Teachers, district reach contract agreement
After nine months of push and pull, teachers and the school district have finally sealed a deal.
A new contract with a cost of living adjustment was ratified by the Tahoe Truckee Education Association after a vote by teachers late Friday. The new contract will include a 7.5 percent cost of living adjustment for the 2006-2007 school year, retroactive to July 1.
“I think teachers are relieved,” said Scott Beaudry, lead negotiator for TTEA. “Their main focus is to educate the children and I think they are glad to be able to give all their effort and not be side-tracked” by negotiations.
The general fund budget for Tahoe Truckee Unified School District’s 2006-2007 academic year is $41.1 million. Nearly $18 million of that will go to teacher and staff salaries, according to Assistant Superintendent of Business Earl Wammack.
“It’s a never-ending cycle,” said Jo Wilson, assistant superintendent of personnel. “We are in the process right now of determining enrollment for next year, and once we come up with that (number), we’ll start developing next year’s budget.”
The district’s 2007-2008 budget must be state approved by June 30, Wilson said.
Because of the difficulty of negotiating salaries without a final budget, the two sides have agreed not to meet again until October, thus allowing the budget process to be completed.
In the 2007-2008 academic year, teachers will not only negotiate for the annual cost of living adjustment, but for salary and benefits as well.
“Our teachers are still not paid what I would like them to receive,” said Superintendent Dennis Williams. “But that will be an ongoing project that the board will look at every year.”
Now that teacher contract negotiations are complete, the district will move forward in negotiating contracts with non-certificated employees such as secretaries and transportation personnel.