Teachers in the Madera unified school district have approved a new 3-year contract. 72% of Madera Unified’s employees voted on the proposal Wednesday. The final numbers showed 67% supported the district’s offer and 33% opposed it.
“It’s been a long battle, it’s been a long time and I’m relieved,” said Amanda Wade, Vice President of the Madera Unified Teachers Association.
“We can now move forward to a brighter future and better professional future working with the district for the education of the students in Madera,” said David Holder, President of the Madera Unified Teachers Association.
Since last spring the teacher’s union has been at odds with the district as talks were at a standstill. They turned in letters showing their frustrations and threatened to strike.
Kathy Cruze is glad to finally put politics aside, so she can focus completely on her classroom.
“I am happy that they gave us something because at one point they were going to give us absolutely nothing and then we were going to be forced to strike. This is a good middle ground, so we’ll take this for now,” said Kathy Cruze, a 2nd grade teacher at James Monroe Elementary.
Under the agreement, employees will get paid for attending training sessions and each receives a 2% raise.
Cece Gallegos voted yes in the best interest of her colleagues.
“We have a lot of single mothers in our district raising children, so we really have to think about that,” said Cece Gallegos, a 1st grade teacher at John Adams Elementary.
The district is also agreeing to pay more of the base cost for their health insurance coverage. However, subscribers may have to pay more in the years to come if premiums go up.
“I’m going to retire in not too long, so it won’t affect me, I’ll be on Medicare. I voted no because I think there are a lot of younger teachers with families and things like that it will effect,” said Warren Starr, an English teacher at Madera South High School.
Before this contract can take effect the school board and county office of education must sign off on it, which they are expected to do within the next week.
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