San Juan Unified teachers and staff are set to receive a 10% raise this school year in contracts designed to keep up with inflation.
On Tuesday, the district school board approved collective agreements proposed by unions that represent faculty and staff.
The Superintendent of San Juan recommended approving the agreements, and the two tentative contracts were ratified by 98% of union members. The increases will be retroactive to July 1 and Raj Rai, the district’s communications director, said workers will receive a check for the difference no later than December 22.
“It’s a fair deal,” said Barry Roth, president of the San Juan Teachers’ Association. “Our members are happy.”
Governor Gavin Newsom included major funding increases for California schools in the recent state budget, amid teacher shortages, turnover and extreme burnout. As the San Juan Teachers Association pointed out during negotiations with the district, inflation is over 8% and housing prices in Sacramento County have skyrocketed in recent years.
As part of the teacher agreement, the district will add approximately 15 new certified positions, primarily in nursing and special education services.
While teachers will receive an additional 1% raise next year, members of the California School Employees Association – including, among others, those working in school security, catering, clerical jobs, maintenance school, operations and transportation – will get an additional 4.5%. increase next school year.
“This pay increase will greatly help our classified members and confirms that we are essential,” said Adara Clark-Gunn, president of the San Juan chapter of the California School Employees Association. “Our members feel valued.
The San Juan School Board also approved 10% raises for other employees, including those in management who are not represented by unions.
School teachers and staff have taken on greater responsibilities as they deal with learning loss and other repercussions from the ongoing pandemic, now disrupting a fourth school year. Staff turnover has compounded those constraints, and EdSource reported last year that one in five California classrooms were being taught by ill-prepared teachers.
“With a staff shortage that has impacted us for certified and staffing positions, we believe investing in our employees will help with recruitment and retention,” said Rai, the district representative. She also noted that they are offering a $1,500 recruiting bonus to new hires this school year.
Under the terms of the interim contracts, the district will spend an additional $22,248,070 this school year on teachers and an additional $9,090,965 on school support staff, an overall increase of 10.75 percent.
Salaries can be reopened for negotiations if the cost of living rises more than state projections or if the district gets another windfall. The district, Rai said, has strong relationships with its unions, which helped them quickly conclude negotiations in just over two months.
Notably, the directors also get a 10% raise – the board also approved a tentative deal with them.
This story was originally published October 13, 2022 5:30 a.m.