The Long Beach Unified Board of Education unanimously approved a 2% raise for teachers, along with a retroactive raise to the beginning of last year that will be paid in one lump sum.

The new contracts have already been approved by the Teachers Association of Long Beach, the union that represents instructors.

Steven Rockenbach, the LBUSD’s director of employee relations, said the district’s administrative and management teams will receive a commensurate package as well.

“Traditionally when we approve our compensation package for TALB is when we offer the same package to our non-represented and management teams,” he said. “They’ll be receiving a similar compensation package.”

This week’s deal signals a remarkable turnaround for the city’s largest employer and largest workforce, which a year ago was bracing for the possibility of mass layoffs as the state’s economy was in disarray due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Instead, better-than-expected state numbers and multiple rounds of federal aid allowed the district to negotiate raises, plan for a large summer program to help students who fell behind this year, and to maintain its large cash reserve.

“One of the hallmarks of a successful K-12 district is working together with the union and the administration, and that happened here during the pandemic, which was a very difficult time,” said boardmember Doug Otto. “Everyone needs to be congratulated.”

The district is still in negotiations with the Long Beach chapter of the California School Employees Association, the other large union representing LBUSD employees. CSEA’s members include non-teacher staff on campuses such as custodians, nutrition workers, and maintenance workers.

The next LBUSD Board of Education meeting is scheduled for Monday, May 17.