Teacher Contract Negotiations Underway

Kevin Fong, Staff Writer

The Acalanes Education Association teachers union is negotiating contracts with the district for the upcoming school year. The contracts will include new benefits and stream lined programs for the teachers.

Union Vice President Patrick Wildermuth said that a “tentative agreement” had been reached. It was sent to the AEA to be approved by their council on May 30th. If ratified, the contracts will be sent to the membership on June 6th, and then to the School Board to be approved as well. This year saw the end of a three year contract, leaving many areas open to change and discussion.

The contracts this year cleaned up the language and processes between the district and teachers. Associate Superintendent and lead negotiator for the district Kevin French said that the contracts will be “improving two way communication between the teachers and the district.” The contracts now require the district to openly list available positions in the schools, like Athletic Director. Lead negotiator for the AEA Nick Carpenter said that “people now have an avenue for these positions.” Along with this, the district will now offer easier opportunities for part time teachers.

The renewal determined the schedule for next year as well. Carpenter said, “The furlough days will expire at the end of this year.” According to French, students will have two more days of school while teachers have five.

The tentative agreement also calls for more benefits for the teachers. According to Carpenter, the teachers have a 1% one time payment for 2011 to 2012 and a .5% payment for 2012 to 2013. The teachers now have more options when it comes to substituting for another teacher during a prep period.

Carpenter saw the negotiations in a positive light. He said, “We made progress.” The next contract will not allow for drastic change, however some topic will still be available for discussion between the district and the AEA.