FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – With less than 24 hours until roughly 4,000 teachers began to picket, Fresno Unified and the Fresno Teachers Association reached a deal Tuesday.

Both sides were negotiating as late as 7:30 a.m. before the agreement was signed at 10 a.m.

“We are incredibly pleased to announce that Fresno Unified and the Fresno Teachers Association have reached a tentative agreement that we will be signing this morning right here in front of historic Royce Hall at Fresno High,” said Fresno Unified Superintendent Bob Nelson before the agreement was officially signed by both parties.

According to FTA President Manuel Bonilla, the agreement will meet the union’s four core priorities.

Those include decreasing class sizes, reducing special education caseloads, lifetime healthcare coverage for teachers with 20 years of service, and a competitive pay bump.

That includes a 16% increase over three years and two one-time payments totaling an additional 5% percent of teacher salaries.

The first pay bump, for 8.5% percent, was set to start on July 1. 

The district confirmed teachers will get back pay for that.

“Students thrive when educators thrive, and educators thrive when leaders value their hard work when they value that tireless dedication and are committed to providing adequate support,” said Bonilla.

Bonilla says the new CBA will also put dollars towards having a nurse at every school and will create a plan to add additional emotional support for students.

He says after this hard-fought deal, everyone on both sides will need some time to heal.

“No doubt there needs to be some healing for everybody in this but really, that healing will transform this district and hopefully have a different culture, a collaborative culture that is authentic moving forward,” said Bonilla.

The agreement runs through June 2026 and came after months of negotiations.

“It’s just a complex thing. People are like, ‘Why did it take so long?’ Because when you have 10,000 employees and everybody has a different vision of what’s good and best for kids, like trying to work what the best common good is, it takes a lot of work,” said Nelson.

Even though an agreement was reached, Fresno Unified teachers will vote to confirm the agreement on Wednesday.

FUSD will have an early release to allow them to do so.