Hi all- Good news! Our teachers have ratified their new contract. It’s far from perfect, but should put an end to a very difficult negotiation process. The story from the SF Chronicle is pasted below.
Less encouraging, at Monday’s meeting between the school board and City of El Cerrito, the plans for the move out of the Portola campus into the new building, according to Joanna Pace, Portola PTA President, is “back to the drawing board.” The proposed move-in date for the new building is in 2014.
Best wishes for a fun, relaxing, and safe holiday break!
West Contra Costa teachers OK contract
West Contra Costa teachers narrowly approved a new contract Monday night, seemingly ending what has been an emotional 18-month process that included a strike vote and a controversial recount.
The three-year tentative agreement, which included no pay raises, was approved 423-415.
The school board was expected to approve the contract Tuesday night.
Both sides of the bargaining table said the district’s dire financial situation resulted in a less-than-desirable contract for the teachers.
“Teachers deserve better than this,” said United Teachers of Richmond President Pixie Hayward Schickele. “Unfortunately, the district’s financial crisis meant sacrifices that will likely make it hard to recruit and retain our educators here from now on.”
The agreement requires the district’s 2,000 teachers to take four furlough days over the next two years – instead of five previously requested by the district. The reduction in days worked will mean about a 1.5 percent cut in salaries.
Class sizes will increase, and health care costs for teachers and their dependents will be capped under the new contract.
“We’re relieved,” said district spokesman Marin Trujillo. “It’s not the best agreement in the world. It’s not the agreement we wanted to bring to the teachers. It’s the best we could do under the circumstances.”
Monday’s vote by the teachers was the final round in a convoluted bargaining process that included a strike vote in July after the district imposed a one-year contract. In November, a first contract offer was rejected by teachers following a controversial ballot recount.
The district serves 30,000 students in Richmond, Hercules, Pinole, El Cerrito, San Pablo and unincorporated west Contra Costa County.