Rohnert Park and Cotati educators continue to strike. That’s despite the union and district’s negotiation teams meeting with a mediator from the California Public Employment Relations Board, known as PERB. RPCEA, the teacher’s union, delivered a letter Tuesday detailing the budget viability of their wage demands to the homes of each school board member. RPCEA called on them to meet with the union in hopes of breaking the deadlock.
RPCEA’s Lisa Bauman spoke to district officials during a regular board meeting Tuesday night.
"In the second interim budget report, the district has 6.2 million more dollars in revenue than projected." Bauman said. "The second interim budget report also projects over 8 million more dollars in revenues for 22-23 and 8.4 million more dollars for 23-24."
In regards to the union’s raise demand for this year, she said,
"So a 6% raise, which is what we're asking for in the first year," Bauman told the board, "would be the equivalent of 1.65 million."
Bauman said the distance between the teacher’s 6% raise demand for this school year, and the district’s offer of 3% has shrunk.
"[After] four days of striking. We will have saved the district 2.16% of our salaries, over half the 3% difference between the district's offer and what we are asking for this separates us by 0.83% or the equivalent of $230,000." Bauman said.
RPCEA members and their supporters wore black, as opposed to their typical red, and carried small electric candles to Tuesday’s board meeting, creating a vigil-like atmosphere on what RPCEA President Denise Tranfaglia called “a dark day” for the district.
Negotiations remained at a standstill as of Wednesday, March 16th, and RPCEA is calling on members of the school board and Superintendent Perez to reach an agreement or resign.