As head of the negotiations team for the Tehachapi Association of Teachers, I felt it necessary to respond to statements made by then-Interim Superintendent Paul Kaminski about the recent changes made to the Management Salary Schedule.

Teachers did not get a similar deal as the one the district attempted to grant some of their senior management employees. In the 2017-2018 bargaining cycle, teachers were granted a 3 percent off-schedule bonus, and were given some new salary schedule steps. Most of these new steps were to reward teachers who had been with Tehachapi Unified School District for more than 20 years.

Five of these steps were added so that teachers who had been loyal to TUSD would receive a raise after many years of being stuck with no chance of advancement. Many teachers had more than 30 years of service to TUSD but were stuck at the 20-year limit. Not all teachers benefited from this arrangement, and, in exchange, teachers gave up a retirement annuity for all future hires.

Please know that teachers never get anything for free in the bargaining process, even when it is for the most basic cost of living adjustment.

Management employees also received the 3 percent bonus, and extra steps on their salary schedule.

Fair is fair. The recent attempt to change to the Management Salary Schedule included a raise for some well above the stated 2 percent raise for this year. Some were to receive a double-digit pay increase while getting a reduction in work days!

TAT opposed these changes for the same reason that four of the six board members did. The changes introduced by Kaminski were not presented to the board and public as they have been in the past.

Some of the board members stated they felt that pertinent information had been withheld, and that they would not have voted in favor of these changes had they known all the details.

Kaminski stated that if the board had done its due diligence in the first place none of this would have happened. While TAT agrees, it must be acknowledged that if Kaminski and the district had done their due diligence, and presented these changes properly in the first place, none of this controversy would have happened at all.

— Dan Moon, TAT negotiations team