School board to consider endorsing pay raises for teachers

Teachers of the Year, homework policy update, bargaining topics with classified workers also on tap

The San Ramon Valley school board on Tuesday is set to weigh final approval of a tentative agreement between the school district and its teachers union that includes a 5.07% salary increase and a 4% bonus for local educators.

The contract debate is a lead item on the board agenda that also features Teachers of the Year recognition, an update on the district's homework policy revisions, initial bargaining topics with classified workers and the second in-year budget review.

District negotiators and the San Ramon Valley Education Association (SRVEA) reached a tentative agreement in early February after months of bargaining talks.

The deal calls a 5.07% permanent salary increase retroactive to July 1, comprised of a 5% raise and 0.07% district contribution to the SRVEA Retirees Benefits Trust.

The tentative agreement also includes a one-time bonus worth 4% of the employee's annual salary, 0.59% district-paid health and welfare and cash back increases, 1.61% increase in statutory retirement costs, 1.03% in step-and-column (longevity and expertise) increase and 0.21% ongoing raise for extra services pay for coaches and other similar positions.

The deal also incorporates a memorandum of understanding to allow district transitional kindergarten through third-grade classes to have an average class size of 25 students through the 2017-18 school year.

The proposal now heads to the school board for approval Tuesday night during the regular open-session meeting, set to start at 7 p.m. inside the boardrooms at the district administrative complex at 699 Old Orchard Drive in Danville.

In other business

* The board will honor this year's district Teachers of the Year: Joyce Rooks and Rachael Byron.

Rooks is a second-grade teacher at Creekside Elementary School in southeast Danville.

Byron is a high school literacy coach and Advanced Placement English teacher at Dougherty Valley High School in San Ramon.

* Board members will receive an update on how revisions to the district's homework policy have fared so far in their first year of implementation.

The revised rules, approved last summer, set nightly and weekly homework limits per course across all grade-levels, rather than establish a maximum overall per-night homework allotment.

Other changes included prohibiting mandatory work during school breaks, outlining homework "responsibilities" for students, teachers, principals, and parents and guardians, and attempting to better align district policies with the Common Core State Standards and other legal requirements.

* Board members will consider approving initial proposals from the district negotiators and representatives of the California School Employees Association (CSEA) for topics to broach during bargaining talks this year.

District reps want negotiations to focus on salaries, salary schedules and the CSEA (Unit II) Retirees Benefits Trust while the classified union wants to discuss those three topics, plus employee benefits and organizational security.

CSEA Chapter 65 Unit II represents clerical, technical, child nutrition and other classified workers in the district while CSEA Chapter 65 Unit III represents paraprofessionals.

* The board will hear the district's second interim financial report of 2015-16.

* Members will also consider increasing developer impact fees in accordance with adjustments endorsed by the state allocation board.

The new "Level 1" fee rate for residential construction would be $3.48 per square foot (up from $3.36) and 56 cents per square foot for commercial, industrial and senior housing development (up from 54 cents).

* They will adopt a resolution in support of April 15 as the National Day of Silence, and they will receive a presentation on recent programs and activities at Danville's Montair Elementary.

Editor's note: A previous version of this story listed an incorrect grade level for teacher Joyce Rooks. The school district clarified its previous statement to update that Rooks teaches second grade this year at Creekside Elementary.

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