Turlock City News

Turlock City News

TUSD Staff Forced to Work Saturdays Without Pay


Turlock Unified School District office employees will be required to work every Saturday during the month of November without pay, part of a program to implement Common Core Standards in the district.

The revelation arose during a a brief, awkward discussion during a presentation at Tuesday’s TUSD Board of Trustees meeting.

Director of Professional Development Kea Willet was discussing the training schedule for the district’s Common Core Implementation Plan when the subject arose as to how district office staff for the Educational Services Department would be compensated for the training.

A total of six or seven district office employees will be required to hold teacher’s training seminars from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. each Saturday from Nov. 2 through Nov. 23. The training is voluntary for district teachers, and those teachers who attend will be paid $150.

However, district staff will not be compensated, yet they will be required to give the training for a total of 30 hours, plus set-up and extra time after the meetings. They will also not receive any compensatory hours, such as a different day off for example.

Most district staff are paid salary for a given amount of days in a calendar year, however they are not protected by any union to mandate pay for extra training sessions, whether mandatory or not.

Trustee Frank Lima says that once the subject of the training sessions came up he immediately realized how much time district staff would be asked to work in addition to their normal workweek.

“I didn’t realize that these people are giving up every weekend for a month,” said Lima.

At one point the question turned to TUSD Superintendent Sonny Da Marto and he was asked if he would be required to attend every training session, in which Da Marto indicated that he would be at only one Saturday training. He jokingly then pointed in the general area of district staff and said “but they will.”

At that point Willet, who was giving the presentation to the board at the time, seemingly half-joked, “Don’t tell my husband that.”

While the exchange seemed light-hearted Lima’s question had merit.

“Of course they (district staff) aren’t going to say anything, he is their boss.” Lima commented the next day, “She (Willet) was kind of half-joking but the reality is these people need a token of our appreciation. I asked a loaded question but I did so because I feel this is about the long-term picture for our district to keep good employees happy. I know how difficult it would be on my family if I had to give up every Saturday for a month. They aren’t going to be happy or productive employees if they are going through a divorce.”

Assistant Superintendent, Educational Services Dana Trevethan confirmed that, “all administrators are expected to attend to support their teachers' efforts and collaboration time; however, they will not receive any additional compensation above their annual salaries,” she wrote in an e-mail to TurlockCityNews.com. She also confirmed that district staff would not receive any time compensation.

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