TEHACHAPI, Calif. – Members of the Tehachapi Association of Teachers are preparing to protest prior to the school board meeting tonight from 5 – 6:30 p.m. at the Tehachapi School District Headquarters on 300 S. Robinson Street in Tehachapi.
The protest is an attempt to negotiate a fair contract settlement with the school district. Current frustrations by TAT members are triggered by “lagging salaries” and an addition of the equivalent of 18 new work days with no benefit to students.
The district is demanding elementary teachers to lengthen their workday by 40 minutes without matching compensation. This time would be designated as mandatory “prep time” that would be added to the countless hours of preparation that teachers already schedule off-the-clock during their evenings and weekends.
“Our members are standing strong against this ridiculous and unfair “one-size-fits-all” approach to our professional day,” said TAT Co-President Joan Cooper. “Tehachapi is already at the bottom in salary comparisons to similar districts, and now the district wants to impose a ludicrous increase to the work year with no benefit to students and no compensation increase to make up for it. TAT members are demanding respect and to be treated as professionals, and they are rejecting an approach to preparation with no educational basis.”
A fact-finding hearing, a final step before a possible strike, is scheduled for April 17.