Teachers accept 12 percent pay raise | SierraSun.com

Teachers accept 12 percent pay raise

Jenny Goldsmith
Sierra Sun

School officials say the climate throughout the district was positive Friday after the district board and teachers union announced they had reached a tentative labor agreement to be finalized next week.

The Tahoe Truckee Education Association accepted the district’s offer of a 12 percent salary increase Thursday morning after months of negotiations and mediation sessions with the school district’s board of trustees, said Steve Jennings, superintendent for the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District.

“There’s a lot of relief by a lot of people,” Jennings said Friday.

The offer will be split into a series of 3 percent salary hikes, including a 3 percent raise for the 2007-08 school year effective immediately, a 3 percent raise for the current school year effective immediately, a 3 percent raise on Feb. 1, 2009 and a 3 percent raise on May 1, 2009, Jennings said.

The contract agreement will bring starting teachers’ salaries to $45,903, up from $35,150 four years ago.

As for the charter schools reserve fund ” which delayed a settlement during last week’s negotiations ” discussions over the fund will commence in January and the item was not included in the tentative agreement, Jennings said.

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“We have agreed to take part in discussions regarding the charter schools obligation,” Jennings said.

The total amount in the charter schools reserve is approximately $2.5 million and if funds are not required for the Nevada County Office of Education or for the charter schools, 68 percent may be divided among teachers, with the remaining 32 percent to be earmarked for the district’s discretion, pending talks in 2009.

“The teacher’s negotiating team is pleased that a tentative agreement has been signed with the district and are happy with the terms,” said Jon Halvorsen, union vice president. “We fell confident that our members will approve it next week and know that everyone is excited to get back to focusing 100 percent on our students.”

The charter schools fund discussions set for January will coincide with meetings on how best to proceed in future contract negotiations, Jennings said.

“The parties have agreed to meet in an effort to develop a mutually agreeable formula to apply for compensation for 2009 through 2010,” Jennings said.

12: percentage of salary increase

3: percentage to cover 2007-08 school year

9: percentage to cover 2008-09 school year

$35,150: beginning teacher’s salary four years ago

$45,903: beginning teacher’s salary with new contract

$47,602: nationwide average teacher’s salary

$57,604: California’s average teacher’s salary

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