Riverbank Unified School District (RUSD) and the Riverbank Teachers Association (RTA) have come to agreement on a new contract after several months of negotiations. In what seems to be a pleasant ending to a difficult situation for both parties, there may still be some lingering concerns by the RTA that does not make this a completely happy ending.
The negotiation teams for RUSD and the RTA reached a tentative agreement on Aug. 11 which was brought to the RTA for a vote on Aug. 15. The majority of the RTA members approved the tentative agreement.
A special meeting was held at the District office on Aug. 25 where RUSD Board of Trustees unanimously approved the tentative agreement between RUSD and the RTA.
“I, nor any of the high school teachers were able to attend that meeting as all the teachers at Riverbank High School were contractually obligated to attend our Back to School Night at Riverbank High School, which was the same date and time as the Board Meeting,” stated Jim Boling RTA President. “They also unanimously approved the same exact raises for everyone at the district office (that they gave the teachers) which included Certificated (CE) Management, Classified Confidential and Classified Management.”
According to Boling, the raise the District gave management and employees at the district office included two administrators at the district office who already received a 21 percent raise for 2015 and another employee who received a 15 percent raise giving them a cumulative 26 and a 20 percent raise for the 2015-16 school year, along with another 4 percent this year for a total salary increase of 30 and 24 percent for both years.
“Comparatively, the Teachers and RTA Members received 5-percent for 2015-2016 and 4-percent for 2016-2017 plus an additional $2,400 towards our Benefit Cap for those that take the Benefit Package through RUSD,” added Boling.
Although Boling has some unease regarding some of the specifics to the agreement, he strongly believes that the benefit cap will be a huge help to some of the teachers that had to sign up for medical assistance from the government because they could not afford the district medical insurance.
“So hopefully this will provide some relief for those teachers,” expressed Boling. “As far as wages, we are now number 15 out of 24 districts in Stanislaus County in terms of salary and compensation (documentation provided by CTA),” stated Boling.
In an announcement sent out to all RUSD employees by District Superintendent Daryl Camp regarding the contract negotiations he noted, “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. I’m pleased that we can now give more attention to improving educational outcomes for our students. Thanks to all educators for your efforts to embrace all of the changes that are happening in our school district at this time. It’s great to work with a group of dedicated and talented professionals serving our students.”