Santa Maria Sun / News
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 14, Issue 41
Orcutt teachers and district officials reach a contract agreement
BY HENRY HOUSTON
The Orcutt Educators Association and the Orcutt Union School District can put their recent contract extension debate in the history books. After a few months of intense negotiations between the union and the district, the two have agreed on a 4 percent on-schedule increase (a permanent raise in pay), a 4 percent off-schedule increase (a one-time pay raise), and .5 percent to compensate for increasing health-care costs.
The district school board passed the decision at its Dec. 11 meeting, an action that garnered applause from association members dressed in colorful shirts.
“It’s a great package,” district superintendent Bob Bush said. “We settled right in between their demands and what the district was offering them.”
The pay increase is the first district employees have seen in more than seven years. District officials, however, have contended the pay freeze was better than the furloughs experienced at other school districts.
With the agreement, there’s now a pleasant surprise coming for association members in early 2014: a raise in pay.
“It’s going to be about $3,000 additional pay for some teachers,” association president Monique Segura said. “It’ll be a significant increase for many families.”
Another important aspect of the agreement is that it will cap class sizes at 29 students.
“We’ve had teachers who’ve had about 35 students in a classroom. Last year I had 33 students in my classroom. It’s a lot of hard work dealing with that many young children,” Segura said. “We feel that 29 will be good for the next two years.”
Though they agreed to what the district originally offered, employees in the classified and management tiers will now receive the same package as teachers.