Dear Benicia Community.
I wanted to take a moment to update you on the negotiations process to date with the Benicia Teachers Association (BTA). In my last newsletter, I shared that BTA declared impasse on February 6, 2018, and that the parties would be working with a mediator assigned to us from Public Employee Relations Board (PERB), in hopes of breaking that impasse and reaching an agreement.
We met with the mediator two times this week and unfortunately, were not able to reach a settlement on a handful of outstanding contract articles, including salary and benefits. Since we were not able to reach a settlement, the mediator will be certifying the parties to fact-finding, which is the next step in the collective bargaining process. Once a fact-finding panel is formed, it is charged with making advisory findings and recommendations regarding the remaining issues in dispute. During this process, the parties usually attempt to negotiate again, often with the assistance of the neutral chairperson.
We are disappointed that we have been unable to reach an agreement. The District has been fortunate enough to provide 17.5% ongoing salary increases over the past five years to our teachers. The Board Trustees and management bargaining team remain committed to working through this process in a respectful and timely manner, keeping our focus, as always, on the needs of our students.
Once again, the three primary values the Trustees have outlined and which guide this effort, center on maintaining and enhancing our high-quality educational program; securing the short and long-term fiscal solvency of the District; and offering a competitive compensation package to all employee groups in order to attract and retain high-quality employees. We look forward to reaching a mutually agreed upon settlement.
For a more comprehensive outline of the District’s budget as it relates to the negotiations process, please click on the following links:
Dr. Charles Young
BUSD Superintendent of Schools