School District to Remain Competitive in the Bay Area Job Market with Three-Year Long-Term Agreement
May 10, 2016
December 20, 2017

During its regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, May 10, 2016, the Palo Alto Unified School District (PAUSD) Board of Education (BOE) discussed the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) reached by the school district and its two bargaining units, the Palo Alto Educators Association (PAEA) and the local chapter of the California School Employees Association (CSEA). The PAUSD Board of Education is scheduled to take action at its next meeting on Tuesday, May 24, 2016.

The three-year contract, which runs through June 30, 2018, is a first of its kind for PAUSD as the school district’s practice has typically been to negotiate during the school year and for the current school year. This new agreement enables both the district and the employees to plan for their financial futures with certainty and sustainability. It also enables the district to retain its excellent staff as they will now be able to determine what they will make in the current year and future years instead of wondering as late as May or June what their retroactive pay for the current year might be much less how to plan for rent increases and other personal expenses in the following year. The long-term agreement will also enable the district to recruit top teachers, as candidates now will have assurances as to how competitive their compensation packages will be compared to competing districts.  This new contract enables PAUSD to remain in the top third of salaries compared to 12 similar neighboring districts.

“I applaud the good work of all parties involved and the historic milestone they have helped the district reach,” said Board of Education President Heidi Emberling. “We’ve heard from our teachers how the Bay Area cost of living makes it difficult for them to be part of the community where they work. While this is certainly not the solution to this large regional challenge, we know that predictable salary increases will help our teachers and all employees plan better for their families. In return, this agreement helps the district retain our very best teachers for the overall benefit of our students.”

PAUSD Superintendent of Schools Dr. Glenn “Max” McGee thanked district staff and the bargaining units for agreeing to the new multi-year deal, saying, “In addition to recognizing and rewarding the commitment, expertise, and care our staff provide for every one of our 12,500 students, moving away from a traditional one-year agreement to this new long-term understanding will benefit all parties involved. In addition to helping us maintain our competitiveness in today’s job market by retaining our very best employees, having this agreement in place clears the path to spend time discussing important contract language as we strive to discuss a handful of substantive issues that matter both to the Board and the associations, including our teacher evaluation system.”

“We are extremely happy to have a multi-year contract for the first time in PAUSD history and look forward to spending the time next year discussing other important issues that impact students and teachers,” says PAEA President Teri Baldwin. “Our members are thankful to the Board for respecting them as professionals and listening to their concerns.  Many of the teachers I have heard from are relieved that they will have some help with the high cost of living and the increases in their rents.”

Terms of the 2015-16 to 2017-18 CBA for both PAEA and CSEA include:

  • The 2015-16 salary schedule shall reflect a 5% increase over the 2014-15 salary schedule, retroactive to July 1, 2015.
  • The 2016-17 salary schedule shall reflect a 4% increase over the 2015-16 salary schedule and a one-time, off-the-salary-schedule payment equivalent to 1% for 2016-17, pro-rated for less than full-time service.  
  • The 2017-18 salary schedule shall reflect a 3% increase over the 16-17 salary schedule and a one-time, off-the-salary-schedule payment equivalent to 1% for 2017-18, pro-rated for less than full-time service.
  • The agreement specifies trigger language related to decreased tax revenues under which the 1% off schedule would not be awarded and to increased tax revenues under which an additional 1% off schedule could be awarded.
  • The agreement specifies the safety valve conditions under which either PAEA/CSEA or the Board may reopen negotiations on 3% salary increase for the 2017-18 school year and the one-time off-the-salary-schedule payments.
  • The agreement includes a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that establishes topics for negotiations in 2016-17.   The topics include working conditions, evaluations, due process, compensation time, and professional learning stipend program.
  • The agreement provides for a $50 increase to the benefit cap for 2016.

Terms specific to PAEA in the 2015-16 to 2017-18 CBA are:

  • The agreement includes language associated with new California legislation pertaining to maternity/paternity leave for teachers.  
  • The Agreement includes an MOU continuing the school district’s matching contribution into a Flexible Spending Account for employees, up to a maximum of $200.
  • The Agreement includes an MOU continuing the District’s support for Hybrid/Online Classes.
  • The Agreement includes an MOU continuing Professional Observation release time (K-5).
  • The addition of an Employee Assistant Program (EAP) to provide district employees access to supports for employee health and wellbeing.

Terms specific to CSEA in the 2015-16 to 2017-18 CBA are:

  • The Agreement includes an MOU that establishes topics for negotiations in 2016-17.   The topics include night shift differential, professional growth, degree stipends, or other mutually agreed upon topics.
  • The extra-curricular/coaching salary schedule provides for one schedule by eliminating the non-credentialed distinction.
  • The addition of an Employee Assistant Program (EAP) to provide district employees access to supports for employee health and wellbeing.

PAUSD has historically applied the same approach to compensation for two other employee groups—the Non-Represented Confidential/Supervisory Employee Group and the Non-Represented Management Employees.

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