The Mt. Diablo teachers union has taken a vote of no confidence in Superintendent Gary McHenry, formally calling into question district leadership and adding tension to ongoing contract negotiations.

Teachers are fed up with continual payroll errors, low compensation and administrative gaffes that have cost the district millions, according to a resolution that will be presented to the school board tonight. Morale has sunk, said union President Mike Noce, in part because of district management.

"The relationship over the past four years, five years has gone downhill," Noce said. "People are leaving, not just because of the compensation but because they don't feel supported."

District spokeswoman Sue Berg said some teachers had called in to express support for McHenry, who came to the district in 1999. Others called in to complain about the survey, which precedes the next contract bargaining session, set for Jan. 28.

"We have heard from some teachers who are not happy with this tactic," Berg said.

About 70 percent of the union's 1,900 members had responded to the survey as of Saturday.

Among those who replied, 95 percent -- or 64 percent of all members -- said they had no confidence in McHenry's leadership. Four percent said they believed in his abilities, and 2 percent formally abstained from voting.

Among other complaints, the union pointed to the following as examples of recent district failures:

  • Payroll errors.

    Advertisement

    After buying a new financial software system in 2004, the district continues to pay teachers the wrong amount. An audit of the year ended June 2006 says the district has overpaid teachers since 2002.

  • Credentialing fines. The state fined the district $1.3 million after auditors found 76 uncredentialed teachers in classrooms in 2005-06. District administrator Gail Isserman said the teachers were credentialed but that the personnel office failed to turn in paperwork on time. The case is being appealed.

  • Contract approvals. The administration failed to ask for school board approval of legal contracts in violation of the district's own policy, possibly leading to excessive payouts to attorneys.

    "I think they certainly have some valid points," said board member Paul Strange. "I don't know if they're all valid."

    Shirley Dang covers education. Reach her at 925-977-8418 or sdang@bayareanewsgroup.com.