Letter/Opinion: School board should postpone pay increase vote

Today (Dec. 7) I requested from San Dieguito Union High School Board President Beth Hergesheimer a postponement of the vote for the across-the board 12.5 percent pay increase for all San Dieguito Union High School District employees, which the school board will be having this Thursday, Dec. 10, at 6:30 p.m. at the district office. I asked that she postpone the vote until the January meeting, after having a “open to the public” workshop to answer questions that I and the members of the public have.

All I want is a one month delay for the vote, so we can have a workshop and have mine and other board members questions answered. If the pay increase is passed the timing of our vote won’t affect our employees getting the raise as this is a retroactive pay increase to July of this year.

If we have a workshop it will also allow the public to ask questions. We are talking about over $5 million more in yearly wages being paid. How will this affect classroom crowding, school safety, school counselors, etc? I believe we need to be as transparent about our budget as possible, we can not give the appearance of having organized labor forcing the vote without proper vetting of all the ramification of our actions.

If the postponement is not granted by Mrs. Hergesheimer, the school board will be voting on this without any real input from the public. This really could be perceived as dirty backroom dealings and it would be a shame to not have the public have adequate notice so we could hear from them. I believe we should always want to hear what the taxpayers feel about wage increases, especially such a extremely large wage increase.

As a side-note, this 12.5 percent wage increase was only published (without any prior notice) from the district on Friday, Dec. 4.

John Salazar,

Board Member

San Dieguito Union High School District