The Long Beach school board has reached an agreement with its teachers association, after two years of negotiations, that calls for 0.5 percent and 0.75 percent salary increases over the term of the five-year contract.
The members of the Long Beach Classroom Teachers Association will receive a salary increase in four years of the agreement, starting with 0.5 percent for this school year and the next, then rising to 0.75 percent in years 2018-19 and 2019-20, the district announced last week.
Teachers also will receive “step” raises under the new contract — that is, annual increases built into teachers’ pay schedule based upon years of employment. Such schedules typically encompass 20 to 30 pay levels known as steps, which teachers ascend year by year, until they reach the top of their district’s salary ladder. Step increases continue to be paid after contracts expire.
The Long Beach district did not respond to a question Thursday about the percentage of step increases under the new contract. However, those currently on Step 17 or higher will receive a $300 payment this year.
In addition, health insurance contributions in the district will remain the same, at 15 percent of the premium, and the district’s work calendar will increase by one instructional day — from 180 to 181 — starting with the 2017-18 school year.
The Long Beach Classroom Teachers Association comprises teachers, guidance counselors and nurses. The new contract takes effect April 1.
“We are pleased that our board and teachers union have come to an agreement, and that we are able to provide continued benefits to our staff members,” Superintendent David Weiss said. “The efforts and time of all involved are appreciated.”
A representative of the teachers association could not be reached Thursday.
Meanwhile, the contract remains unresolved for the Long Beach School Employees Association, which represents teaching aides, teaching assistants, building aides, bus matrons, bus drivers, clerical staff, custodial staff, food service workers, lunch aides and maintenance workers. Those employees have continued to work under an expired contract, according to a flier from the group.
Members rallied in Long Beach last week, demanding fair wages and saying that the school board has demanded givebacks and multiyear wage freezes.
Joanne Rea, president of the Long Beach School Employees Association, said the group will continue informational picketing.
“Every other employee, and TOP administrator of this district have received raises while my group is expected to go without in order to balance the budget,” Rea said in a statement.
Of the association’s 500 members, she said, 93 percent are residents of Long Beach who weathered superstorm Sandy — “most working two jobs to make ends meet.”
Weiss said the last contract with the Long Beach School Employees Association expired two years ago. Under the state’s Taylor Law, terms of a prior contract stay in place until a new agreement is reached.