Paycheck Perplexity: The Retro Edition

Think you got a retro check for a 2% raise effective on Jan. 1st?  Not entirely…

By Shane Parmely, CTA State Council Delegate/Candidate for SDEA Board Seat 5

SDEA Board member Jenny Rivera did an excellent job of explaining to her members at Dailard Elementary how they could estimate the size of their coming retro checks.  She did such a good job that when the retro checks finally arrived, many people at her site were disappointed that the check was smaller than expected.  Others were confused and angry that colleagues on the same step and column received bigger checks.  After a little investigating and asking around about this, we figured out what had happened.  I’ve received several emails and texts asking basically the same questions and expressing frustration with the quality of answers being given to our members by both SDEA and SDUSD staff, so here is a little Q&A that will hopefully clear up any lingering confusion.

Q: Did we get our “first” 2% pay increase on January 1, 2013?

A: No.  The 2% pay increase we received was NOT the deferred FIRST 2% pay increase that we were to receive on July 1, 2012.  It was our SECOND 2% pay increase.  Look at the wording in the TA:


Understanding that we received the second 2% pay increase is important, because in our original contract, the second 2% pay increase was negotiated with the intent that the date of January 1, 2013 represented half a fiscal year — not the actual number of days we work subsequent to January 1.  So when Jenny Rivera and others calculated their retro checks and realized that they had only received a 2% raise on 89.5 days, as opposed to a 2% raise on every day worked since January 1st, they felt short-changed.

Q: Didn’t SDEA repeatedly tell us we’d be getting a raise as of January 1st?

A: Yes.  That’s why people are confused and kinda ticked.  Here’s one of the updates that made us all think our rate of pay increased by 2% as of January 1st.


Q: Why are some people saying we really got a 3.62% raise?

A: Because they are combining the 2% raise with the 1.62% pay restoration you will earn by working three extra days this year.  (Quick reminder: The principals have had 5% or their raises restored and aren’t working any additional days.)  Here’s the message that SDEA sent out leading some members to believe we are receiving a 3.62% raise.


Q: Why did members who are signed up for the 12-month pay receive bigger retro checks than members on the 10-month pay cycle?

A: Because people on the 12-month pay cycle already received two extra pay checks from July and August, so they also received the accompanying 2% retro pay for those checks.  This is why members who are on exactly the same step and column received different amounts in their retro checks.

Hopefully this clarifies some of the confusion members have about the retro checks and our salary restorations.

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