The Dublin Shield

A Final Reflection on DTA: The Latest Update Regarding the Teacher March and Compromise Between the DTA and District Board

Danielle Tran, Staff Writer

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On December 5th, 2017, over 700 teachers, students, and parents gathered at the front of Dublin High School to march in protest of the unfair treatment regarding the DTA’s (Dublin Teachers Association) meager salary. Holding small, wax candles and large, wooden signs, the mass made its way to the District Office as cars passing by honked in support. The leaders of the march rallied the crowd using chants and inspirational speeches, reminding them that they were not only there to support Dublin’s educators – they were there for the future of Dublin’s students. Overall, the message was clear: The community seeked change and justice, but more importantly, they were willing to fight for it.

 

 

The controversy began during the 2015-2016 school year, when the DTA asked for a 2% raise in their salaries. They were denied this request, and thus began a lengthy and harsh dispute. It was an already known fact that the Dublin teacher salaries were modest compared to that of the surrounding districts. The starting salary for a teacher who had earned a BA+30 was $64,865, which placed 7th out of the 8 districts nearby, while the salary of one who’d earned a BA+60 was $85,388, which placed 6th out of 8. These earnings, as trivial as they already were, could be deemed even more minimal compared to that of Acalanes, whose starting salaries ranged from $78,265 to $99,840.

 

Since then, the DTA has united together to act for their rights, including initiating the movement of “Work to Rule”, which was covered in a previous Dublin Shield article. However, perhaps the most resounding event teachers have organized would be the march that occurred that Tuesday, December 5th, 2017, a night of empowerment, justice, but most importantly, unity. People began gathering at the front of Dublin High’s Center for Performing Arts around 4:15. The organizers of the passed around phones where attendees could register themselves and their relation to the community, as posters and candles were also distributed. A number of students arrived to show their support for their teachers, as well as parents who recognized how hard the educators worked. When the march began a few 15 minutes later, it was truly a spectacle. Police halted traffic in order for the crowd to go through, and local news stations interviewed a number of the attendees. And, although only a few hundred people were allowed inside the District Office upon arrival due to Federal Fire Regulations, the remainder of the crowd stayed firmly in the plaza in order to emphasize their support. At the end of the night, an estimated amount of 700 marchers had been counted, including teachers from surrounding districts who supported the cause, ultimately making it an incredibly large movement.

 

When asked how she felt during the march, My Vong, a kindergarten teacher at Dougherty Elementary School, replied, “I felt good because we were there to support one another. It was the great turnout from the community and staff that really made the difference, and that made me incredibly proud. We are stronger together.” This sense of unity was paralleled throughout the majority of the night by all those who were there, and even though it was in a time of conflict, most would agree with Mrs. Vong’s statement.

 

However, the large question remains unanswered: Have the DTA and District Office come up with a solution that satisfies both parties?  To which this can be replied with: Yes. Indeed, a solution has emerged in the midst of the controversy, thankfully cutting off any plans of a potential strike. It was announced on Wednesday, December 13th, 2017 – the compromise to which both the District Office and DTA had agreed to. The DTA will be receiving:

  • 2% raise for the 2016-17 school year
  • 1% ongoing raise plus and additional
  • 1.5% off-schedule payment for 2017-18

In an email to the DTA, the Bargaining Team representing Dublin’s educators firmly declared that it was, “pretty much a done deal”, congratulating them for this final accomplishment and saying, “You worked hard to make this happen!”

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