At left: Protesting Fresno educators made their voices heard at the school district's office earlier this year.
June 2014 -- Following months of stalled negotiations that led to the brink of strike, the Fresno Teachers Association reached a contract settlement with the district in June that will provide a 6.2 percent raise with a salary re-opener to come for the following year.
The contract ratification came after 364 days of negotiations in which teachers packed trustee meetings, banged on drums, and in some instances, turning out up to 1,000 members for rallies. Contract talks went into fact-finding before a settlement was reached.
The new contract includes a 2.7 percent retroactive raise for the 2013-14 school year plus a 3.5 percent increase for the 2014-15 school year. In addition, teachers will receive about $1,000 more each year toward health benefits. Extra pay for athletic and academic coaches in middle and high schools will also be doubled, while extra pay for elementary coaches will triple.
FTA agreed to extending the class day by 30 minutes and up to 10 more professional development days in 10 elementary “Schools Designated for Innovation” with 20 more schools to be added in the next year.
“I think our members are happy it’s over,” said Tish Rice, newly elected president of the Fresno Teachers Association. “The previous (union) administration did a good job in rallying the troops and our new leadership will build on that by continuing to organize and actively engage our membership in order to be prepared the next time we have to bargain."
In addition, the union established an ongoing instant e-mail service that provided negotiations updates to over 2,400 members who had provided their personal emails.