The official Student News Site of Dublin High School.

The Dublin Shield

The official Student News Site of Dublin High School.

The Dublin Shield

The official Student News Site of Dublin High School.

The Dublin Shield

Dublin Unified School District Contends with Potential Teacher Strike Amid Salary and Benefits Dispute

DUSD+staff+are+likely+to+strike+for+better+pay+and+learning+environment.+
Fiona Fong
DUSD staff are likely to strike for better pay and learning environment.

Interviews have been edited for content and clarity. Additionally, to protect the identities of our interviewees, we have substituted real names with “Jane Doe” or “John Doe.” 

 

In late January, negotiations between the Dublin Unified School District (DUSD) and the Dublin Teachers Association (DTA) reached a standstill over three primary concerns: salary adjustments, healthcare benefits, and credit for years of service. The DUSD proposed a 2% salary increase on January 15th, a figure that falls significantly short of the DTA’s request for a 9% hike across the board as a result of an increase in state funding of 8.22% per student.  

 

The district serves around 12,000 students and believes its compensation offers are on par with other districts, citing a more than 19% salary increase for DTA members. In addition, they state that matching the DTA’s proposal would lead to decreased funding for other important programs. On the other hand, the union’s stance is predicated on the argument that a high standard of education and retention of top-quality teachers during a shortage of educators requires competitive salaries on pace with the rising living costs, ensuring they can concentrate on their educational responsibilities rather than financial pressures. The DTA has disputed the district’s claims, saying they are misleading as the raises have not matched the cost-of-living increases (the Consumer Price Index has risen by 21.5%  since 2018) or the additional funding the district has received from the state. Furthermore, teachers who choose to stay in the district will face the burden of increasing class sizes. 

 

Consequently, tensions have remained high since January, with the DTA and DUSD failing to find common ground. On March 7th, 2024, the district posted an official announcement on its Instagram account offering $600/day to substitute teachers in anticipation of a strike.

 

In light of these developments, the Shield spoke to Dublin staff and community members for insight. 

 

When asked about the ways an imminent strike/failure of negotiations between the DTA and district has impacted the classroom, Jane Doe, a Dublin High teacher, revealed that it’s taken a toll on her mental health, as well as the time she has to devote to her students. She told the Shield, “Why is it that we empower our school districts to keep a fair raise out of the hands of their teachers? It is undeniable that teachers are one of the most important elements of society, and yet they are the only ones who have to beg for a fair raise year after year. And how does that impact the students that they teach? How many times have I had to delay grading tests in order to prepare for this upcoming strike? I must admit my mental health has not been in a good place lately, which I believe also impacts my ability to be a good teacher. There is not a single teacher in DUSD who actually wants to strike, but every teacher certainly will in order to secure what’s fair and what’s best for Dublin Students.” 

 

She continues: “An analysis of the district’s budget shows that they continue to spend less and less on their most important resource every year: teachers. This is why great teachers like John Doe have left the district. There is a nationwide teacher shortage; finding great teachers is going to become more and more difficult, and it is really time for DUSD to prioritize teaching and learning!” 

 

When asked about her perspective on the district’s response to the likely strike (seeking guest teachers & paying substitute teachers $600/day), she stated, “We have quite a few pieces of documentary evidence about how Superintendent Funk has been trying to frighten and intimidate DTA. I think it’s also important that families know that DUSD management under Superintendent Funk has also lost three PERB (Public Employee Relations Board) cases in recent months. This is three cases where the PERB has found Dublin management to have broken the law and actually engaged in anti-union activity…In addition to somehow finding the money to pay substitutes $600 a day, we should note that both their Instagram and Facebook posts about that are “sponsored,” which means that they paid additional money to get those advertised on those two platforms. A teacher also noticed this weekend that DUSD was paying money to run advertisements for this on KKIQ, a local radio station. And yet they apparently can’t afford to give their teachers a cost of living increase…DUSD management should stop taking advantage of their love for their students and their jobs and make sure that these people want to stay in Dublin and continue having a wonderful impact on the students they serve.”  

 

Jane Doe further explains, “It’s also important for students to know that California school districts all belong to an entity known as School Services. School Services trains school districts to underestimate their revenue and overestimate their expenses so that they can shaft their employees year after year after year. The community could rise up, and insist that DUSD cease its membership in School Services. It is unfortunate that the DUSD school board believes all of the lies that they tell, even after being presented with incontrovertible truth that they have been wrong time and time again.” 

 

John Doe, a current student at Dublin High School, added, “If the district has enough money to pay substitute teachers $600/day, why can’t they use that money for the actual teachers of this district? I was initially sympathetic to their argument, but it seems that they don’t actually care about students based on this decision. They are just using it as an excuse to keep teachers from receiving the fair pay they deserve. The administrators aren’t the ones teaching us; they have their priorities completely wrong. Teachers do so much for students; they spend their own time outside of school planning activities, making curriculum, etc. The quality of education will undoubtedly take a hit if we were to hire substitutes in the middle of the year who have no preparation/have never taught the course before. This is especially important to AP students, who need the help of their experienced teachers for the exams in May.” 

 

In view of the conflict, teachers have collectively agreed to wear black and green on Monday, March 11th to show support for the DTA bargaining team that will be meeting with the district’s fact-finding team for further negotiations. 

 

To stay updated with future developments, included below is a schedule for further DTA and DUSD negotiations. Students are welcome to attend the school board meeting on March 12th to speak on their experiences with teachers at Dublin High School. 

 

March 11th: Fact Finding Hearing 

March 12th: school board meeting 

March 21st: Fact Finding Report due 5:30: DTA team meets 

March 22nd: DTA becomes strike legal 

 

This is a developing story. 

About the Contributors
Summer Shi, Editor-in-Chief
Summer joined the Dublin Shield to improve her writing skills but stayed for the friendly community and warm staff. It is Summer's fourth year on the Shield and her first as Editor-in-Chief. Summer's goal is to be able to help spread insightful information and underreported issues across campus. Currently, Summer is really into listening to K R&B, and spending her Friday evenings watching films with friends. Her top three music artists are nafla, pH-1, and GEMINI.
Alexander Suen, Managing Editor
Alexander Suen is a Senior at Dublin High School. He enjoys writing about various topics that are popular and relevant. In his free time, he likes 3-D modeling and reading about new upcoming technology. His special interests include engineering, aerospace, and physics.
Franklin Liu, Staff Writer
Franklin Liu is a junior (‘25) at Dublin High School. His interests include math, computers, and the written word. In his free time, he enjoys working on programming projects and reading whatever he can get his hands on.
Fiona Fong, Artist
Fiona is a sophomore in the Dublin Shield, finding interest in the fields of illustration and psychology. She has always enjoyed literature, writing as a hobby. Recommended food is almond tofu.