I realize there are many questions about our next steps. We do not have a contract yet, but there is some good news to report. The District has withdrawn their request for impasse. Instead , we have agreed to pre mediation. That means we will have a mediator present at our negotiation sessions to help us reach an agreement. We will not be at impasse, so the District cannot implement the last offer. We are hopeful that with a mediator's assistance, we can reach an agreement. We expect to be back at the negotiating table sometime in late July or early August. As always, there will be an update after every session.
There have also been some questions regarding the District's last salary offer. The District is required by our contract (Article 5, Section C ) to complete a parity study on May 10 of each year. If that parity study shows that we are not at or above the 50th percentile of the comparison group, our salary is to be adjusted by the amount needed to get us to the 50th percentile. The study was completed this year and the District found that we needed a 1.82% adjustment to reach the 50 percentile. By contract, the adjustment is retroactive to July 1, 2016. The District's last offer of a 2% salary increase included the 1.82% parity adjustment. That meant the District was only offering a 0.18% salary increase. PFT maintains that parity is in our contract and does not need to be negotiated. We consider the 2% to be in addition to the parity adjustment.
We also stand by our decision to reject the offer as it included a class size increase aimed at our TK-3 students and their teachers. We believe this to be detrimental to the learning environment of our youngest students.
Please take some time this summer to relax and rejuvenate. Know that we will continue the work we started last year. We will continue to fight for the students of Petaluma City Schools. Together we can and will make a difference.