One day before classes were set to resume, teachers in the Sacramento City Unified School District received a 10% raise retroactive to July 2022, the result of an uncharacteristically speedy negotiation between the district and its teachers union that was announced Wednesday.
The teachers union and district officials began negotiating earlier this month on a contract reopener before coming to an agreement on the ongoing salary increases, along with 6% ongoing raises for “those educators who provide critical services to our students including special education teachers, education audiologists, school nurses, social workers, and school psychologists,” district and union officials announced in a joint media statement.
The raises ensure that employees represented by the Sacramento City Teachers Association “remain the highest compensated teachers, counselors, librarians, nurses, social workers, psychologists, and language, speech and hearing specialists in the greater Sacramento region,” the district said in a joint statement with SCTA.
The daily substitute pay in the district also will increase to $355.
After years of acrimony, including a 2022 strike that shut district schools down for eight days, the messages in Wednesday’s announcement was remarkably cordial. District officials wrote the sides began negotiating this month “with a commitment by both the District and SCTA to work in a collaborative manner.”
Former Superintendent Jorge A. Aguilar stepped down in June after six turbulent years leading the 12th-largest district in California.
“Our message is clear: Our teachers are invaluable to us,” Sacramento City Board of Education President Chinua Rhodes said. “Their dedication to our communities, even in the face of challenges, doesn’t go unnoticed. Change is possible, and as we strengthen our united gratitude for educators, and eagerly embrace new teaching talents, we aspire to inspire lasting commitment. This agreement ensures our District remains at the forefront, attracting skilled educators to prepare our students for success, an urgent need as our nation and state grapple with a significant shortage of teachers.”
Nikki Milevsky, SCTA’s president, said the school board and interim Superintendent Lisa Allen have “demonstrated a real commitment to moving our district forward in a new, more constructive direction.”
“This agreement takes a big step in ensuring that every student has a fully-credentialed educator in the classroom who reflects the diversity of our District,” Milevsky said in the joint statement.
The district and union said they are now negotiating a two-year contract to cover the 2023-24 and 2024-25 academic years and will “make all reasonable efforts” to complete those negotiations by Nov. 15.