Tuesday, August 14 , 2018, 5:07 pm | Fair 76º


Employee Unions Reach Tentative Pacts With Santa Barbara Unified School District

Both employee-bargaining groups within the Santa Barbara Unified School District have reached tentative agreements after extensive negotiations and, in the case of the teachers union, a declared impasse.

Classified employees represented by the California School Employees Association ratified an agreement Tuesday night and the district school board approved the contract.

It includes a 1-percent off-schedule bonus in April and a 3-percent base salary increase retroactive to July 1, 2015.

However, CSEA employees will get an extra boost because the Santa Barbara Teachers Association's tentative agreement includes a 4-percent salary increase, retroactive to July 2015, CSEA chapter president Paul Rooney said.

“If the teachers settle on what they have, then they get a little more than we did, and we have a ‘me, too’ clause so we’ll be getting that,” Rooney said.

CSEA members ratified the contract with a 71-2 vote on Tuesday.

The new contract ends in 2017, so the CSEA negotiating team is going right back to the bargaining table, Rooney said.

“It took a long time to negotiate this one, and we’ll have a new superintendent also, so we’ll see what happens,” he said.

“In reality it’s a give and take,” Rooney said of negotiations.  

“I didn’t want to keep my members out in the cold," he added. "Get them taken care of as best as we can, as fast as we can, and have some dignity left.”

He was hopeful the SBTA membership would approve the agreement its negotiating team reached with the district, which would finalize the CSEA salary increases.

SBTA represents almost 800 teachers in the district, and the association members will vote on the tentative agreement March 17, SBTA president John Houchin said.

The contract includes two grant-funded professional development days for the 2016-17 year and three days for the following year, which are full release days without classes for students.

Other contract changes give teachers more of a voice in what professional learning they receive, Houchin said.

Three areas of concern among teachers are technology, curriculum and professional learning and development, he said.

Houchin said the transition to Common Core State Standards includes more work for teachers developing the lessons and assessments.

“Honestly, they’re being asked to do all of this but for no extra pay and as one elementary teacher famously said, ‘They’re asking us to fly the airplane while we build it.’”

To finalize the contract, the school board has to approve the agreement after the union membership votes to ratify it.  

Noozhawk managing editor Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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