After several months of negotiations, Fresno Unified School District and the Fresno Teachers Association have reached a tentative agreement on teacher pay and other issues.
The agreement, which still has to be officially approved by the school board and FTA members, includes a total 7 percent salary package for teachers: a 5 percent increase and a 2 percent one-time payment.
The contract also includes pay increases for speech language pathologists and nurses in schools, and additional funding for teachers to purchase materials and supplies for students.
The terms involve a reopener that the sides agreed to when they reached the original deal. Reopeners involve parts of a contract that two sides agree to revisit.
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In November, after 12 unsuccessful collective bargaining sessions, the school district made its “best and final” offer and declared an impasse, requiring the state Public Employment Relations Board to step in to mediate.
The FTA also has recently called for more social workers, psychologists and nurses in schools, and for smaller class sizes and safer classrooms.
“Our members deserve more,” FTA President Tish Rice said Friday. “But in the end, we couldn’t find four votes on the school board to get our members what they truly deserve.”
Rice said she appreciated school board President Luis Chavez and trustees Brooke Ashjian and Carol Mills’ willingness to work with teachers, “and look forward to one day working with all trustees to improve the district.”
In a statement last month, the district said its latest offer was fair, despite teachers’ protests.
“Our students are demonstrating remarkable achievements due to the hard work of our teachers, and we absolutely want to ensure that our teaching staff is fairly compensated,” Superintendent Michael Hanson said.