Fitting with the trend along the Peninsula this year, South San Francisco Unified School District teachers are also seeing a pay raise with the improved economy.
The district recently reached a tentative agreement with the South San Francisco Classroom Teachers Association, allowing for a 5 percent salary increase for teachers. Additionally, teachers received a 4 percent increase for fringe benefits, primarily health care premiums, for a two-year period. Last school year, teachers’ received a 1 percent pay increase, the first since 2009.
“There’s not even a word bigger than overdue,” said Jan Speller, English teacher at Baden High School, who is president and bargaining chair for the union. “It’s somewhat of a relief. We’re spending $2,000 in out-of-pocket costs every month. Add that to no salary increases since 2009 and it costs us more and more to keep working for the district.”
The average salary for teachers in the district is $68,125, according to Patricia Ernsberger, the district’s assistant superintendent for Business Services.
The union plans to re-engage the district next year about fringe benefits, Speller said. The increase is a $200 monthly increase — from $601.65 to $801.65 monthly for each of the two years, 2014-15 and 2015-16, she said. After July 2016, the district’s contribution to our health care would return to $601.65 monthly unless the union successfully bargains an increase in fringe benefits before July 2016, she said.
“We’re excited we were able to provide some relief,” Speller said. “The district recognized our extreme sacrifice. … The district was very eager to settle with us this year. We only met two and half days. We still have issues on the table about a new evaluation.”
The district is happy with the agreement as well, said Superintendent Alejandro Hogan.
“It’s a fair agreement and I think we are very satisfied we were able to offer this to our teachers,” he said.
The union expects the deal to be finalized in May, Speller said. The new contract would be effective July 1 and the two parties still have to finish up a couple of language items, Hogan said. The next negotiations meeting is May 7, then it’s up for ratification by the teachers’ union. It could make it to the board meeting for approval May 22, he said.
Meanwhile, since the agreement is still tentative, board President Maurice Goodman said out of respect for the process and all parties involved he doesn’t want to comment at this time.
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