Bargaining teams from the Santa Ynez Valley Union High School Faculty Association and the SYVUHSD will meet Wednesday, Sept. 19, for a mediation in the hope of settling their contract dispute.

The California Public Employment Relations Board appointed a mediator after finding that the educators and the district were at impasse in their negotiations.

In recent years, the District has allowed vacancies created by retirements to go unfilled, increasing class sizes at Santa Ynez High School. Last May, the District demanded the ability to require teachers to teach an additional class each day without financial compensation.

“Educators at Santa Ynez High School are feeling unappreciated and disrespected,” said Priya Jackson, president of the Faculty Association. “We are losing buying power to inflation, and our workload is continually increasing.”

During the past several months of negotiations, the District has told the Association team that it could not commit to a continuing pay increase due to deficit spending. At its Sept. 11 meeting, the District approved a budget showing it ended the year with a considerable surplus, adding more than $800,000 to its unrestricted ending fund balance.

The District’s reports also showed that it’s spending on teacher pay dropped by nearly $200,000 last year, and that its budget for 2018-19 projects a drop of nearly $200,000 more.

-Santa Ynez Valley Union High School Faculty Association

NOTE: The charts below are compiled from District reports to the State of California through the Santa Barbara County Office of Education. Blue columns indicate annual Unaudited Actuals reports, and red columns indicate projected budgets or interim reports.