Tuesday, February 27, 2007

End Poverty in SAISD

a memo to the san antonio independent school district school board

Good evening, Mr Board President, Trustees and Superintendent. My name is Chavel Lopez. I am a speaking on behalf of Southwest Workers’ Union (SWU) which proudly represents cafeteria, custodial, warehouse and transportation workers in San Antonio ISD.

Today, I want to address the school board about the poverty that exists for many school workers in the SAISD. SWU has launched a Living Wage Campaign for School Workers. The living wage is based on fair market rent. A worker should not pay more than 30% of their monthly salary towards rent. In San Antonio, Texas a two bedroom apartment currently costs approximately $732.00 per month. Based on fair market rent the Living Wage in San Antonio based on 40 hours should be $15.25 per hour.

The Board of Trustees is committing an injustice by continuing to support the unfair TASB Mid-Point Compensation and Classification System. The TASB Mid-Point system is unfair to school workers because it is based on the local market value of for profit corporations. For profit corporations pay workers the least possible to maximize their profits therefore keeping the local market value for skilled workers low. The TASB Mid-Point System denies equality to committed and dedicated school workers who have many years of service with the school district because they receive the least amount of a pay raise or no raise at all.

To bring equality and eliminate poverty for SAISD school workers the San Antonio Independent School should implement a living wage based on fair market rent and discontinue the use of the TASB Mid-Point System.

In order to implement a fair compensation system SAISD also needs to establish a Step System which counts years of service and allows for across the board pay raises for all Auxiliary and Paraprofessional Workers.

SAISD needs a new living wage because last so called living wage passed by the district was in 2001 for $8.25 per hour. That has been over 6 years and the cost of living has gone up tremendously. Let’s eradicate poverty for school workers in 2007.

Gracias.

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