Teachers across the Palos Verdes Peninsula are holding back grades and refusing to write letters of recommendation for students until the local faculty association reaches a salary agreement with district leaders.
Leaders of the Palos Verdes Faculty Association said the move is necessary to force district officials to take the teachers’ requests seriously, but parents are outraged and some high school seniors are scrambling as college application deadlines loom.
“It’s largely an effort to get the community involved and make sure that everyone knows what is at stake,” said Tim Coleman, head of the faculty association bargaining team. “It’s the best way and it’s already been pretty effective at getting people’s attention to what’s going on.”
Using students as a ‘strategy’
Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District Superintendent Don Austin, however, said nothing in the negotiation process recently has warranted the tactic. He accused the teachers union of using students as leverage leading up to mediation meetings with district leaders.
“Nothing changed (in the past week) except for strategy,” Austin said. “And, in their case, apparently, they shifted strategy to include the use of students.”
The move, which began this week, is the latest development in a months-long saga of negotiations between the PVPUSD and faculty over salaries. Educators argue that, based on total compensation of salary and benefits, they’re the lowest paid of their colleagues in surrounding school districts, and have…
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