Sequoia teachers receive 3.25% raise | October 23, 2019 | Almanac | Almanac Online |

Almanac

Schools - October 23, 2019

Sequoia teachers receive 3.25% raise

by Angela Swartz

The Sequoia Union High School District Board of Trustees approved a 3.25% pay increase and a new contract for members of the district's teachers union at its meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 16.

Trustees voted unanimously to approve salary increases for members of the Sequoia District Teachers Association, which represents teachers, librarians, counselors, nurses and others. They also approved a new yearlong contract with the association.

"Though it was an uncharacteristically long set of negotiations for re-openers on the contract, SDTA (Sequoia District Teachers Association) is pleased to have been able to reach this settlement and deliver a modest salary increase to our members," said Edith Salvatore, the association's president, in an email. "We look forward to continuing our discussion with the district of counselor duties and workloads and also to working through our Insurance Committee to evaluate options to maintain our high level of health coverage to our members and their families while helping to contain costs for the District to ensure that our members do not bear the burden of crippling out of pocket expenses."

The pay increase will be retroactive to July 1, 2019, according to the agreement. The contract runs from July 1, 2019, to June 30, 2020. The union's previous contract ran from July 2018 through June 2019.

"As a district, we value our teachers and the tremendous contributions they make in our classrooms on a daily basis," said Superintendent Mary Streshly in an email. "The agreement was made possible because of the trust and respect that exists between the Board, my office, and our teacher's union. Together, we will continue educating the youth of our community, and in the process, provide them the tools they need to make their dreams come true."

The new contract maintains benefits from the previous agreement, including full health care coverage for individuals, couples or families up to the cost of the highest HMO premium offered by the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS). CalPERS manages pension and health benefits for California public employees, retirees and their families.

Sequoia teachers made $101,580 on average during the 2017-18 school year, according to California Department of Education data.

The district and teachers union have agreed to negotiate a successor collective bargaining agreement for the 2020-21 school year.

This is the third year in a row union members have received a raise. The board granted the union a 4% raise in May 2017 for the 2017-18 school year and a 3.5% raise in October 2018 for the 2018-19 school year.

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