Berkeley Teachers Poised for 12% Raises
The Berkeley Unified School District has reached a tentative agreement for a new two-year contract with the the Berkeley Federation of Teachers. The agreement followed months of demonstrations and a 11-hour bargaining session.
The new two-year contract would guarantee all teachers raises of 2.5% in 2019-20 and again in 2020-21, plus 7% more next year if a proposed new parcel tax passes. All classified staff (such as custodians and cafeteria workers) as well as administrators (such as principals and program supervisors), who each have their own union, would receive the same 12% increase over two years.
BFT’s president called it a “historic agreement,” with “huge wins” for educators.
In addition to the pay raises, BUSD would contribute more towards teachers’ healthcare. Substitutes and school psychologists would see increased pay, while Independent Studies teachers would be made into salaried employees.
Special education teachers would reap additional benefits from this new deal as well. It caps student caseloads at 21 for those who teach students with “mild to moderate” disabilities. Those with students in the “moderate to severe” category will have no more than 10.
“This tentative agreement demonstrates the district’s commitment to address both compensation and funding gaps that have become realities for most California public school districts and teachers,” said Superintendent Brent Stephens in a press release. “We’re happy to have a tentative agreement in place that honors the hard work and passion for excellence our Berkeley teachers embody on a daily basis and allows us to return our full and collective focus back to the students we serve.”
The agreement must still be ratified. That is expected to take place within the next two weeks.