Recently we learned that CAVA teachers would be receiving a 5% raise. While our teachers certainly deserve and welcome this news, we can’t help but wonder what the motivation was behind this unexpected increase. Employers (especially those like CAVA who are managed by a for-profit corporation) don’t just give money away without a reason. Some of us question whether this was an attempt to placate teachers and try to weaken support of our union. After all, CAVA and K12 have made it crystal clear they are hostile to teachers have no real voice in decisions.
Whatever the motivation, we believe it is a step in the right direction but not enough. Our colleagues deserve a decent salary. As long as we are compensated well below the average of what teachers receive in California, turnover will remain too high. This destabilizes our school and disrupts our student’s learning. Also, while salary is important to all CAVA teachers trying to make ends meet, it is just one among a host of issues we seek to address in our union contract. Among other concerns raised in recent bargaining surveys that our colleagues filled out:
- Less administrative duties to allow teachers to focus on teaching.
- Job security and due process.
- Clearly defined and communicated policies that remain consistent rather than changing every year and sometimes mid-year.
- Implementation of a BTSA program to support new teachers.
- Lack of a professional salary schedule.
- Standardized evaluation procedure and criteria for raises
- A clearly laid out salary schedule.
- The ability to advocate for students without the fear of reprisal.
Currently, CAVA teachers do not have a voice in these matters, or in any aspect of our school operations. We are the ones on the front line. We see how the problems in our school are hampering student success. We would love nothing more than to work with administration to fix these problems; to create a place where students thrive and teachers want to work. We urge our administration to stop delaying and set a date to meet at the bargaining table.