California Educator

December 2014

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Page 36 of 63

UESF GETS NEW CONTRACT United Educators of San Francisco members ratified a contract that includes a 12 percent raise over three years for 6,000 teachers, paraprofessionals, and other educators. This settlement is one of the largest for any urban school district in California, and is one step toward help- ing teachers to afford to live in expensive San Francisco. The agreement includes 150 minutes per week of du- ty-free prep time for elementary school teachers, and major increases in maternity/paternity leave for all members. More than 70 percent of SFUSD's paraprofessionals, who have worked at least eight years in the district, will receive an additional step increment of 3 percent, bringing their three-year increase to 15 percent. UESF President Dennis Kelly thanked the thousands of parents who supported teachers during the negotiations. "This contract is just the first step in our ongoing advocacy for stable schools that meet the needs of all students, root- ed by teachers who live in the communities we serve." BIG VALLEY TEACHERS GET HEALTHY AGREEMENT In rural Las- sen County, teachers in the Big Valley Joint Unified School District settled a contract in November that provides 10 per- cent in raises over two years and improves health benefits. Thanks to the work of the Big Valley Teachers Associa- tion, teachers in rural Bieber will enjoy a 7 percent raise this school year and an increase of $1,000 in what the district pays for health benefits. Next school year, a 3 percent raise kicks in, and another $1,000 is added to the district's bene- fits cap. Support for teachers from the superintendent helped to make negotiations a success. SOLIDARITY PAYS OFF IN SAN JOSE A strong show of commu- nity solidarity is paying off for the East Side Teachers Asso- ciation in San Jose. A huge protest by teachers, parents and students at the Nov. 20 school board meeting resulted in breakthroughs in contract talks. "Teachers deserve a fair raise after many years of sacri- ficing increases to help the district," says ESTA President Marisa Hanson. "The district now has a reserve of nearly 19 percent, amounting to more than $50 million that should be spent on student programs and compensation." Teachers got only a 1.95 percent raise last year — their first raise in five years. Pressured by the November rally, school board President J. Manuel Herrera promised that soaring class sizes will be fixed next semester. The district agreed to pay teachers penalty pay because the district went over contractual class size limits at the end of the semester, and agreed to a plan to prevent classes from exceeding contract limits next school year. "Students are tired of large classes and getting their schedules changed," says Hanson. "They support teachers and have asked the district to negotiate fairly." COLTON EDUCATORS MAINTAIN CLASS SIZES, ENJOY SECOND RAISE Not only did the 1,150-member Association of Colton Educators maintain class sizes at the current maximum of 24 students for prekindergarten and grades 1-3, but for the second time in 2014, they secured a raise for this school year. The latest 2.1 percent raise, retroactive to July 1, was ratified Nov. 20 by the school board and came about be- cause the district honored an agreement to provide raises based on a negotiated formula. The formula says educators' salaries must equal 64 per- cent of the budget, and new audit data in October showed that meant a 2.1 percent raise was due. They earned a 2.72 percent raise in the spring, which took effect July 1. "Working with the district, we were able to get another raise for our members, which is also a win for our students because turnover is less when teachers are paid more," says ACE President Robert Lemoine. BARGAINING UPDATE Compiled by Mike Myslinski ESTA President Marisa Hanson is flanked by students, parents and community members holding signs supporting their teachers. Photo by Timothy Ballejo. See what's happening statewide at Advocacy Bargaining 35 V O L U M E 1 9 I S S U E 5

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