Oakland teachers offered first raise in 5 years

Oakland school teachers are moving closer to getting their first pay raise in five years.

2,400 teachers represented by the Oakland Education Association are set to vote Friday on a one-year retroactive contract that would give them a one-time payment of 2.35 percent of their salaries and a 1.5 percent raise.

In recommending teachers approve the contract, union President Trish Gorham told the Oakland Tribune it’s the first time a tentative deal has been reached with the Oakland Unified School District since 2005:

“While this is not something that’s making us dance in the streets, I really think it’s an end to the chapter of no tentative agreements. … We’re satisfied but not thrilled.”

Gorham says teachers may get an additional 0.5 percent raise, depending on state funding.

School board member Gary Yee, who takes over as the school district’s acting superintendent in July, credited negotiators on both sides for their work:

“… it’s the first time in 10 years that the school board and the teachers union have negotiated a contract without arbitration, mediation or impasse.”

Salaries for Oakland teachers range between about $40,000 a year to around $70,000.  The last time the teachers received a raise was during the 2005-2008 contract when their salaries were increased by 1.25 percent.

This proposed retroactive contract ends July 1, so union officials and school district representatives are due to return to the bargaining table to begin negotiating a new three-year contract in the fall.