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School Board Session Includes Ratification

The ratification of a negotiated agreement between the Riverbank Unified School District and the Riverbank Teacher’s Association for 2017/2018 was approved by the Board of Trustees at the school board meeting held earlier this month. Over the past couple of months during two days of negotiations the agreement was formulated.

“This is an agreement that fairly compensates our teachers and other certificated employees, makes RUSD more competitive in recruiting and retaining qualified teaching candidates for our students and maintains the fiscal solvency of the district,” stated RUSD Superintendent Dr. Daryl Camp. “Given the current teacher shortage in California and throughout the nation, it’s important to have competitive salaries and benefits in order to attract and keep teachers.”

A few highlights from the agreement include a three percent increase in salaries and a one percent bonus. Teaching hours were agreed upon with teachers allowed to utilize prep time when their class is attending classes like music and PE as well as adding one day to the work year for PD.

“With the improved California economy, RUSD has increased employee compensation by over 13 percent over the last four years,” added Camp. “The 13 percent increase does not include an increase to the district’s contribution to the health benefit cap of $2500. The result of increased district contribution to the benefits cap is money in the pocket for most of our employees.”

In 2014-15 furloughs were eliminated with a one percent ongoing increase and a one percent bonus, in 2015-16 there was an increase of five percent and a $2,500 bonus, in 2016-17 there was a four percent ongoing increase and a health cap of $10,000 and in 2017-18 there is a three percent ongoing salary increase and a one percent bonus.

“While the Riverbank Unified School District and other school districts have benefited from an improved California economy since the last recession, many educational fiscal experts are suggesting that school districts must exercise caution,” said Camp. “One reason to be more cautious is the escalating pension costs for school districts and city governments.”

In other business, the board selected new officers for the Board of Trustees. Ana Vigil is the newly elected Board President, Ernest Velasco has been elected to Board Clerk, and Susan Taylor is the Representative to Stanislaus County Committee for School District Reorganization. They also recognized Susan Dean for her past service as board president.

The newly elected board officials will serve a one-year term.