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‘For the students’ CVUSD, Teachers’ Association react after reaching impasse in salary negotiations

Salary negotiations between the Coachella Valley Unified School District and the Coachella Valley Teachers Association (CVTA) remain stalled.

Both parties reached an impasse on Friday regarding salary negotiations. It's an issue that’s been on the table for months now.

On Monday, some teachers and parents came together to discuss and brainstorm the next steps toward compromise.

“How important it is that we have the competitive salary to hire and retain the highly qualified teachers," said Rachel Kuiland, a CVTA member and teacher. Kuiland has been teacher for CVUSD for 8 years.

She gathered a group of teachers, parents and community members, just days after the district and association reached an impasse.

“We have to keep fighting, and it gives me hope that teachers and hopefully other community members want to get involved to do what's right for the students," Kuiland said.

Kuiland told us the salary negotiations are more than just a pay raise.

“It's not just about teachers wanting more money. It's about doing what's right, and having fully staffed classrooms with fully credentialed teachers in every classroom.”

It’s been a hot topic for nearly a dozen board meetings, with full rooms of teachers and parents demanding better pay while putting the needs of students first.

“I see that the students aren't getting the same education. They're getting a lot of substitutes, long-term substitutes. And then, because our long-term substitutes are tied up in a classroom, then we don't have substitutes to cover when teachers are out," Kuiland explained. "They're not getting the same education everyday, as they should be with if there was a fully staffed school.”

For school board member Trinidad Arredondo, he also wants what’s best for students despite the stalled negotiations.

“I look forward to continuing the discussions with the CVTA. And continuing to work together to make sure that we come up with a fair process and a we move forward together," Arredondo said.

The next steps are mediation and fact-finding, so the association and district can find a compromise.

“Basically open, open the books to see if our offer on the table is is legitimate, or if it's, you know, we're going based on good faith," he said.

Arredondo saying in the end, he hopes they can find a way to make it fair for everyone.

“What we had on the table was a fair sort of a fair compensation, or in comparison to other districts. And we believe that we could only make decisions based on the information that's provided to us," Arredondo explained. ”Make sure that we continue to work together, because we need all our stuff here and we all need to work together.”

The CVTA and CVUSD tell News Channel 3 that a school worker's strike is not in any of their interests.

The next school district meeting taking place Thursday, March 23rd at 5:15pm at Cahuilla Desert Academy.

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Samantha Lomibao

Samantha joined KESQ News Channel 3 in May 2021. Learn more about Samantha here here.


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