Dear Benicia Community,
I am pleased to announce that the District and Benicia Teachers Association (BTA) reached a tentative agreement on August 7th. I was informed yesterday evening that BTA members voted to ratify the agreement. This agreement settles contract negotiations for the 2017-18 and 2018-19 school years. I am grateful to the District’s negotiating teams for committing the time and energy required to help us reach an agreement.
The teachers will receive an increase of 2.5% effective July 1, 2018, plus an increase to district paid medical benefits, which is an ongoing budget commitment of $607,000. The final settlement, while structured slightly different than the first Tentative Agreement that was agreed to, continues to allow the District to operate without running an ongoing deficit. Our goal was to offer the best possible increase to our hard-working teachers while holding tight to these fundamental principles:
- Securing the short and long-term fiscal solvency of the District;
- Maintaining and enhancing our high-quality educational program; and
- Offering a competitive compensation package to all employee groups in order to attract and retain high-quality employees.
The negotiations process required us to engage in both mediation and a fact-finding hearing, which resulted in a draft report that analyzed the District’s budget and was provided by a mutually agreed upon, third-party neutral. As a matter of law, when a settlement is achieved, the report must remain confidential. While we are legally prohibited from sharing the contents, the Board of Trustees and I would like the public to know the agreement ratified by BTA is supported by the report.
The District and BTA will be working closely together as we move forward, reflecting on our process to date and exploring strategies to reach future settlements more efficiently while promoting transparency, trust and a commitment to our students and families.
We appreciate your patience during this process.
Charles F. Young, Ed.D.