Fresno Unified, Fresno Teachers Association reach historic tentative agreement

Local News

Some major changes are coming to Fresno Unified schools including class sizes and salary for teachers.

This comes after a historic conceptual agreement was just reached with Fresno Unified and the Fresno Teachers Association. It’s for this upcoming school year through 2022.

“Today our kids win,” said Claudia Cazares, President of Fresno Unified School Board.

“Today represents a change of that dynamic and it’s historic in nature,” added Robert Nelson, Superintendent of Fresno Unified.

They’re turning the page on a relationship that’s been strained for four decades.

“We believe this is the first time a contract has been negotiated prior to the end of our current contract,” said Manuel Bonilla, President of the Fresno Teachers Association.

For the 2019-2020 school year, teachers will receive a salary increase of 3%, ongoing, beginning on July 1. The first year they’ll get an additional 1.5% payment tacked on to their pay increase.

“If the money is there for raises, we will give it and if the money is not there, it will not be sacrificing student programs like music and libraries and things that have plagued the district in times past,” Nelson said.

The agreement also addresses class sizes. Effective July 1, for grades 7 and 8, core classes including foreign language are down to 28 students. In secondary alternative ed, 30 students is the cap.

Elementary teachers with over 33 kids for half the school year are going to receive an annual stipend or support of an aid. This also applies to secondary teachers in core disciplines.

They’re also adding an additional 10 designated schools where kids will get an extra month of school every year.

“This is an agreement that protects the interest of our children,” Nelson concluded.

Ratification of the agreement is expected at the end of this month.

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