Del Mar Union teachers receive one-time salary increase

Classroom photo
In 2020, the Del Mar Union School District was one of the first public school districts in the state to open up to full-time in-person school.


On a night when they honored all teachers as Teachers of the Year during the challenging pandemic school year, the Del Mar Union School District board approved an off-schedule 4% salary increase for its teachers.

“When it mattered most, our staff worked harder than ever,” said DMUSD Superintendent Holly McClurg at the May 26 meeting. “I’m so proud that we did it. When the story is written about this year, ours is really a story that is extremely positive, about how so many people came together to do the right thing for kids.”

For the record:

5:05 p.m. June 3, 2021It was previously reported that DMUSD teachers received a 6% increase in 2019-20 but it was a 6% increase over two years: Teachers agreed to a 4% increase in 2018-19, then a 2% increase in 2019-20.

Del Mar was one of the only public school districts in the county and few in the state to be open for in-person instruction, five days a week this school year since August.

Through the collective bargaining process, the district and the Del Mar California Teachers Association mutually agreed on the amendment to the 2019-22 contract for the one-time, off-schedule 4% increase retroactive to July 2020. The agreement also included a $500 increase to health and welfare benefits. The total increase in compensation is estimated to be $1.9 million.

DMUSD teachers agreed to a 4% increase in 2018-19, then a 2% increase in 2019-20.

At the meeting, the board also approved a modification to the collective bargaining agreement regarding class sizes. Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources Jason Romero said due to the district’s priority to lower class sizes for one year, for the 2021-22 school year they have mutually agreed to lower just the upper grade class sizes from 28 students to a maximum of 25 with flexibility to go to 26, in order to keep families together.

As the district has stated, the distance learning program Launch was an emergency response to the pandemic and they will not be offering it next year.

While the agreements passed unanimously, Trustee Katherine Fitzpatrick gave her vote in favor of the one-time salary increase with some reservations.

“I’m a teacher, I believe teachers should be fairly compensated but I am concerned with the amount we’re spending on salaries in this district,” Fitzpatrick said.

The board is expected to approve its 2021-22 budget at its next meeting on June 30 at Ocean Air School, the first meeting to be held in public since the beginning of the pandemic last March. Projecting a surplus for the 2020-21 school year, the district is also projecting a balanced budget for 2021-22 with reserves of $15.2 million or 22.2%.