Yuba City teachers say morale is low
It doesn't seem much better across the river, some teachers say.
Yuba City Unified School District teachers also talk of pay cuts, long days and demands of state testing — issues that trustees for the Marysville Joint Unified School District have also heard from the union there.
"I don't know if I've ever seen morale so low," said Steve Jennings, chairman of the bargaining team for the Yuba City Teachers Association.
That matches morale as described by Inge Schlussler, vice president for the Marysville Unified Teachers Association, when speaking to trustees earlier this week.
Jennings, who noted he has taught for so long that Trustee Herb Cooley was in his class as a student, spoke on Tuesday — along with other teachers — to the board of trustees.
Dina Luetgens, president of the teachers association in Yuba City, told trustees that instructors, nurses, counselors, speech pathologists and psychologists face many demands.
"The tasks are just piled on," she said.
"We're tired," Luetgens said. "We're frustrated."
She said the message to teachers is they have never done enough and they are never quite good enough.
"We're asking you to value us," Luetgens said to the board.
Steven Scriven, president of the board of trustees for Yuba City Unified, said Thursday about teachers statements that "the board is looking at what they had to say."
Scriven, who taught for 34 years in the school district, said teachers face much more work than they did a decade ago. He said he doesn't know if all teachers share the concerns expressed to trustees.
"We try to do what we can," Scriven said.
If the two teacher union messages match one another, so does the perspective of trustees for the Marysville and Yuba City school districts.
Scriven spoke about the uncertainties of state financing for education.
"Nobody even knows what it's going to be," he said. "It makes it really difficult when you can't improve benefits and salaries."
Trustee Jeff Boom of Marysville Joint Unified said Tuesday that Mark Allgire, assistant superintendent for business, cannot know what the Legislature will do about financing education because of frequent funding changes in Sacramento.
"Mr. Allgire," Boom said, "can't figure out what the state is going to be from month to month, from year to year."
Scriven said Yuba City Unified decided to keep classes smaller than school districts in Chico and Sacramento.
An average of 23 students are in elementary classes while other districts in the region reach 31, he said.
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