A San Francisco teacher strike looked likely when 97% of the union voted in favor of a strike just last week, but an all-night session at the bargaining table just produced a new deal with a substantial pay raise.
It sure looked like we were headed for a San Francisco teacher strike as recently as Wednesday, October 11, when the union voted in favor of going on strike by a 97% margin. That did not begin a strike, but it sure set the clock ticking on a strike that could have started by the end of October. Considering that custodians and school staff were also on the verge of striking, the simultaneous strikes could have led to massive school closures across the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD).
That situation has thankfully been avoided. The Chronicle reports reports the teachers’ union and SFUSD reached a tentative agreement early Friday morning, after a bargaining session that went all night long. The agreement was reportedly reached at 6 a.m.
“We have a deal,” Cassondra Curiel, president of the union United Educators of San Francisco (UESF) says in the video above. “At 6 a.m., our team reached a tentative agreement with the district. Every win in this tentative agreement is a direct result of the organizing and advocating of educators, families, and community supporters who showed up and pushed the district to agree to a fair contract that would stabilize our schools.”
We are still at the bargaining table! Thank you, @LatinoTask for dropping off coffee and donuts from an educator at BVHM who works a second job at Dunkin' Donuts. They are much appreciated! pic.twitter.com/lbGUHCurxM— UESF (@UESF) October 20, 2023
A Thursday night 11:45 p.m. tweet from that union shows that they were hitting the coffee pretty hard for a session that would last another six hours. The school district itself has yet to comment.
But KPIX has a deep dive into the details of the teachers’ new contract. It’s only a two-year agreement (so we might go through all this again in 2025). Credentialed teachers get a $9,000 raise in the first year, and then a 5% raise in the second year. Non-credentialed staff get a minimum of $30 an hour, or incremental raises if they already make more than that. Substitute teachers get a 15% raise spread out over two years.
KPIX adds that the deal also includes “Improvements in staffing, working conditions, student support, and special education.” These “improvements” may be a reference to the district’s long-running payroll fiasco.
The tentative agreement still has to be ratified by a full union vote. But Curiel says in the video announcement that “a voting timeline will be emailed out on Monday, October 23.”
This comes on the heels of the district also reaching an agreement with the custodians and staff as Mission Local reported Tuesday. So with those two matters resolved, hopefully the district can move on to facing other contentious issues, like the payroll problems and potential school closures.
Image via Youtube