Opinion: A Sacrifice by All Employees

…Not Just Teachers
Submitted by Bobbie Plough, Superintendent
Natomas Unified School District
In a recent editorial the Natomas Teachers’ Association painted a picture that teachers are the sole group of employees providing a budget solution for Natomas Unified School District. While teachers should be recognized and applauded for their contribution over two years, it should be noted that all employee groups endured salary reductions and took on more work. In comparison to the 11 furlough days and calendar conversion offered by teachers, classified employees have 24 furlough days, with some employees losing additional salary due to the calendar conversion, confidential employees and classified management have 16 furlough days, and certificated management has 16 furlough days plus a freeze in step and column advancement. Additionally, 98.5 classified and 11 administrative or confidential positions were eliminated. These facts do not imply that one group should be commended over another. The facts simply set the record straight: all employees have endured huge cutbacks and more work in order to balance the budget and maintain services to students.
Teachers are NOT being asked to contribute another $11 million dollars. ALL employee groups are asked to contribute their fair share of the $11 million dollar shortfall over the next two years. Moreover, the District continues to look for other budget solutions outside of the classroom and away from the employees.
Every effort is concentrated on surviving the budget crisis and ensuring that NUSD remains fiscally solvent for many years to come. Most recently, the Superintendent requested increased County fiscal oversight to more closely monitor the day-to-day operation of the budget, in addition to the ongoing approval process of all requested expenditures. As stated above, the District continues to look for other ways to cut the budget. However, the fact remains that employee salaries and benefits comprise 87% of the District budget. Without employee salary concessions, the District will remain short of a balanced multi-year budget required by the County.
The community should encourage and commend each and every employee regarding their past and impending sacrifices among the many other actions taken to balance the budget. It’s time to put the budget crisis behind us so we can avoid a State takeover; a takeover that will cost the students and employees an estimated $20 million dollars, ruin the reputation of the community’s schools for years to come, and divert our efforts from providing a world-class education to our students. 


  1. Well said. I’m tired of the teachers union portraying themselves as the the only victims in this recession while “fighting for the kids”. Note to teachers union: if your members don’t think they should bear any more of the burden in this recession they are free to find another profession. Good luck finding a job that pays full time for 8 months work.

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