Teachers with the Sylvan Union School District will get a 5 percent raise under a contract the school board could vote to ratify on Tuesday.
The raise, retroactive to July 1, would cost the north Modesto district $1.6 million, Superintendent Debra Hendricks said by email Friday. Under the new contract, a first-year teacher would start at $47,442. The average salary in 2013 was $68,885 for the district’s 348 teachers, according to the California Department of Education.
Teachers said they had not had a raise for seven or eight years, though yearly increases for longevity and additional education continued.
The contract would also offer more help with health care premiums starting Jan. 1 for teachers choosing a high-deductible plan. The district now pays $2,866 toward employee coverage, $4,047 toward family plans. Starting next year, the district would pay $5,467 toward any high-deductible plan, and for all plans contribute half of future increases in premiums.
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The pact with Sylvan Educators Association comes after protracted negotiations. “We did begin negotiations for 2014-2015 last year and continued to negotiate until we were able to reach an agreement,” Hendricks said.
At Tuesday’s meeting, trustees could also vote on a $4,727 contract for training of district and teachers union negotiators in interest-based bargaining, a consensus-seeking approach similar to win-win strategies.
The board will also select new officers for the coming year and discuss budget updates. A budget outlook prepared before the new teachers contract shows the district spending and revenue nearly aligned for the year, with a $60,000 surplus out of a $66.7 million budget. Even with the added salary expense, the district expects to end the year with a 22 percent general fund reserve.
The board will hold a special meeting at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 16 to discuss school bond debt and potential for refinancing. The district’s most recent bond sales statement shows property owners within its boundaries will pay $130 million in extra taxes through 2049 to retire bonds for building and refurbishing schools.
The Sylvan Union School District board will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the district boardroom, 605 Sylvan Ave. See the agenda at http://bit.ly/SylvanBoard.