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Employees’ union reaches contract deal with SFUSD

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A local chapter of the Service Employees International Union 1021, which represents secretaries, custodians and cafeteria workers, has reached a tentative contract agreement for a three-year pay raise with the San Francisco Unified School District. (Jessica Christian/S.F. Examiner)
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As contract bargaining between the San Francisco Unified School District and The City’s teachers union drags on, another group of school district employees has tentatively settled on a three-year pay hike.

The SFUSD chapter of the Service Employees International Union 1021 — whose members work as secretaries, custodians, cafeteria workers and in other clerical positions — on Sept. 29 reached a tentative agreement with the school district, ending four-plus months of bargaining over 11 sessions.

The three-year agreement would ensure a 5 percent pay raise in the 2017-18 school year, a 4 percent raise the following year and an additional 3 percent in 2019-20. Members would also receive a one-time signing payment of $500 per member, according to SFUSD spokesperson Gentle Blythe.

SEIU 1021 represents some 1,100 employees and is the second largest union in the school district, according to union head Joshua Davidson. The union’s original ask was “parity with city workers in the same jobs” — an average of 18 percent, he said.

“Our team was prepared to accept a reasonable settlement offer in June, but the district declined to discuss wages until the very end of our last originally scheduled day,” Davidson said.

Also in June, 15 classified employees faced potential layoffs after departments at the SFUSD headquarters at 555 Franklin St. were asked to propose budget cuts of 3 percent, Blythe said.

That layoff process is still ongoing, Blythe said, adding that several employees have being reassigned — some “are moving into vacant positions, some are going to city departments and others are eligible to bump due to more seniority in the same classification.”

United Educators of San Francisco, the union representing SFUSD teachers and paraprofessionals, is also demanding a 12 percent pay hike over three years plus a 4 percent bonus. UESF and the school district’s negotiating team have been working toward an agreement on teacher contracts since February.

“I don’t think the district is yet prepared to make the teachers a fair offer, [but] I hope I’m wrong,” Davidson said. “But ultimately as long as we let businesses avoid paying their share of property taxes, our schools will never be fully funded and our staff will be making sacrifices to serve our kids.”

UESF members are expected to rally at the Board of Education meeting, held at 555 Franklin St., on Tuesday.

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