Letters to the Editor
July 10, 2018

To the Editor,
In first grade the concept of fairness is difficult for students to understand. They can’t see it directly. It’s best taught using sharing or turn-taking activities to show students that being treated fairly and treating others fairly are essential skills to show others they are valued and respected.
The same is true for adults, and in this case, the members of the Fillmore Unified Teachers Association. This year, FUTA members saw a 24% reduction in their health benefits that established an on-going savings for Fillmore Unified of $900,000, while premiums for management and classified staff increased 8.5%. Simultaneously, FUSD proposed a hard cap on future medical benefits for teachers, but failed to make that same proposal to classified staff and ultimately management who share the same medical coverage. For 2020, FUTA will not see a significant increase in medical benefits, while premiums for management and classified staff will increase by 14%.
The concept of fairness often means a shared responsibility, but it appears this is lost on district leadership. FUSD’s proposal to place a cap on FUTA health benefits, knowing that we had already taken a substantial hit to our coverage without making that same proposal to classified, and by default management staff, is unfair and inequitable. We don’t teach students about fairness by taking things away or asking one group of students to do all the work, but rather, to share the responsibility with relative equality. FUSD leadership seems to have more to learn about fairness than my students.
Kassie Chambers
Rio Vista Elementary School