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Teacher pay deal before school board

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POSTED July 15, 2017 12:40 a.m.

The teachers of Manteca Unified have accepted the tentative agreement that was reached by their negotiation team last month.
And now it’ll be up the Manteca Unified School District Board of Education to formally accept the agreement Tuesday and end the impasse that brought the district closer to a strike this year than ever before in its history.
“I’m just really thankful for all of our educators in the community coming together and supporting us and our efforts to get a fair contract,” Meadows said. “This has been a year of firsts for MEA as well as the school district, and while it has been trying at times I think it came out to a successful conclusion.”
According to Meadows, work between the Manteca Educators Association and district administration has been going on for longer than a year, and while the process ended favorably, it wasn’t always an easy process.
First, a tentative agreement did not initially satisfy the teachers when they rejected the district’s offer and sent things back to the negotiation table. And on top of the negotiations moving to impasse multiple times, the teachers also publicly claimed that the school board violated California labor law by attempting to circumvent the teacher’s negotiation team during mediation and make an appeal directly to the teachers themselves who were in attendance at the meeting. The district maintains that no laws were broken, and of the tentative agreement that the board claimed they would accept, almost all of those key components were a part of the agreement that was ultimately accepted by the teachers.
The agreement that was approved by the teachers included:
uA 2-percent across the board salary increase retroactive to July 1, 2016 – including the formulation of all stipends and extra duty pay.
uA 2-percent across the board salary increase retroactive to January 1, 2017 – including the formulation of all stipends and extra duty pay.
uA 1-percent across the board salary increase effective June 30, 2017 that will be permanently added and have a compounding effect on the 2-percent increase listed above.
uEffective January 1, 2017 the district will increase its annual employee benefits to $795 per month, and as of July 1, 2017, increase its employer contribution to health benefits from $795 to $850.
uAn increase in the amount of money paid for adjunct duties will be increased retroactively, including JV and Varsity football games ($40), freshman football games ($30), JV and varsity boys basketball games ($40), freshman boys basketball games ($30), JV and varsity girls basketball games ($40), freshman girls basketball games ($30) and all frosh/JV/varsity triple-headers ($70).
uThe agreement to create a Certificated Nursing incentive program that will allow qualified School Nurses to apply for a $10,000 loan that will be applied to the cost of clearing their California School Nurses Credential.
Also, this upcoming school year the contract, if approved, will includes raises for Science Olympiad coaches (4 percent), high school choral directors (3 percent increase to 5 percent), elementary band and vocal directors (3 percent increase to 5 percent), head varsity track coaches (13 percent), assistant track coaches (10 percent) and head varsity football coaches (15 percent). All other coaching stipends will be increased by 1 percent of the total salary.
It also funds new positions for water polo (8.5 percent) and assistant water polo (6.5 percent) coaches.
The district also agreed to the teachers request of removing two teacher training days or two six-hour approved training sessions, taking the number of working days per the contract from 188 down to 186.
Both the district and the teachers also agreed to reopen contract negotiations regarding salary and health benefits in each year with the understanding that salary and health benefits are closed for the upcoming 2017/18 school year. That means that other articles in the contract pertaining to that school year can be reopened, and both the teachers and the district agree to reopen only two additional articles of their choice in this agreement for the 2018-19 and the 2019-20 school years.
While the process may have been long, Meadows said that the teachers themselves really came together to unify under the push for what they consider to be a fair contract, and said that she’s proud of the dedication that the teachers showed in standing together.
“It has definitely built unity which is evident in their support of all of the organizing events that we’ve been doing for the last several months,” Meadows said. “We’ve had our street fair outreach and our impasse rallies and our participation in the Fourth of July parade, and the teachers have been committed to coming together and standing together for a fair contract.”

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