Teachers group to rally in Contra Costa County, may strike if no deal reached

Teachers group holds rally in Contra Costa County, may strike if no deal reached

PLEASANT HILL, CA (May 16, 2024) — Teachers with the Contra Costa County Schools Education Association (CCCSEA) hosted a rally on Thursday as CCCSEA’s bargaining team conducted a fact-finding hearing with Contra Costa County Office of Education management. Other East Bay Coalition for Student Success (EBCSS) teachers also rallied to support CCCSEA members. CCCSEA said they may go on strike in the fall if a deal was not reached today. The two main issues at the bargaining table are salaries and proper intake procedures for students.

“Superintendent Lynn Mackey has not prioritized our students and educators’ needs. Our students and educators deserve better and forcing their teachers to go on strike should be avoided at all costs,” said CCCSEA President Soula Nikolakopoulos.

“Superintendent Lynn Mackey has diminished specialized services for our students. She does not prioritize special education students,” said CCCSEA Bargaining Chair Jill Stein-Wirth

Superintendent Mackey responds

In response to news about the rally, Lynn Mackey gave the following statement to the Pioneer.

We are at the fact-finding phase of the negotiations process with our certificated union where each side can present facts to a panel which will then issue a report. I remain hopeful that we will come to an agreement that is in the best interest of the students and communities we serve while continuing to uphold our duty as responsible fiscal stewards.

While we do not negotiate in public, it is important to give some context to the issues being raised.

  1. CCCOE teachers receive the highest total compensation (salary and benefits) in Contra Costa County. They have a lower student-teacher ratio than their public school colleagues in the surrounding school districts while working one of the shortest work years in the county resulting in CCCSEA members receiving the highest per diem rate.
  2. CCCSEA members have received more than a 23% increase in salaries since the 2018-19 school year, including 8.5% for the 2022-23 school year.
  3. CCCOE has offered CCCSEA members a 4.5% raise for the 2023-24 school year, while only receiving 3.7% in new revenue.
  4. Effective July 1, 2023, the CCCOE began providing up to 100% of the Kaiser premium for single, two-party and family plans.  80% of CCCSEA members are enrolled in these plans. These health premiums continue to rise and the CCCOE picks up the cost of this increase.

Teachers and other school employees deserve a wage commensurate with their education, skills and the critical role educators play in building our society. This agency has a track record of ensuring that our employees are some of the best compensated educators in the county and will continue to do so.