Teachers, school district admit talks at dead end 

Two weeks ago, teachers were careful not to use the word "impasse" to describe the stalled negotiations with the San Mateo-Foster City School District.

But Monday, the San Mateo Elementary Teachers Association and the school district announced that negotiations were failing and an impasse had been reached.

Because the two sides have not been able to agree on a new contract for close to one year, state mediators will now be called in to assist.

Both sides agree that the $6.9 million in surplus reserves can and should be used to pay teachers if a new contract is decided on, but they can’t find a common ground on ongoing pay increases and health benefits.

The district said in a fact sheet that the teachers’ requested 15 percent salary increase and family health benefits would cost the district more than $9 million annually.

Union president Carole Delgado said the district has the money to pay teachers, but they’re keeping it in unnecessary reserves. She says this is why the district is one of the lowest paying on the Peninsula and why they have lost 175 teachers in the last two years.

According to the California Teacher’s Association, new San Mateo elementary teachers make just under $40,000 annually. Districts that require state funding, such as the Brisbane School District, offer teachers approximately $42,500 a year.

jgoldman@examiner.com

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