After months of negotiations, the Long Beach Unified School District and its teachers’ union, the Teachers Association of Long Beach, have reached a tentative agreement to boost salaries and implement a full-day kindergarten program.
The agreement includes a 4.5% raise for teachers and a 2.5% one-time payment on 2021-22 earnings, as well as language governing how to move forward with full-day kindergarten and transitional kindergarten programs beginning in the fall.
“We’re pleased, especially during Teacher Appreciation Week, to announce a tentative agreement that provides teachers a meaningful and competitive compensation increase,” LBUSD Superintendent Jill Baker said in a statement. “We sincerely thank all of our teachers, and both of the bargaining teams, for all of their patience and hard work.”
The agreement will be voted on next week by TALB members. If ratified, the LBUSD Board of Education will have the final vote at its May 18 meeting.
TALB Executive Director Chris Callopy said he was happy with the deal and that the district was willing to move on its initial offer of a 4% raise.
“We feel good about the fact that both parties moved,” he said. “We’re building a new relationship. This is the second contract we’ve worked on with the new team and we’re all learning from each other. The good thing is that both parties moved and that took a lot of pressure off.”
TALB had initially asked for a 6% raise, according to an earlier bargaining update on the union’s website.
“The biggest challenge is that there’s a limited amount of money the state gives for education,” Callopy said. “Businesses can pass on the cost of inflation, they can charge more. When our members experience it, they see an immediate impact, but they have no way of passing our costs on.”
After months of speculation around whether or not the LBUSD would have full-day kindergarten and transitional kindergarten (TK) offerings in the fall, the agreement also includes memorandums of understanding that put in place language and compensation that will allow those programs to go forward.
“All day kinder and TK is a big win for our community,” said Callopy. “I had two small kids and I know child care costs a fortune; that’s a big deal for everyone.”
The LBUSD is the city’s largest employer, and TALB is its largest union. News of the agreement comes after the district also came to an agreement following months of negotiations and threats of strike with its second-largest union, the Long Beach CSEA chapter, which represents 2,000 employees in the district, including maintenance workers, bus drivers, nutrition services, custodians, and others.
The full text of the tentative agreement with TALB and other supporting documents and memorandums of understanding can be found on the district’s website here.