BUSD and BFT Joint Press Release
May 29, 2015 – Berkeley CA – The Berkeley Unified School District (BUSD) and the Berkeley Federation of Teachers (BFT) are pleased to announce that we have reached a tentative agreement in the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 contract negotiations, subject to ratification by the BFT and approval by the BUSD Board of Education.
In the area of compensation, all BFT bargaining unit wages, including salaries, stipends, daily rates and hourly rates shall be adjusted to reflect a two year compensation increase totaling eight percent (8%) over two years, comprised of a five percent (5%) ongoing increase that includes a one percent (1.0%) increase to the District’s contribution to health benefits, and a three percent (3%) one-time bonus paid in 2016-2017. An additional two percent (2%) ongoing increase will occur in the second year of the agreement contingent on state funding. More specifically:
Teachers and counselors employed for 2015-2016 school year shall receive an on schedule increase to all rates and schedules of four percent (4%), effective July 1, 2015.
Teachers and counselors employed for 2015-2016 school year shall receive a one-time lump sum bonus equal to three percent (3%) of their salary for 2016-2017.
In the event the District receives at least $2,000,000 additional dollars in ongoing state funding for Adult Education, 2016-2017 employees shall receive an on schedule compensation increase of two percent (2%).
Effective January 1, 2016, the District will increase its contribution to health benefits by the equivalent of one percent (1%).
The agreement clarifies the expectation that secondary teachers regularly update the PowerSchool Grade Book, and expands qualifying family members for bereavement leave. In addition the agreement provides for reopeners in 2016-2017 to address important issues around instructional time and support, and a separate reopener for compensation.
According to BFT President Cathy Campbell, “This agreement reflects a very significant investment in retaining Berkeley’s excellent teachers, and in creating the conditions to be able to continue to attract talented new and veteran teachers to BUSD. This strengthens schools, our community, and our ability to continue to improve outcomes for students.”
”I’m happy to reach this tentative agreement with our Berkeley Federation of Teachers (BFT)”, said Superintendent Donald Evans after the successful conclusion of negotiations at 1:00 a.m. on Thursday. “Our teachers provide the foundation for our children to excel, and it’s important to keep in mind that we must continue to attract and retain highly qualified teachers to challenge, inspire and motivate our students”.
“The School Board members are all incredibly proud of Berkeley’s hard working and high quality teachers who are BUSD’s biggest asset,” said Board President Judy Appel. “We are thrilled to reach such a positive agreement, setting the stage for a fresh and exciting 2015-16 school year.”