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By Ed Sibby

In Chula Vista, members of the Sweetwater bargaining team worked into the night on a settlement that was achieved through mutual respect and relationships built during the difficult period of the global COVID pandemic. Over that time, Sweetwater Education Association (SEA) and Sweetwater Union High School District (SHUSD) have worked consistently through the challenges to ensure a safe return to in-person instruction.  

Those collaborative relationships proved crucial in a settlement that “…will be especially important as we face a future with declining enrollment and no guarantees regarding state and federal funding.”

SEA President Julie Walker 

Bringing in an agreement was not without its challenges; inflation has eroded educator pay across the state. SEA and SUHSD negotiating teams worked diligently through the night to reach a fair settlement that puts students first by ensuring competitive salaries that also attract the next generation of educators to teach in classrooms in the cities of Chula Vista, Imperial Beach, National City and San Diego, including the communities of Bonita, Eastlake, Otay Mesa, San Ysidro and South San Diego. 

(Left to right) front row: Chad Cooper (CTA Staff), Ana Baños, Cesar Gámez, Leo Hsu, Monchel Lewis; back row: Dalisay Quitilen (chair), Lourdes Renteria, John Cox

As California faces the greatest teacher shortage in its history, this agreement illustrates the mutual commitment educators and district officials have made to our students, parents, and our District to address these challenges.    

Some details regarding the two-year Tentative Agreement:   

2021-2022 

  • 3% on-schedule increase beginning 5/1/22 
  • 4% off-schedule bonus for compensation earned from January-June
  • $1000 increase to benefits cap (new cap = $15,130) 

2022-2023 

  • An additional 3% on-schedule increase effective 7/1/22 

Walker was pleased that concerns brought to the table were heard and addressed during this bargain cycle; “We are committed to work with leadership to have the best working conditions in our District and to make Sweetwater ‘the place’ to work in San Diego County because good working conditions and satisfied teachers and staff create the best conditions for our students.” 

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