Bargaining Update, by Charles Snyder
After negotiations on Thursday, February 22, the CUTA bargaining team is very pleased to announce that we have agreed on all of the details for a tentative agreement with the District. The tentative agreement will be presented to E-Board on March 8, and with their approval, we will schedule a membership vote on the tentative agreement by the end of March.
The wage agreement follows the three-year model I have described in previous updates, and it includes the current school year. The projected wage increases are below.
Percent Increase to Salary Schedule
2017-2018 (this year) 2018-2019 2019-2020
2.46% 5.91% 2.46% (projected COLA)
Total Salary Schedule Increase (approximate and compounded) = 11.1%
These represent ongoing raises. The raise for this school year is 2.46%, and members will receive a retro check for this year representing the 2.46% raise and the 2.46% increase in the District contribution to health benefits. The salary schedule will be adjusted up by 2.46% for any remaining portion of the school year.
August of 2018 will be paid on the current year salary schedule, and during September, we will determine if any adjustment needs to be made to the 2.46% from this year. The District will adjust the salary schedule if needed, and will also increase the salary schedule by the 2018-2019 raise, which is projected to be 5.91%. The District will issue a retro check for August 2018, and the rest of the 2018-2019 school year will be paid on the increased salary schedule. We will follow the same procedure in August and September of 2019.
If the District experiences declining enrollment next year, they have the option to opt out of the third year of the agreement. If the District experiences increasing enrollment, CUTA captures 20% of any dollar increases associated with increased enrollment beyond the first 100 students. For example, if District enrollment increased 150 students, CUTA would capture 20% of all dollars associated with students 101-150.
The District health benefit contribution (currently $1093/month) will increase by the same percentages listed above. That means that next year the projected monthly contribution for health benefits from the District will be approximately $1185.
In addition, the District allocated about $500,000 in one-time money for CUTA compensation for this year. This money will be paid as a one-time, equal bonus to all CUTA members employed in 2017-2018, and it will be prorated for FTE, meaning a half-time employee would receive half of what a full time employee would receive. This one-time bonus payment is estimated to be $750 for a full-time employee.
The District listened to CUTA’s concerns throughout this process. CUTA argued that we were a shrinking portion of the overall budget, and we also argued that the District made all of their budget plans first and only considered employee compensation last. This generous wage increase is proof that the District is listening to its employees and cares about wage compensation. It wants Chico to remain a competitive school district. The CUTA bargaining offers its sincere gratitude to CUSD leadership for their honesty and transparency during negotiations.
We have also reached an agreement with the District on a process to transition all of our elementary schools to an all-day Kindergarten model. We have agreed on a set of minimum needs for all-day K, and we will spend next year writing the contract language.
The daily schedule for Kindergarten will continue to resemble the extended day schedule. All-day Kindergarten classes in the District will receive 2.5 hours of aide time per teacher, per day, to be used in the classroom. Upon switching to all-day K, each Kindergarten class will receive a $1300 classroom budget for the first two years to help build up supplies necessary for a longer day. Kindergarten teachers will receive more prep time than they have currently, so that their prep time is comparable to the prep time received by teachers in grades 1-3. Currently, Kindergarten teachers have 13 half-days for prep. This will increase to 18 half-days for prep, and they will also receive ten 65 minute sessions of prep time delivered by a prep time specialist. The Kindergarten instructional day (teacher/student time) will be 250 minutes.
Mary Schoenthaler serves as Vice President and Public Relations Chair for CUTA.