The Pasadena Unified School District announced Friday afternoon it has reached a tentative agreement with United Teachers of Pasadena (UTP) for 2023-2024 that includes a 10% increase in salary schedules and boosts health benefits for union members.
The proposed contract is subject to vote by members of UTP and must be approved by the PUSD Board of Education. The contract affects approximately 1,000 teachers and other certificated employees.
The agreement represents a 20% salary increase over two years, the largest increase in recent memory. Last year, the District and UTP reached agreement on a similar 10% salary increase.
“We are very pleased to reach a tentative agreement with UTP,” said PUSD Interim Superintendent Elizabeth J. Blanco, Ed.D. “The agreement reflects our district’s commitment to increasing compensation for our outstanding and respected educators and ensures a rich academic experience for our students.”
UTP President Jonathan Gardner was positive about the agreement. “Unified initially came in with a 3% offer. They made tremendous progress to 10%.”
The tentative agreement, which consists of a total financial package of a 10.95% increase in ongoing costs ($12,844,197) to PUSD, was reached after two months of negotiations between the district and UTP.
“This historic agreement provides a range of benefits to our teachers and positively impacts PUSD students, educators, and classrooms and positions PUSD to retain and attract talented professionals,” said Board of Education President Michelle Richardson Bailey.
Under the terms of the tentative agreement, the district will bear the increased health and welfare costs of 0.95% (or $1.1 million) instead of passing additional charges on to UTP members. PUSD will pay up to a $1,000 deductible for vandalism or damage to members’ cars parked on or near school property.
Recognizing that all special education teachers assume additional duties, all special education teachers will get a $500 increase in stipends bringing the total up to $3,000 per year. The stipend was first added last year. Early childhood education teachers who have a bachelor’s degree will also receive a 5% one-time off-schedule bonus.
Provisions for safety and facility concerns are also included in the tentative agreement.
“UTP and PUSD strengthened our safety article,” Gardner said. “We improved working conditions for educators across all school and work sites.”
“Our work will continue next year with negotiations for our three-year 2024-2027 contract.”