After several meetings and discussions during the negotiations process for a new contract between the Riverbank Unified School District (RUSD) and the Riverbank Teachers Association (RTA) there has been a tentative agreement reached. Officials report the tentative settlement came at a meeting held last week, on Thursday, Aug. 11. The negotiations have been ongoing for several months and had reached the mediation point in the process, the sides using a mediator to help settle the dispute.
For the agreement to become effective RTA members will vote on the agreement and if necessary the Board of Trustees will consider the agreement at a board meeting.
According to Jim Boling, RTA President, they plan to meet next week to discuss the details of the agreement, voice their concerns, and then take a vote to approve or not approve the agreement.
If the tentative agreement is approved by the RTA then it will go to the Board of Trustees where they will then have the option to approve or not approve the agreement at a board meeting.
If the Board of Trustees or the RTA members do not approve the agreement then both parties will return to the negotiations process.
The tentative agreement reached includes a five percent salary increase retroactive to July 1, 2015; a $2400 “rebate” for health insurance for all unit members irrespective of whether or not the member is on one of the benefit plans – only for members employed in 2015-16 and continue to be employed in 2016-17; an increase to the health benefit cap by $2400 to $10,000; RUSD students will have full-day kindergarten where students will be assigned a credentialed teacher throughout the entire school day; teachers will have more days to engage in collaboration time that will focus on supporting students in learning the new state standards and life preparation; established timelines that will develop a school calendar for the succeeding school year much earlier than before this year; and rolling over the collective bargaining agreement through 2019 with annual re-openers.
For the 2016-17 school year, under the tentative agreement, they will receive a four percent salary increase.
“Thanks to the negotiation teams for working together to come up with an agreement that maintains the fiscal solvency of the District, creates a better educational environment for students and fairly compensates our educators,” stated RUSD Superintendent Daryl Camp.
Officials on both sides are hopeful that tentative agreement will be ratified and the new contract can then take effect.