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Salary Increase Tops List In Negotiations

April 28, 2014

SJTA and the District began negotiations for a successor contract last Friday, April 25. At the top of SJTA’s list is a fair and reasonable salary increase for all members by beginning of the next school year. Also high on the list is class size reduction and reasonable caseloads for all of our student-support members such as nurses, counselors and speech pathologists.

"The recession had a devastating effect on our members real income as well undercutting the critical services to our students," said Shannan Brown, SJTA President. "Providing a well deserved pay increase and restoring losses in many areas of student support is essential to this agreement."

The last increase to the salary schedule was 2008, which marked the beginning of the "great recession". Six years later, the financial health of the district is improving significantly and according to economic forecasts, will continue to improve over the next three years. But just how much the district will be receiving in new revenues is still uncertain.

On May 15, the Governor is required to provide a revised budget proposal to legislature for consideration. This proposal will likely be modified to reflect an additional $1.5-2 billion on income tax revenue over his original projection last January. However, it is still uncertain whether any of the additional revenue will be allocated to education as social programs, debt reduction, and pension solutions may take precedence.

As desirable as an early agreement may be, it is unlikely that it will occur before the summer break due to the timeline of the Governor’s negotiations with the legislature regarding the education portion of the budget.

"Our goal is have a tentative agreement to our members by September," said Ed Burgess, SJTA bargaining chair. "But we won’t compromise what we feel is fair just to satisfy an early agreement".

SJTA will provide updates to this website through the end of the school year as well as a full report at the May Rep Council. Bargaining updates will be sent to all members’ homes during the summer.