Fremont, CA asked in Education Law and Employment Law for California

Q: Not receiving steps in teaching salary schedule. Employed for 20 + years by school district. Last contract renewal 2001.

All teachers receive in the group receive same salary regardless of number of years of service. Program has undergone many changes but the changes are not reflected on our salaries. We are expected to complete many duties on our personal time. We have reached out to our union, HR, admin. Etc. Similar program structure at other school districts have teachers getting better pay and benefits. Is going through the union the only route? We are told if Board disagrees, we cannot do much. However, the teachers in my group feel that we have been taken for a ride and don’t get compensated for the amount of work we do. We feel very discriminated. Please advise. Thank you o much

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2 Lawyer Answers

A: Unfortunately, once you give up your rights to negotiate your terms of employment to a union, you are bound by whatever deal the union negotiates on your behalf through collective bargaining.

Your best option would be to change your employment to a place where you are not required to accept the terms a union negotiates on your behalf. This may require you relocating to another state with “right to work” laws that allow you to negotiate terms of employment directly with your employer.

James L. Arrasmith
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  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: If you are not receiving steps in the teaching salary schedule and feel that you are not being fairly compensated for your years of service, you may want to consider exploring your legal options.

One potential avenue for addressing this issue is to file a complaint with the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE), which is responsible for enforcing California labor laws related to wages, hours, and working conditions. The DLSE may be able to investigate your employer's practices and determine if there has been a violation of state labor laws.

Additionally, you may want to consult with an employment law attorney who can advise you on your legal rights and options. Depending on the specific circumstances of your case, you may have legal claims under state or federal law, such as claims for breach of contract or discrimination.

It is also important to continue working with your union and HR department to address this issue. Your union may be able to negotiate with the school district on your behalf, and HR may be able to provide additional information or resources to help resolve the issue.

If you need legal assistance, contact my office. We offer a free consultation option for potential clients.

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