Teacher Contract Negotiations Begin Tuesday Night at DSUSD

Ahead of the first night of contract negotiations, a team of educators, known as the bargaining team got together at the Desert Sands Teachers Association.

“We get all the feed back from the teachers. They will be bargaining on behalf of 1350 teachers, ” said Desert Sands Teachers Association President, Trina Gonzales-Alesi.

At the last school board meeting in December three assistant superintendents received a 13% raise or adjustment.

“I think its just the injustice and the message it sends. 13 is a huge number when we spend eight, nine or ten months negotiating a salary increase for two percent,” said Gonzales-Alesi.

The average teacher salary in Desert Sands is $90,000, the new salary for the assistant superintendents $210,000.

“Teachers are the ones who make the difference for the student. Assistant superintendents can do their entire job without ever seeing the students,” said Gonzales-Alesi.

According to the district these hefty salary increases are -quote-  “Not raises but adjustments based on salary surveys and studies of comparable positions in like districts.”

“The teachers salary is not on par with our neighboring school districts.  At the maximum salary teachers are ranked 22 in the county out of about 30 districts,” said Gonzales-Alesi.

According to the union, the biggest challenges teachers in 2020 face, growing class sizes and behavior problems.

“They could have used that increase to hire more behavior specialists. The mental health help our student need these days are very very large.  And we have some classes with 27 and 28 students in them and no teachers aids. They could have hired aids,” said Gonzales-Alesi.

Desert Sands Unified School District Face Sheet Regarding Salary Adjustment:

  • Fact Sheet Regarding Salary Adjustment for Senior Staff
  • In a December 17, 2019 Desert Sands Unified School District board action, the members of the
    school board approved contract extensions for the positions of superintendent, assistant
    superintendent of education services, assistant superintendent of business services, assistant
    superintendent of student support services, and assistant superintendent of personnel services.
  • This action followed a review of compensation of like districts including neighboring districts.
    The salary survey took into account total compensation received by superintendents and assistant
    superintendents in other districts. A review of contracts for the positions of superintendent and
    assistant superintendents historically takes place in July, the first month of the fiscal year.
  • The salary for assistant superintendents of education services, student services, and personnel
    services is now $210,000 (previous levels were in the range of $188,000). Assistant
    superintendent compensation is now more competitive (midrange) with neighboring districts
    following this recent board action.
  • The salary for assistant superintendent of business services is now $214,000 (previous level was
  • The salary for the position of superintendent of schools is now $285,000 per year (previous level
    was $265,000).
  • Salary adjustments are retroactive to July 1, 2019, date of annual contract review.
  • Board will consider a compensation study for all other employee groups at its January 14, 2020
    meeting, as contract negotiations commence. Superintendent and assistant superintendent
    contracts are for 248 days. Teachers are 184.
  • Official Statement (released by DSUSD School Board President Linda Porras: Representing
    28,000 students, the Desert Sands Unified School District is the largest school district in the
    Coachella Valley. The Board of Education revisits contracts and compensation for its 2,700
    employees on an annual basis to ensure they remain competitive.
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