School board okays teacher contract

School board okays teacher contract

Alamedan Staff
Alameda Board of Education

Alameda's Board of Education has signed off on a pair of contracts for the school district's teachers and paraprofessionals.

On June 23 the board unanimously okayed a one-year agreement with the district's teachers and a three-year agreement with the paraprofessionals union. District and union officials are still working on a contract to cover Alameda Unified's custodians.

The teachers' contract - approved before the expiration of the district's prior agreement for the first time in nearly two decades, district officials said - includes an ongoing, 4 percent raise that will be offered starting in the 2015-16 school year plus an increased hourly rate for teachers, bigger stipends for speech and language pathologists, more money toward teachers' health and dental benefits and money to cover teachers' increased pension costs next year.

The contract also establishes a joint district-union committee to discuss changes to the way teachers are evaluated - which has been a hot-button topic - and offers enhanced protections for teachers who are being evaluated or facing complaints. The committee is expected to have recommendations by April 1, 2016.

The agreement was reached during the first year of Superintendent Sean McPhetridge's tenure and the second of his union counterpart, Alameda Education Association president Audrey Hyman, and it seemed to mark a more collaborative, friendly relationship between the district and its teachers.

Negotiations over the union's prior contract with the district, approved in 2013, saw district leaders locked in an ugly public feud with teachers over staffing ratios, pay and other issues, one that spilled out publicly in several school board meetings and was pushed into a state fact-finding process before being resolved with the aid of a state legislator.

Separately, the board also okayed a three-year contract with its office and technical workers and paraprofessionals that gives them a 5 percent raise starting in the 2015-16 school year plus a $300 bonus. The proposed agreement includes updated evaluation forms and a clarified wellness policy. A handful of articles, including salary, could be reopened by the union in 2017-18.

The agreements are available on the school district's website.

Separately, the board approved a $78.5 million budget for the 2015-16 school year, along with a separate budget detailing how state Proposition 30 income and sales tax money will be spent.

The board also signed off on a modified proposal to implement innovative programs at Franklin and Henry Haight elementary schools that will provide a single year of funding and a review in the spring. Board member Philip Hu voted against the changes, saying that the district should provide at least two years' worth of funding.