The San Diego Unified School District has reached tentative agreement on three-year contracts for teachers and paraeducator staff, officials announced Friday evening.
The district came to terms Friday with the San Diego Education Association (SDEA) and the California School Employees Association Paraeducators Chapter 759 following months of negotiations.
The tentative agreements with SDEA and Paraeducators require ratification before being finalized.
The deals provide professional development opportunities for educators, additional staffing, lower class-size caps for K-3 classrooms, and what the district described as “a fair compensation package,” while maintaining health care benefits for employees.
“This agreement is the culmination of a common goal to provide the best educational experience possible for students, teachers and staff,” said Superintendent Dr. Lamont Jackson. “It allows us to retain teachers and paraeducators within San Diego Unified and to continue to recruit from across the state.”
A key component of the agreement is a 10% pay increase for the 2022-23 school year, retroactive to July 1, 2022, and a 5% increase in the 2023-24 school year effective July 1.
Other highlights include increased maternity/partner/adoption leave and the addition of Juneteenth as a recognized district holiday, including corresponding holiday pay.
Another factors, according to the district, included mitigating the impacts of staffing shortages and additional duties on employees, as they addressed the lingering effects of the pandemic on students and school communities.
“We worked collaboratively with our partners to reach an agreement that will support the success of all our students who are still recovering from the effects of the pandemic,” said Sabrina Bazzo, president of San Diego Unified’s board.
Other factors in the negotiation, according to the district, included mitigating the impacts of staffing shortages and additional duties on employees, as they addressed the lingering effects of the pandemic on students and school communities.
The tentative agreement, SDEA President Kyle Weinberg, “represents a real investment” in educators, students and schools.
“The work we did will move our district forward so we can recover, rebuild and rise together,” he said.
A separate tentative agreement with PARA, in part, provides support to students before, during and after school, and additional time for collaboration and preparation with educators.
“I am relieved to know that our San Diego classified paraeducators have been heard in their struggle to make ends meet while still serving our students,” said CSEA San Diego Paraeducators Chapter President Issel Martinez, adding that she hopes “that this agreement and historic raise is the beginning of a process of inclusion for all classified professionals in San Diego Unified.”