School district, teachers union come to terms
SAN DIEGO (CNS) – The San Diego Unified School District and the union representing teachers announced a tentative labor agreement Tuesday that would preserve jobs slated for elimination in exchange for district employees deferring scheduled raises.
Salary increases called for in the current contract would be deferred until funding is available, according to the San Diego Education Association. More information about the tentative agreement was expected to be made public at 7:30 p.m. news conference at district headquarters.
Bernie Rinerson, the district's chief of staff, said the deal required ratification by union members of the Board of Education. The union ratification process may take three or four days.
“It provides for concessions, and it's bringing back the teachers,” Rhinerson told City News Service.
More than 1,500 district employees, including teachers, were slated for layoffs to help close a budget deficit of about $120 million in the coming fiscal year.
The SDEA announced the tentative deal on its website. If ratified, it would save 1,481 jobs.
A few other jobs would be saved if the Legislature restore funding for an early-childhood education program.
Among the key provisions of the tentative agreement:
— salary increases called for in the current contract would be deferred until funding is available;
— teachers would take five furlough days in each of the next two academic years, a number that could increase to 14 if Gov. Jerry Brown's proposals to raise taxes fail at the ballot box;
— the district would offer a substantial retirement incentive; and
— the district would create a health care trust fund to continue benefits for laid-off SDEA members.
The union statement said the tentative deal would protect their contract and schools.
“The recall of the vast majority of our colleagues and extension of our contract will protect our classrooms and our hard-won contractual protections,” the statement said. It also acknowledged further difficulties should the tax propositions fail in the general election in November.