One-year deal between SF schools and teachers’ union offers up to $10,000 in bonuses

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Working under an expired contract, San Francisco teachers and administrators reached a one-year tentative deal Friday night as the district faces a budget crisis.

The interim contract would give teachers $4,000 in bonuses next year while raising replacement pay to $60 a day. The deal also includes a $3,000 bonus for advanced-level teachers and an additional $3,000 for teachers in hard-to-staff schools.

That means a teacher who qualifies for all three could see $10,000 in bonuses next year.

The deal does not include ongoing raises, other than guaranteed raises associated with years of experience and education levels, but does provide immediate financial relief for educators, union officials said.

“Given all the struggles educators have been through over the past two years, we are relieved to be able to secure one-time compensation directly to all members, as well as a much-needed increase in replacement pay,” Cassondra said. Curiel, president of the United Educators of San Francisco, said in a joint statement with the district. “We are fighting for the schools our students deserve in a particularly difficult time. It is a step in the right direction. »

The contract of the previous teachers expired in July 2020.

The district faces a $125 million shortfall next year, as well as a $140 million shortfall the following year, leading to the appointment of a state expert to advise district and review contractual agreements. A staff increase would probably have been rejected by the expert.

“We are living in a moment in history with challenges we have never faced before, and educators continue to inspire us with their resilience and strength,” Superintendent Vince Matthews said. “We are extremely pleased to reach an agreement that supports our educators, our students and our communities. »

The agreement came the same day the district sent letters to some teachers and other staff informing them that they were on a list of people who could receive preliminary layoff notices in March.

The school board has passed a budget plan that is expected to cut classrooms by $50 million, in addition to cuts at central office and various programs.

This will include balancing classroom enrollment, to ensure teachers are evenly distributed across the district, thereby reducing the number of teachers required. Currently, some teachers have a handful of students, given lower-than-expected enrollment numbers, while others at different schools have full seats. The school board voted in the fall against changing teachers to address disparities.

District officials have said there will likely be staff reductions, although the numbers could change dramatically before official notices are released in May.

Friday’s tentative agreement requires approval and is subject to a vote by union and school board members.

The agreement provides for the suspension of teacher sabbaticals for a year to help alleviate teacher shortages, while also suspending an additional preparation period for teachers in advanced placement. These benefits are not standard features of teacher collective agreements and cost the district nearly $10 million a year.

The one-year break on the additional preparation period is arguably the most controversial part of the deal.

Parents and teachers say they fear the temporary loss of additional planning time for these instructors could lead to fewer advanced classes, which district officials said was not the case.

This means that AP teachers will teach five lessons per day instead of four, which will reduce the number of teachers needed at a school site. This could mean layoffs or the loss of staff through retirements and resignations.

Additionally, funding for additional planning periods often exceeded what it cost to pay for them, meaning schools such as Lowell High received extra money to pay for music or other programs from this jar.

It will be a huge loss for high schools, which have created programs and resources for students with this funding, said Lowell Advanced Placement teacher Rebecca Johnson.

In addition, Johnson worries that many teachers will lose their jobs due to the reduced PA prep period, and that those job losses will in turn pay for the teacher allowances included in the deal.

“I don’t want this,” said Johnson, who would receive $7,000 if the contract is approved. “I want my colleagues to have jobs.”

Jill Tucker is a staff writer for the San Francisco Chronicle. Email: [email protected]: @jilltucker

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