CASTRO VALLEY -- Teachers will get a 3 percent wage boost and increased health benefits under a tentative agreement reached with the school district.

"Overall, we feel positive about the settlement and relieved that we were able to reach an agreement after six months of negotiations," said John Green, president of the Castro Valley Teachers Association.

The pact does not include supplemental Medicare payments for retired teachers who were working before 1986. Earlier contracts had included the supplement, which was designed so that those teachers would receive the same benefits as those working after educators began paying into Medicare in 1986.

District officials discovered earlier this year that the benefit was deleted from the contract in 1997. The union had sought to reinstate the supplement, but the district would not agree, Green said.

"That detracts from an otherwise reasonable, good settlement," he said.

Teachers will be voting on the contract over the next three weeks. If they approve it, it will go before the school board for final ratification.

The tentative agreement covers the current school year. Negotiations will begin in February on a new three-year contract.



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