Click here to view the district’s UPDATED PROPOSAL which was shared with SCTA leaders on September 15th. It would increase all teacher salaries by 6 percent. Click here to view what the new salary schedule would be this proposal. Lea este mensaje en Español.
Last week the district worked collaboratively with SCTA leaders to continue making progress toward reaching a final agreement that honors the work and commitment that our teachers put into the classroom to support students in reaching their full academic potential. The district appreciates SCTA’s willingness last week to engage in productive dialogue that led to the tentative agreement of multiple previously unresolved items, including health benefits and safety conditions. While a lot of progress was made and we believe continued willingness on both sides to engage in constructive dialogue will result in an agreement, a final agreement has not yet been reached. In the spirit of this renewed constructive dialogue, the district and SCTA ended the week with an agreement to continue meeting on September 27-28, 2017.
On September 15 the district updated its offer to invest $25 million toward salary increases and other supports, including additional Special Education personnel. These investments will incentivize and improve working conditions for our teachers as well as provide other supports to help students reach their full potential by meeting their academic and socio-emotional needs. Click here to view details of the district’s latest proposal.
The district’s proposal includes a three-year contract that would:
* Result in significantly higher wages for teachers;
* Improve working conditions by reducing caseloads for specialists and adding preparation time for Special Education teachers;
* Provide opportunities for current SCTA members to earn higher salary schedule placement based on their total years of service, regardless of which district(s) employed them; and
* Seek to achieve health cost-savings that could be used to make future investments in our classrooms on behalf of students.
We believe this latest proposal is a good investment for our students, respects the hard work and commitment of our teachers to be successful for our students and, equally important, maintains the district’s short and long-term financial health. Specific highlights of the latest proposal include:
* Increasing all teacher salaries across the board by 6 percent over two years, and an additional 2.5 percent for 2018-19 if state revenues exceed current revenue projections;
* Teachers’ salary schedule placement will be based on overall number of years of teaching as of July 1, 2017, even if teaching took place outside of SCUSD. This is equivalent to an approximately 2 percent salary increase for affected members and gives SCUSD the opportunity to hire even more experienced teachers;
* The District will continue to pay an additional 1.85 percent toward the STRS contribution toward our teachers’ retirement accounts;
* Recruiting 20 full-time employees to reduce Speech, Language, and Hearing Specialist caseloads to 55 students, and in the interim continue meeting the requirements of servicing students;
* Recruiting 2 full-time School Psychologists; and
* Increasing the Doctorate stipend from $1,161 to $3,000.
Further, our latest proposal maintains the following benefits in teachers’ current contract:
* 100 percent free family health coverage (approximately $26,847 (HealthNet) per employee, which includes medical, dental, vision and life; cost for Kaiser is approximately $18,210);
* Continued lifetime health benefits for teachers. SCUSD is one of the few school districts where teachers are eligible for free retiree health benefits as follows:
- At age 55 with at least 20 consecutive years of service to the District in the SCTA bargaining unit;
- At age 56 with at least 19 consecutive years of service to the District in the SCTA bargaining unit;
- At age 57 with at least 18 consecutive years of service to the District in the SCTA bargaining unit;
- At age 58 with at least 17 consecutive years of service to the District in the SCTA bargaining unit;
- At age 59 with at least 16 consecutive years of service to the District in the SCTA bargaining unit;
- At age 60 with at least 15 consecutive years of service to the District in the SCTA bargaining unit;
As the Legislative Analyst continues to raise concerns about an upcoming downturn in the economy, the district would like to finalize an agreement so we can budget accordingly. There are a number of rising costs the district must plan and budget for. For example, the rising cost of public school retirement pensions as well as rising healthcare costs must be planned for. The district has been fiscally responsible in the management of its savings to be able to weather economic storms and fiscal emergencies. For example, because of the district’s savings strategy, we were able to save our After School programs earlier this year from a devastating $3 million federal funding cut. As we negotiate and budget for this contract, we do so with the next economic downturn in mind, so that teachers, students and schools will be protected down the line from the painful cuts we have had to endure in the past.
In the event that the upcoming negotiations sessions on September 27-28, 2017 do not result in a final agreement, the district will continue to bargain in good faith and abide by the fact-finding process and rules that both parties agreed to in July. This includes a fact-finding hearing chaired by a neutral third-party, followed by an independent report of the findings. Following the fact-finding process is important because it helps bring transparency to our negotiations by ensuring that proposals are independently reviewed and properly vetted before they are taken to the SCTA members for a vote.
The district is committed to continue bargaining in good faith and looks forward to soon reaching an agreement with SCTA so that our hard-working teachers can reap the benefits of this contract offer and get what they need to continue providing high quality teaching to our students.
Finally, it is our understanding that SCTA’s bargaining team has voted to ask their members to move ahead with strike votes. While SCTA has chosen to move forward with that action, the district will continue following the fact-finding process in good faith to ensure proposals are independently reviewed. We will also continue to share updates with the community as new developments occur.
The district has joined a nationwide Council of Great City Schools effort to help the Houston Independent School District recover from the damage of Hurricane Harvey by collecting clothes, toiletries and other items at all school sites for delivery to children and families in Houston. Hundreds of items from all school sites within our district were collected the week of September 4th and sent to Houston.