• A hallway with lighting fictures in the ceiling and a door with PUSD logo on it

      Pasadena Unified School District building (Photo – Staff)

      On Thursday, Nov. 9, Pasadena Unified and United Teachers of Pasadena (UTP) Bargaining Teams met for the fourth bargaining session of the 2023-2024 school year, a session which extended until after midnight.

      By News Desk

      The Teachers Bargaining Team presented its proposals on salary and salary schedule rules and regulations as well as proposals on safety and working conditions. The School District provided counter proposals to these and for the early childhood education/permit teacher salary schedule.

      PUSD’s new offer

      The District’s announcement stated that it responded to UTP’s public comments made during PUSD’s October 26, 2023, Board of Education meeting. The District increased its offer for increases in ongoing salary and benefits offered for all UTP members from an 8% increase in ongoing salary plus a 0.95% increase in absorbed health care costs in its previous proposal to a 10% increase in ongoing salary plus a 0.95% increase in absorbed health care costs in its new proposal. The District stated that if this offer had been accepted by UTP, this would have been the second consecutive year of providing an ongoing salary increase of 10%, or 20% over two years.

      The District stated that this offer included a total financial package of 10.95% in ongoing cost to the District, which had a total cost of $12,844,197.  The details of the offer were as follows:

      • 10% on salary schedule increase = $11,729,860 ongoing expenditure;
      • 0.95% District absorbed increased cost to health and welfare benefits = $1,114,337 ongoing expenditure;
      • Increase of $500 to Special Education Stipends, from $2,500 to $3,000 annually for all Special Education teachers;
      • An additional 5% one-time off-schedule bonus for Early Childhood Education teachers possessing a Bachelor’s degree

      Ending negotiations without reaching agreement

      PUSD stated that the financial package offered over the last two years showed the District’s ongoing commitment to provide competitive salaries to staff, but the funding of new contract language proposed by UTP that presents additional costs to the District beyond this offer would create fiscal insolvency and result in ongoing cuts to student programs. The District stated that despite informing UTP regarding the District’s having reached these fiscal limitations, UTP provided a list of items that required additional funds. In response, the District stated that it prepared two additional counter proposals, but stated that UTP declined to review these, choosing to instead terminate the negotiations process for the day. Negotiations concluded at 12:23 am on November 10, 2023.

      The District stated that UTP additionally communicated its intent to engage in ongoing negotiations with the District in the spring of 2024 to:

      • Reduce instructional minutes to state minimum requirements beginning in the 2024-2025 school year;
      • Bargain language regarding Special Education which introduces additional fiscal impacts.

      Agreements reached or nearly reached

      The District’s announcement stated that prior to the conclusion of the day’s negotiations, agreement was reached on the majority of items for multiple safety improvements for unit members. The District stated that it had agreed to updated requirements for the provision and distribution of student and site safety plans, the provision of equipment essential for the health and safety of unit members, and updated protocols for the repair of facility concerns, including HVAC units. The District also stated that the District and UTP nearly reached agreement on official calendars for the 2024-2025 school year.

      Next Steps

      PUSD stated that they were disappointed that a tentative agreement has not been reached with UTP due to UTP’s repeated inclusion of new language that exceeds PUSD’s limits of fiscal responsibility. As a result, PUSD stated that it has no choice but to move to the next stage of the negotiations process, i.e., impasse. The District stated that it will continue to explore budgeting practices and innovative solutions that place student and employee welfare at the center of its decision-making.

      [This article has been updated to clarify ‘Ending negotiations without reaching agreement’ paragraph. Nov. 10, 11:54 am]

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