Saturday, December 18, 2010

Why We Exist...

...to inform and educate the Pleasanton Community.


Trustee Grant said (YouTube video (1:13)) at the 12/14/10 PUSD School Board meeting, salary increases due to Step and Column are "misperceived as increases" and that it is "simply our educators continuing their education." After minimizing the annual $1.6 million expense increase he concludes by declaring "make no mistake about it."


It is Trustee Grant that makes mistakes. And big ones, too.


An introduction to Credentialed Step and Column is here. Step is for annual longevity increases and Column increases are for attaining education levels. Classified and Management employees have salary grids that are step-only (longevity).


Trustee Grant should breakout how much of the annual $1.6M Step and Column salary increases are due to education (moving across the column) and how much are due to annual longevity (step movement). Want to bet salary increases due to longevity far exceed those due to education?


Trustee Grant ignores the accumulative reality of salary increases. Grant attempts to compare permanent and ever accumulating increases in salary expense to one-time temporary expense reductions, akin to comparing apples to oranges. This ongoing increase in the permanent cost structure is one reason why the salary and benefit cost line in the multi-year projections continues to grow even though the number of employees continues to fall and enrollment grows at 0.3 percent.


Trustee Grant is an intelligent person. It is unlikely these comments were due to ignorance or a lapse in rational thought. After years as President of the Board of Trustees and participating in union contract negotiations and a prior parcel tax vote, it is inconceivable that Trustee Grant does not understand what a Step and Column salary grid is, or the components of the PUSD cost structure.


Were these comments intended to mislead the voters, placate the unions, or ramp up a dis-information campaign for the parcel tax?


And that is why we exist.


To inform and educate the Pleasanton Community.


Make no mistake about it.