The teachers‘ strike that closed schools in the Sacramento City Unified School District for eight days is over.
District and union officials said Sunday that an agreement has been reached between the district, the classified employees union SEIU Local 1021 and the Sacramento City Teachers Association.
“Schools will reopen for our students on Monday, April 4,” district officials wrote to families in a Sunday evening email. “School bus transport schedules will also resume as usual. We encourage all families to send students back to school tomorrow.
“We look forward to seeing your students and welcoming them back,” the district added. “We have prepared social and emotional learning strategies to support our school community as we recover from the effects of school closures.”
The tentative agreement with the teachers’ union includes ongoing salary increases of 4% starting in the current school year; 3% one-time allowances for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 school years; one-time payments of $1,250 for the current school year; 25% increase in rates for substitutes who replaced absent teachers this year; and 14 additional sick days for subs who test positive or show symptoms of COVID-19.
The agreement also covers teacher health benefits, which have been a point of contention for years between the district and the union.
“The district will continue to provide 100% paid health coverage through Kaiser and one or more mutually agreed-upon alternative plans. The current alternate plan is HealthNet,” the district said.
The teachers’ union will also “withdraw a grievance and all of its pending unfair practice charges filed with the Employment Public Relations Commission.”
Teachers and classified staff in the district serving more than 40,000 students went on strike April 23, citing issues with teacher staffing, compensation, and health and safety protocols.
The teachers’ union said in an email that a vote to ratify the agreement would take place early this week with union members and that the school board was expected to vote on the agreement at its meeting on Thursday.
In December, the district had proposed cutting teachers’ salaries by 1% and capping spending on its most expensive employer-sponsored HealthNet health care plan. The teachers’ union responded by pushing for cost-of-living salary increases and to protect the health care system.
Last week, the district offered teachers a combination of one-time bonuses, a 2% pay raise and other incentives even as it continued to push to limit its spending on the HealthNet plan.
“From start to finish, our members were united in the belief that schools should be properly staffed with a teacher in front of every class,” SCTA President David Fisher said in an email. . “Furthermore, we were united in our belief that concessions on health care benefits were unacceptable at a time when the district was receiving increased funding. We have remained strong and as a result we now have a contract that will help us attract and retain staff and provide our members with modest raises. It is important to note that there will be no take-out meals.
The SEIU union said in a separate email that the agreement “makes progress in addressing the causes of the shortage of classified personnel through a rolling cost of living adjustment (COLA) of 4% retroactive to the 1st July 2021; thousands in one-time allowances; enhancements to their dental and vision plans. The SEIU represents bus drivers, custodians, teacher’s aides and other workers in the district.
This story was originally published April 3, 2022 8:22 p.m.