MODESTO — Modesto Teachers Association members have ratified a contract that restores the school year to 180 days for students and reinstates three training days for teachers.
The 2013-14 contract also keeps the Modesto City Schools' 11 elementary school librarians.
The current school year is 178 days; it was 175 days during two previous school years, according to the MTA.
"This is a good deal because it puts the focus back on the students and gives teachers the support they need" with the three professional development days, MTA President Doug Barton said Wednesday.
MTA members approved the contract Tuesday. School board members unanimously approved it Monday.
MTA officials said stretching the school year for teachers from 178 to 183 days restores 4.32 percent of their pay. But they said a 2.145 percent pay cut imposed several years ago remains in place, along with a 38 percent cut to teacher stipends.
The district is at an impasse in its labor talks with the union that represents bus drivers, cafeteria workers, secretaries and other support staff. Continuing a 2.2 percent wage cut and the cost of health care are the sticking points between the California School Employees Association's Modesto chapter and the school district.
District spokeswoman Becky Fortuna said if the CSEA and district cannot reach an agreement by June 30, the district can impose previous contract terms that called for a 183-day school year: 180 days of instruction for children and three training days.
MTA officials said teacher pay starts at $49,283 for a new teacher and tops out at $91,849 for a teacher with at least 30 years' teaching experience and 72 graduate-level college units, including a master's degree.
The district contributes $150 per month toward teachers' health care premiums, but MTA officials said monthly premiums are more than $1,000 a month for family coverage.
Bee staff writer Kevin Valine can be reached at email@example.com or (209) 578-2316.