Union battle ends for now: teachers win a three percent raise

Teachers and the school district reached an agreement that will raise teachers’ salaries by three percent and increase their benefits.

Castro Valley Teachers Association (CVTA) and the Castro Valley Unified School District had been negotiating changes to the contract for several months.

Besides the raise, the union and district agreed to increase the benefits package by $450 per employee, for a total $6,000 toward health and dental insurance.

The new agreement also includes a 25:1 class size average for grades kindergarten to third grade.

“The increase in salary and benefits could prove to also be good for Castro Valley’s economy, after all, most of us shop locally,” said teacher John Green.

This process of negotiating has been a long time-consuming period. Multiple offers were sent back and forth between the two sides.

There were also various possibilities for negotiating preparation days for the new Common Core standards and district-wide staff collaboration.

Although many goals were achieved, some were not. Teachers were denied the gradual restoration of retiree medical supplement benefits and additional resources for special education students and teachers.

“It’s great that we have gotten this much, but our ultimate goal is to keep fighting for better education and benefits for teachers and students,” said union treasurer and teacher Ian Rodriquez.

Teachers expect to see their raise in their January paychecks.

Evan Kwong

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