October 13, 2022 – Berkeley CA – The Berkeley Unified School District (BUSD) and the Berkeley Federation of Teachers (BFT) are pleased to announce they have reached an agreement in the 2022-23, 2023-24, and 2024-2025 contract negotiations. The agreement was ratified by BFT on October 9 and unanimously approved by the BUSD Board of Education at their October 12, 2022 meeting.
Key new provisions in the agreement not found in the prior agreement include the following for BFT bargaining unit members:
In the area of compensation, the agreement provides all BFT members an ongoing increase in salary of 6% retroactively effective July 1, 2022, and an ongoing increase of an additional 6% in salary effective July 1, 2023, for a total increase of 12% over two years. This 12% increase over a two-year period will keep Berkeley salaries more competitive with other Alameda County school districts.
The agreement, which demonstrates a strong working relationship between BUSD and BFT, shifts the salary schedules for Elementary Teachers, Secondary Teachers, and Speech-Language Pathologists, provides an increase in compensation for veteran teachers who have been teaching for more than 23 years, increases the Teacher Hourly rate to $47.50 and sets the Substitute Daily Rate to $225 per day, among other things.
The agreement also applies an increase to the Benefits Caps. Starting in January 2023, the District will cover half the cost of the annual increase in the Kaiser rate for each level for the term of the contract. Also starting January 2023, an additional contribution will be made to offset increasing health care costs.
The agreement includes language that will create more equitable class sizes at both the Elementary and Secondary levels. The total number of students a Secondary teacher sees a day will gradually decrease to increase personalization and individualized instruction. At Elementary, there is now a lower class size maximum and class size averages by grade levels in addition to by site.
The agreement also includes new provisions in several other areas, including Leaves, Speech Language Pathologists Assessment limits, PK & Elementary Teacher Coverage Rates, and updating the BPAR language.
“This agreement will help our District retain and recruit highly qualified educators,” said BFT President Matt Meyer. “The agreements on class size maximums at Elementary and student contacts at Secondary will allow our educators to best serve our students through more individualized attention and instruction.”
“This agreement demonstrates the district’s ongoing commitment to recruit and retain quality teachers, which I believe is essential if this district is to ensure Equity, Excellence, Enrichment and Engagement to our students,” said BUSD Superintendent Enikia Ford Morthel. “Achieving excellence requires excellence and we are happy to have reached an agreement that will attract new teachers to the district as well as help to retain teachers with deep classroom experience.”
“I’m very happy that we reached this agreement, which was built on a strong partnership between our excellent teachers and the District,” said Board of Education President, Ka’Dijah Brown. “This agreement keeps experienced teachers in our classrooms and advances the district’s goal to support our students throughout their academic experience at BUSD.”
BUSD Sr. Communications Officer