Teachers in the Calexico Unified School District (CUSD), are at risk of losing some of their healthcare benefits.
According to the Associated Calexico Teachers union (ACT), the school district has proposed a plan that would decrease the pay for educators.
The healthcare plan the school district has proposed would affect 500 certified teachers and staff in Calexico.
CUSD teachers said they can’t afford to lose those benefits.
“What they would like to do is institute a $10,000 cap. They would fund $10,000 toward each teacher’s healthcare, the problem is that for some teachers our healthcare cost $25,000 a year,” said James Taylor, ACT president.
Teachers are also fighting for a pay increase, one they said is long overdue.
“When you compare Calexico Teacher salaries to the salaries with teachers across the valley, we are one of the lowest-paying districts. It’s strange to me that we are one of the lowest-paying districts when we are one of the highest-funded districts,” said Taylor.
Taylor says the school district’s pay for teachers, isn’t competitive with other school districts in the valley, which discourages newly qualified teachers from coming to work in Calexico.
“Our proposal to the district is to increase our pay by 20%, that’s a huge number, and we know that. What that 20% would do is make us equal with the highest-paid teachers in the county.”
The healthcare plan proposed by the district would apply to the next school year.
“Our students deserve better, our teachers and other educators deserve better. It’s a slap in our face that they would open bargaining by asking for a pay decrease,” said Taylor.
ACT union representatives said the one thing Calexico Unified School District has compared to other school districts is good healthcare benefits, and they are not willing to give those up.
Union reps say they will now go to the table with the school district to negotiate their salary and their benefits.