The Sulphur Springs Union School District governing board held its organizational meeting on Wednesday evening and later approved a tentative agreement to increase the salaries for the teachers’ association and members of its classified staff.
Returning board members Paola Jellings, Lori MacDonald and Ken Chase were sworn in to the Sulphur Springs district’s board of trustees after running unopposed in their respective seats during this year’s general election.
In addition, the governing board appointed its members to various committees as part of the organizational meeting.
After that process was completed, the members of the governing board voted to approve a tentative agreement between the district and the Sulphur Springs District Teachers Association.
The agreement includes an 8% on-schedule salary increase, a one-time off-schedule 1% payment, and an on-schedule salary increase of 3% in exchange for the district’s annual participation in the CalSTRS Retirement Incentive Program, and a collapsed salary schedule equivalent to a 2% salary increase for teachers.
“Our relationship with our Sulphur Springs District Teachers Association is a wonderful relationship,” said Joshua Randall, assistant superintendent of business services for the district. “We got a lot accomplished in this year’s negotiations that was mutually beneficial to both parties.”
“We’re just thankful to have that relationship where we can sit down and collaborate and come up with good results for the district and for the association,” he added.
As part of the district’s negotiations with the teachers’ association, the speech and language pathologist salary schedule were revised, which would allow individuals in that position reach a higher salary schedule sooner than later.
In addition, both parties revised the teachers association’s contract to remove or update various stipends.
The governing board also voted to approve a tentative agreement with the California School Education Association Chapter No. 298 in regard to a salary schedule placement for bus drivers, lead bus drivers and bus driver trainers.
According to the agenda, the new salary schedule for bus drivers, lead bus drivers and bus driver trainers reflected a 15.83% ongoing salary increase in those positions beginning Jan. 1.
“We really sat down in collaborative and looked at the position of how bus driver looked at the market rate and really agreed with the unit and the district,” Randall said. “What we settled on and that agreement was a good adjustment to the salary.”
“Bus drivers are critical for our transportation system and getting a lot of our students at school. So, being able to assure that we were able to increase the pay, be very competitive in the markets, and continuing to get good people as drivers was important for us,” he added.
Lastly, the district also revised the salary schedule for classified employees to incorporate the minimum wage increases and transportation adjustments.