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Voice: Imperial teachers looking for community help in contract dispute

December 28, 2001

The Imperial Teachers Association has not been able to reach an agreement on the current contract negotiations with the Imperial school board. Two issues are preventing the resolution of contract negotiations. The first issue is salaries and benefits. The second issue is the contract language and increased working hours and days without compensation.

Over the past two school years, the Imperial Unified School District has received a cost-of-living adjustment from the state of California. The COLA is an adjustment based on increased costs.

Theoretically, every item within the budget including salaries should increase by the percentage received in COLA money from the state. Therefore, the ITA believes salaries and benefits should have already been increased by the percentage received. This is on the current status of working days and hours.

The IUSD received part of this COLA during the 2000-2001 school year and received an additional COLA during the 2001-2002 school year. Other school districts have already given their teachers the percentage of COLA previously received, whereas Imperial has not.


The teachers of the IUSD are paid less than teachers in other school districts. This is a primary reason why many qualified teachers leave Imperial after a year or two.

The superintendent of IUSD has stated teachers can go to El Centro to work if they don't like the pay in Imperial. The ITA believes this statement is not productive in trying to resolve current negotiations, nor does it help boost teacher morale, which is at an all-time low. The superintendent has received significant salary increases over the last two years despite having received a vote of no confidence from the ITA. When questioned, a board member was quoted as saying, "If you want qualified people, you have to pay them."

The ITA is concerned that the board is willing to pay for what it perceives as quality administration yet is unwilling to pay for salary increases that will aid in retaining quality teachers.

The ITA is opposed to additional hours for meetings and activities. Many teachers work extra hours on their own time to meet the demands of the current educational system. Sometimes you may see teachers' cars parked at the school at 5 in the evening or later and even sometimes during weekends and holidays. Because we already have so many meetings, it has become almost a necessity to work on our own time.

The ITA has made reasonable requests of the IUSD school board and would like to come to an agreement soon. We ask for the support of the community in resolving this matter.




Imperial Teachers Association

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