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Tuesday, December 11 , 2018, 2:01 am | Fair 46º

 
 
 
 

Santa Barbara School District Approves Raises for Teachers, Classified Staff

[Noozhawk’s note: In an earlier version, Noozhawk reported that Santa Barbara Unified School District trustees approved the CSEA and SBTA contracts at Tuesday’s meeting. Those votes happened at previous meetings and Tuesday’s vote was to disclose the decision and approve the nonrepresented management contract raise.]

The Santa Barbara Unified School District has negotiated a 4-percent salary increase for teachers and classified staff, with retroactive raises going into effect this week.

The Board of Education approved new labor contracts with the Santa Barbara Teachers Association and the California School Employees Association.

On Tuesday, the board voted to grant the same increase to non-represented management staff in a 4-1 vote, with board member Ed Heron dissenting because he didn’t like the financial position the district will be in because of the change.

The general fund will foot most of the increase, with district staff acknowledging that $6.7 million in reductions must be made to ensure the district meets its state-recommended reserve level of 3 percent in 2017-18.

Of those reductions, $1.6 million were what Assistant Superintendent of Business Services Meg Jette called “easy cuts” — such as not filling classified positions.

The additional $5.3 million needs to be identified and approved by the board before adopting the 2017-18 budget, she said.

Historically, Jette said, the board approves the same compensation increases for non-represented employees and SBTA.

“We could have a workshop on this and probably still not understand it,” Heron said.

Heron took issue with pulling from reserves that are supposed to serve as a safety net.

He said he hoped district staff were already scrutinizing every expense and recommended that all three labor contracts be done simultaneously.

“As a board, we should have all these things in front of us,” Heron said. “Everything is not necessarily easy.”

He also noted the board was leaving future members and a soon-to-be-chosen new superintendent with some tough choices.

With approval, the current budget will be adjusted for the increase to make sure the beginning fund balance for the 2016-17 adopted budget reflects the cost.

The raises — retroactive July 1, 2015 — will hit paychecks as soon as this Friday, Jette said.

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff 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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