S.F. teachers, district seek mediation for raise date

San Francisco's public school teachers and the school district have agreed to seek mediation to determine when the teachers' wage increase will begin.

After declaring an impasse at the end of May, both sides returned to the bargaining table this month and came to an agreement on a wage increase — but deadlocked on when the raise should start.

The teachers’ existing contract expires Saturday. Last month, the union declared an impasse after the district offered the teachers a 1 percent raise starting in April 2008, with another 2 percent increase as of April 2009. Representatives for the teachers union, The United Educators of San Francisco, said they wanted a 6 percent raise, starting July 1.

The district agreed to the impasse, and both parties planned to file a request for a state mediator to assist in reaching a settlement.

The teachers union returned to the bargaining table, however, at the request of school board President Mark Sanchez, UESF President Dennis Kelly said, and after two more sessions, the teachers agreed to a 3 percent raise.

The two sides continued to disagree, however, on when the teachers would get the salary increase: the union wanted the raise to start on July 1 and the district wanted to wait until Jan. 1, 2008. At the second bargaining session on June 12, attended by outgoing Interim Superintendent Gwen Chan, the impasse was redeclared.

“As you can imagine, it makes a big difference on the district’s ability to pay if [the increase] goes into effect in January,” district spokeswoman Gentle Blythe said. “Some of the money can then come out of next year’s fiscal budget.”

With salaries for experienced teachers in San Francisco ranking last compared with other urban school districts in California, Kelly said the teachers deserved the raise sooner rather than later.

The mediation isn’t expected to start until August, just weeks after San Francisco’s new school superintendent, Carlos Garcia, is scheduled to start.

Kelly said the union is still hopeful that an agreement can be reached with the district, before the new school year begins. Last month, the union started circulating fliers warning that if the contract wasn’t settled this school year, the new school year could start with labor strife.

In April 2006, a threatened strike was narrowly averted, following a 22-hour mediation session that finished in the wee hours of the morning. The agreement reached provided the district’s 5,700 teachers and classroom aides with an 8.5 percent increase, with 2 percent of that increase given retroactively to July 2005 since the classroom instructors had gone without a raise since 2002.

beslinger@examiner.com

Bay Area NewsLocal

Just Posted

Cabernet sauvignon grapes sat in a container after being crushed at Smith-Madrone Winery in St. Helena. (Courtesy Smith-Madrone Winery)
San Francisco’s ‘Champagne problems’ — Wine industry suffers supply chain woes

‘Everywhere you turn, things that were easy are no longer easy’

Glasses behind the bar at LUNA in the Mission District on Friday, Oct. 15, 2021. Glassware is just one of the many things restaurants have had trouble keeping in stock as supply chain problems ripple outward. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
SF restaurants face product shortages and skyrocketing costs

‘The supply chain crisis has impacted us in almost every way imaginable’

A Giants fans hangs his head in disbelief after the Dodgers won the NLDS in a controversial finish to a tight Game 5. (Chris Victorio/Special to The Examiner)
Giants dream season ends at the hands of the Dodgers, 2-1

A masterful game comes down to the bottom of the ninth, and San Francisco came up short

<strong>Workers with Urban Alchemy and the Downtown Streets Team clean at Seventh and Market streets on Oct. 12. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)</ins> </strong>
<ins></ins>
Why is it so hard to keep San Francisco’s streets clean?

Some blame bureaucracy, others say it’s the residents’ fault

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi — seen in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday — touted Congressional Democrats’ infrastructure bill in San Francisco on Thursday. (Stefani Reynolds/The New York Times)
Pelosi touts infrastructure bill as it nears finish line

Climate change, social safety net among major priorities of Democrats’ 10-year funding measure

Most Read