Editor, Ceres Courier,
Dr. Siegel claims that "it would not be fiscally responsible for us to spend our reserves for on-going salary costs. The board is not willing to put the district in financial jeopardy and peril."
The elephant in the room here is that Dr. Siegel - along with other Ceres assistant superintendents - just received a raise in January, and his pay is up 7 percent over 2010's levels. Was that fiscally responsible?
Why then when his teachers ask for a 4.5 percent raise - a number we consider to be both conservative and in line with many other school districts across the state - are we accused of seeking to deplete the reserves?
It should also be pointed out that Ceres recently increased their financial reserves, over and above what was required by state regulations. It appears to be a very convenient way for the district to say to its teachers, "See, there just isn't any money left for you!" We are not opposed to raising the reserves, but feel that it is possible to raise both reserves as well as teacher salaries.
The raise currently being offered to us (1.565 percent plus a one-time bonus of 1 percent) is viewed by most teachers in our district as a slap in the face when considering our sacrifices, efforts, and successes; all without a cost of living adjustment since 2008.
It's time for Ceres teachers to receive more than just a handshake and a "thank you" for us to feel valued and respected by our employers. It's time to negotiate a fair raise for Ceres teachers.