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Teachers consider salary offer

SHERRY MAYS, Sierra Sun

The teacher association and board trustees reached a tentative salary agreement Friday, but it won’t be until tomorrow that the agreement is either finalized or rejected by teachers.

The Tahoe-Truckee Education Association and the Tahoe-Truckee Unified School District were anxious to settle the impasse on the teachers’ salary negotiations after more than a year of negotiating. An independent mediator was brought in last Thursday and, after two days of negotiations, the two parties tentatively agreed to the following conditions:

— 1997-1998: a 2.68 percent salary increase effective July 1, 1997.

— 1998-1999: an 8 percent salary increase effective July 1, 1998.

— Employee only vision care and Delta dental plan. Subject to carrier enrollment schedule, the district agrees to provide a vision care program mutually determined by the district and the association, and to increase the coverage limit on the dental program to $2,000 annually.

These additions and modifications do not change the $385 monthly district contribution toward insurance programs.

The date of the ratification is valid through June 30, 2000, and a mandatory commencement of bargaining will be scheduled for no later than Jan. 10, 1999.

According to a statement about the tentative agreement released by a teacher representative, “in the event that TTEA members decide that this is not an acceptable agreement we will move to the fact-finding stage of negotiations. The fact-finding process will not result in an improved agreement.”

Voting under way

The teacher association put the agreement to a vote of its members, about 270 teachers total, on Tuesday.

Until all association teachers have voted by Friday, both sides agreed not to comment on the agreement.

If ratified, the contract will be agendized for the April 8 board meeting, just one day before the state mediator was scheduled to resume negotiations.

The impasse was the result of the teacher’s request for a 9.38 percent salary increase. The board had approved a budgeted increase of 2 percent over the 2.65 step increase, totaling

4.65 percent.

“It’s our time” was the teacher’s motto through the negotiations, claiming the district’s priorities did not include teacher salaries.

Sidebar:

A special Tahoe-Truckee Unifiied School District board meeting is scheduled for Monday, April 6, to discuss and take action on the criteria for the superintendent search.

The meeting begins at 5 p.m. at the district office on Donner Pass Road in Truckee.

Superintendent Vince Deveney announced his retirement plans recently and is scheduled to leave the district June 30.

Sierra Sun E-mail: sun@tahoe.com

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