Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg and other officials announce the deal reached between the Sacramento City Unified School District and its teachers union at a press conference Monday, Nov. 6, 2017. Paul Kitagaki Jr. The Sacramento Bee
Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg and other officials announce the deal reached between the Sacramento City Unified School District and its teachers union at a press conference Monday, Nov. 6, 2017. Paul Kitagaki Jr. The Sacramento Bee

Education

As Thanksgiving break begins, Sacramento teachers are still waiting for contract vote

By Diana Lambert

dlambert@sacbee.com

November 17, 2017 03:25 PM

UPDATED November 17, 2017 05:30 PM

Nearly two weeks has passed since a teachers strike was narrowly averted in Sacramento City Unified, but union members Friday went into a nine-day Thanksgiving break without having voted on the contract.

John Borsos, executive director of the Sacramento City Teachers Association, said there are no problems or red flags with the contract, just continued discussions over the language.

“Both parties are sending drafts back and forth,” he said. “It’s pretty mundane.”

The goal is a final version that both can agree on, said district spokesman Alex Barrios. “We are making sure the language reflects the agreement,” he said.

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The teachers union initially announced that it expected its 2,800 members to vote on the new employment contract by the end of last week. The school district said its board would vote later this month; however, a discussion of the contract was removed from Thursday’s school board agenda.

Borsos said Friday that the earliest teachers would now vote would be when they return from Thanksgiving break on Nov. 27.

“We should be able to put this to rest here shortly, but we don’t want to say a vote is going to happen,” Borsos said. “We wouldn’t do a vote when people are on holiday.”

The teachers contract was finalized Nov. 6 after being brokered by Mayor Darrell Steinberg, Superintendent Jorge Aguilar and the Sacramento City Teachers Association. The agreement gives teachers as much as an 11 percent raise over three years, including a pay scale boost that helps mid-career employees.

Barrios said Friday that the latest estimate for the deal’s cost has changed from $22 million to $25 million.

The union had initially asked for class-size reductions and hiring of additional nurses, psychologists and other support professionals, but agreed in final negotiations that those moves could be contingent on finding millions of dollars in health care savings without benefit reductions.

Diana Lambert: 916-321-1090, @dianalambert