Nothing particularly deep in terms of really figuring out WHERE ALL THE MONEY GOES. That’s what I was hoping they’d break down. He basically buys the district position that the money isn’t there.

    I don’t think teachers can get too excited about the year being four days shorter — those “non-instructional days” are mostly the days before school when we are setting up our room, preparing curriculum, meeting our new administrators; we will still need to do most of that work.

    Similarly, raises for folks with 28 and 30 years in district respectively — how many of us is that really going to affect?

    His class-size reduction suggestions aren’t bad, but the district won’t go for that, or enforce it if they do.

    As for direct compensation, no cost-of-living-adjustment raise for ANOTHER several years, then a 2% COLA.

    At the end of that time, it will have been a full decade of averaging 0.2% to 0.4% COLA even as real inflation averages 2.0% to 4.0% — roughly ten times as high!

    And, as he points out, the Superintendent position received a 6.0% pay raise in a single year…

  • concerned parent

    What is missing is a process to determine just where the money goes, and whether that is appropriate. I keep having that question. OEA talked about saving money by cutting consultants and administration–maybe what is needed is a blue ribbon panel to look into the money and see what is really there……

  • Union Supporter-But

    It would be very interesting for Oakland to look at Piedmont Unified for financial accounting and transparency. For example, Piedmont asked for an increase in taxes to rebuild all of their schools from the ground up – some buildings come completely down, some just to the bare bones.

    Every single month there is an accounting as to whether the project is on budget and on time. Every month everything is posted online, reported to the parents – and special notification to the school of the year being rebuilt and AT THE JOB SITE there is a notice as to whether the job is on time or ahead of schedule (even with the rain, the project was never behind schedule).

    It has been said that there has never been a tax increase for schools that Piedmont didn’t love. The reason is that the propositions are well thought out, parents, teachers, administrators, and accountants are all part of the process and there is a transparency of time, effort, money, and other district resources (telephones, volunteers from outside Piedmont, etc.).

    Piedmont students do not have the same issues as Oakland students – the vast majority of homes – square foot to square foot would house 20 to 25 Oakland residents – children visit doctors and dentists regularly in Piedmont, not just for emergencies, but followed by professionals who track the kids’ health. And Oakland just can’t compete with that. Where we can compete is to have ALL teachers be scaffolded up so that they know the material they teach and teach well. And we can start with the financial transparency that we see in school districts that are supported by the community. This financial transparency is about money, human capital (time, expertise, experience – not 1 year experience 18 times but 18 years experience) and build in our contracts the need for disclosure with bonus for work ahead of schedule and financial penalties for lack of disclosure and late work. This bonus/reward should be for contractors, Tony Smith, the NeXOs, the ombudsmen, everyone up and down the administration.

  • Jim Mordecai

    Union Supporter-But:

    Piedmont is so much smaller than Oakland that some lessons can be learned but others just don’t apply. I don’t think your last sentence about “bonus/reward being tied to Tony Smith … everyone up and down the administration” has anything to do with how Piedmont pays its administration for school construction. I think you are asserting what you think would be a good contract idea not what Piedmont does.

    I also think you need to provide references to the Piedmont and OUSD construction contracts regarding work bonuses and likewise provide reference to OUSD construction contracts to have your assertion that Piedmont contracts are better than OUSD accepted as fact rather than an unsupported assertion.

    Jim Mordecai

  • Katy Murphy

    Like Cranky Teacher, I wondered how many OEA members are on the upper end of the pay scale and would benefit — or soon benefit — from a bump at 28 years of service (and again at 30 years).

    I asked Troy Christmas, labor relations director for OUSD, how many full-time OEA members had 25 years of service or more. He said his initial calculations came to about 620, as of last October. That would be about 24 percent of the membership, since the number of full-time OEA members (or FTEs) is about 2,580, according to Christmas.

    That’s higher than I thought. I knew the district had lots of teachers on both ends of the experience spectrum, but wow.

  • Katy Murphy

    So… the number of full-time OEA members with 25 years or more of OUSD service might be lower than 620. I should have the updated figure soon.

  • Oakland Educator

    Following the fact finding report, OEA bargaining members and OUSD came together for final negotiations.

    Apparently Tony Smith and the bargaining team for OUSD are refusing to negotiate.

    OEA members, parents, and community supporters: Wear green to the meeting tomorrow, Saturday, April 17 from 1:30pm to 2:00pm at 1025 Second Avenue.

  • Mary

    I am still holding out hope for a parcel tax to pass because I think we need to provide pay increases on the early side to keep promising new teachers in Oakland. Also, regarding Piedmont, it is among a small percentage of wealthy districts in the state that receive all of their money through property taxes, and thus are not impacted by state budget cuts during recessions. It would be wonderful if all districts had this kind of financial stability, but I am not advocating a return to property taxes as the major way of funding all schools.

  • Jim Mordecai


    A parcell tax did pass and since 08 has provided $20 million a year for teacher raises.

    Jim Mordecai