Pay cut for teachers does not bode well for PVUSD

To the Editor,

The Pajaro Valley school board has proposed no raises for teachers and other professional service providers for the next three years. For the 2018-19 school year changes in our health benefit plan would result in a 5 percent pay cut on average. The pay reduction would continue to grow in future years as health insurance costs increase.

The district justifies this by saying they will lose money this year. Every March we hear this same thing. However, when they report reality the following September the story changes. Last March they predicted a $4.5 million loss for the year. Labor negotiations were influenced at that time by this lowballing. In September they admitted making a $15.9 million profit instead. By this time in the cycle, negotiations are usually over.

This is an unethical, deceitful practice that has continued for the last seven years and it has really paid off for them. Their unspent money, sitting in the bank, totaled $59.2 million at the start of this year. For comparison, the total cost of the union’s proposal is $6.3 million.

While the District is pleading poverty, they have plans to increase the five Assistant Superintendents’ compensation by 20 percent. That’s roughly $150,000, which is more than the entire Adult Education increase for 53 teachers or more than the entire Early Childhood Education increase for 42 teachers, that they denied.

No worker can accept an unnecessary pay cut, particularly when the district management appears very willing to spend money on the people they eat lunch with. Teachers have noticed this favoritism. Teachers have noticed the disregard for their welfare. Teachers have options that will not bode well for this district.

Jack Carroll
Chief Negotiator
Pajaro Valley Federation of Teachers


Good news that Valencia Road repair begins soon

To the Editor,

I am glad that the Santa Cruz County Department of Public Works has stated that the Valencia Road repair will begin in two weeks, with a temporary bridge also being installed. This good news comes from staff at California Fish and Wildlife after contact with county staff.  

When contacted by local residents with concerns about the Valencia Elementary School closure due to unsafe access, Fish and Wildlife staff replied:

“Thank you for informing me about the situation at the Valencia Road culvert and the impact it has had on the community. I as well have similar questions and concerns as to why work has not been conducted, since I was informed about the situation in early March. I will contact the county to identify the status of work on the culvert.”

Let’s all hope that the repair begins in two weeks, for the sake of the 600-plus Valencia Elementary School students, their families and the staff, as well as the 130 households in nearby Rolling Green Estates. Call Mr. Tim Bailey at 454-2160 to impress the importance of this repair and temporary bridge.

Nelson Road in Scotts Valley, a similar situation, was given a temporary bridge within three weeks after the storms. Why was Fish and Wildlife contacted six weeks after the storm rather than right away? Why has the Valencia Road repair had to wait over three months to begin?

Becky Steinbruner


Sig Lien’s beginnings

To the Editor,

Thanks to Steve Bankhead for his choice of “This Week in Pajaro Valley’s Past” in the April 13 edition. These stories are so full of the history of Watsonville.

Let me fill you in on the beginning of Sig Lien, teacher at WHS. You have read the end of his career in the valley.
It was the 1946-47 school year. I was a freshman at WHS. We came to school one morning and the news at school was like “wildfire.” The School Board was not going to give tenure to two teachers at WHS, Sig Lien and Jean Pogue. This was “big” news to us students as these were two very popular teachers. What to do?

By noon we had a rally on the front lawn and had chosen a spokesman to the administration of the school. We decided to “strike,” no one was to attend classes that afternoon, just mill around quietly on the front grounds, but be seen. We decided to do this every day till the two were going to stay.

It only took till the next day to get word to the student body that all was taken care of. The school would tenure these teachers!

This was such a sincere protest with such good results — no screaming, signs or violence!

The school was honored to have these two teachers retire at WHS.

Mary Miller Jones
Grants Pass, Ore.


When I knew Ken Sears

To the Editor,

I have known Ken Sears most of my life. He was a caring, considerate, kind, wonderful person.

He and his wonderful wife Yon used to go three or four months every winter to a place called Mismaloya where they made the movie “The Night of the Iguana,” about 10 miles south of Puerto Vallarta. First going by motor home then later buying a condo overlooking the bay. It was about a four-day trip. His wife Yon would either fly there or go by boat. Ken would have his pickup loaded with fishing poles and reels for the people to fish with, and bikes for the kids.

I went there a couple of times to fish with Ken for dorados. When they no longer could go we would play a card game called Pedro in my garage once a week. Not having much going at my age, double ocho, I used to look forward to seeing Ken, Yon and my brother Jim every week.

If there is a Heaven, Ken is there now.

Anthony Ivelich

Previous articleCueto outpitches Kershaw in Giants' 4-3 win over Dodgers
Next articleAfter a week off, Curry, Warriors roll past Jazz in Game 1


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here