After months of negotiations and stalemate, the Long Beach Unified School District and the Teachers Association of Long Beach met one last time on Wednesday to try and avoid going into state mediation—and it appears the final attempt was successful.
The two sides agreed on a compromise yesterday evening regarding a pay raise and additional student-free days in the school year.
“We’re pleased to have reached a tentative agreement on a highly competitive compensation package reflecting the importance of our teachers’ contributions to the lives of our students,” said LBUSD spokesperson Chris Eftychiou. “We thank the bargaining teams for their work.”
The agreement is for a 9% pay raise, retroactive to the start of the school year, as well as a 3% off-schedule payment. In addition, the district and TALB agreed to two additional pupil-free days added to the school year for teachers, beginning in the 2024-25 school year.
The agreement represents movement on the district’s side, as its previous offer when the sides initially agreed to declare an impasse and enter state mediation was an 8.5% raise with four additional pupil-free days.
In the new agreement, teachers will also maintain their current benefit plans from the district.
The agreement between the negotiating teams still faces some hurdles, as the TALB Executive Board has to approve the deal and then put it to a ratification vote by TALB membership, at which point the LBUSD Board of Education would get final approval in a vote at an upcoming board meeting.
Teachers have been passionate in speaking at recent board meetings against adding additional days to their schedule, saying they’re overwhelmed and that additional professional development isn’t useful. A large rally had been planned by TALB for the upcoming board meeting on April 17.
When the sides last met, the TALB countered the district’s offer with an 11% raise and two additional days, meaning the final agreement represents a compromise on both sides’ part on salary, with the district agreeing to halve its position of four additional days, which had been consistent throughout negotiations this year.
If teachers approve the agreement and it’s finalized by the LBUSD board, retroactive payments would go out in May or June, according to an LBUSD bargaining update, with the 3% payment going out in September. May and June paychecks for teachers would reflect the ongoing raise if the agreement is approved, according to the bargaining update.