HomeSchools & YouthDistrict, Teachers Move Forward on Contract Terms

District, Teachers Move Forward on Contract Terms

First published in the Dec. 16 print issue of the San Marino Tribune.

The San Marino Unified School District and San Marino Teachers Association reached a tentative agreement for the 2021-22 school year that will provide educators with a 3% salary increase as well as off-schedule payments.
The agreement was on the agenda for approval by the San Marino School Board at this past Tuesday’s regular meeting and must also be ratified by SMTA membership before it becomes official.
Along with the salary increase, the deal includes a one-time payment of $3,000 for all union members who were employed by the SMUSD on Sept. 1. The agreement also calls for a one-time payment of $2,000 for all union members who were employed by the SMUSD on Jan. 1 and who continued to be employed on Sept 1. The negotiations also included the 2022-23 academic calendar.
Superintendent Linda de la Torre said that 137 educators qualify for both additional payments, which total $5,000, while 17 educators meet requirements for the $3,000 payment.
“I am very pleased that the district was able to reach a tentative agreement with both the San Marino Teachers Association and the California School Employees Association, Chapter #120,” said de la Torre in a statement to the Tribune. “All sides worked collaboratively together to arrive at an agreement that is fair, equitable and represents the district’s sincere appreciation and admiration for our teachers, specialists, and classified employees.”
Negotiations were accented by several demonstrations by employees, who often wore matching T-shirts and carried placards with slogans that championed their cause. At the forefront of the union’s effort has been SMTA President Lettie Aranda, who called the tentative agreement “a start.”
“The SMTA negotiation team will continue to advocate for safer and more manageable working conditions,” said Aranda. “Other financial gains related to extra duty assignments are still in the works.”
She said that the district’s educators have been SMUSD teachers have been “excellent stewards even in the worst of times.”
“Even under COVID conditions, state testing scores soared beyond expectations,” Aranda said. “In several cases the learning loss was shown to have been negligible. That in itself is amazing. We love our students; we love growing people. We dearly appreciate parents who honked their horns in support of our cause, who spoke and wrote letters on our behalf. The boost to our morale was so greatly needed and they came through. Their advocacy is and continues to be a support.”
The negotiations were one of the first orders of business for Nam Jack, who was just recently installed as school board president.
“The Board of Education is proud that the School District, San Marino Teachers Association and the California School Employees Association worked tirelessly to find common ground on tentative agreements that we believe represent a fair and financially responsible consensus for the 2021-22 school year,” Jack said in a statement to the Tribune.
“Both agreements include an across-the-board increase and one-time payments to be funded by one-time revenues. The board recognizes and appreciates the numerous and significant contributions of our highly qualified and well-educated teachers, as well as our experienced classified personnel, to the success and achievement of all students throughout what can only be characterized as an unprecedented and extremely challenging time in public education.”

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