Fair Pay Should be Afforded to Teachers and Counselors

October 5, 2017

The Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District has just finished negotiating with the teachers of our school, who said they are not getting paid enough for what they do. This, in fact, is true.

Out of many surrounding districts, PVPUSD teachers are paid one of the lowest salaries, despite being a big reason for our great, academic and athletic-achieving school.

In a Daily Breeze article, “Mediator called in to tackle stalled teacher contract talks in Palos Verdes Peninsula,” PVFA President James Meade said that “PVPUSD teachers are the lowest paid of several surrounding districts, including Manhattan Beach and Torrance unified school districts.”  

These issues among the district have affected PVHS students as well, and the negotiations regarding salary should be in favor of the teachers. Yet, PV teachers surprisingly are still one of the lowest paid of surrounding school districts.

    As a result of these district negotiations, teachers have have refused to post grades on Aeries, Club Rush was delayed as a result of the lack of club advisors, and, the greatest issue that affected seniors, teachers were not writing letters of recommendations. In response, some seniors have ditched school to protest this problem. Although I am not a senior yet, I could see the disappointment, frustration, and helplessness that seniors must have felt as a result of these district negotiations. Luckily, the teacher recommendation issues have been resolved.

We should also take a closer look at administrator salaries as well. Superintendent of the PVPUSD, Don Austin, is one of the highest paid superintendents of surrounding districts including Torrance, San Marino, Beverly Hills, and El Segundo school districts.

For example, a quick check on website Transparent California reveals that superintendents can earn well over $250,000, which includes total pay and benefits.

Yet, despite the heavy burden that seniors had to face, other grade level students were somewhat affected as well.

Personally, the greatest issue for me was the fact that teachers were not posting grades on Aeries. To me, grades are important and it is always important to know how I am doing in a class so that I can improve, study more, etc. Without knowing grades, school seems even more stressful. Oftentimes, I hear students complaining about their grades not being put on Aeries. Throughout my elementary, middle school, and high school career, I have never seen an issue as significant as this among the PV District.

According to the Daily Breeze article “Palos Verdes Peninsula teachers hold back on grades, recommendation letters over salary tussle,” Austin had notified colleges such as Harvard, Princeton, Yale, and Stanford about these issues among the PVPUSD.

However, the fact that the superintendent had to notify these colleges that students won’t be giving teacher recommendations seems ridiculous.

Rather, the district should have just accepted the teachers’ requests, resolved the salary conflict, and helped students and teachers in PV get what they deserve. Like many industries, higher pay packages are needed to attract the best talent. So, if the PVPUSD wishes to remain its excellent reputation, then teachers must be paid better.

Although I believe that it is completely fair for what teachers are asking, students should not have felt like victims because of this issue. But our PV teachers deserve a higher salary that what is being given. The PV school board should be taking the teachers into consideration and treating them with respect.If other surrounding district teachers are paid a much higher salary, shouldn’t the PV district as well?

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