ANTIOCH -- The teachers union and school district here have reached a tentative agreement on a three-year contract that would provide much-sought raises and increase the district's contribution to health insurance premiums.
Antioch Education Association members voted on the agreement last week, though results are still being tallied. Antioch Unified trustees will consider approving the contract at Wednesday's meeting.
If approved, teachers would receive a 3 percent raise, effective Jan. 1. Meanwhile, Antioch Unified's overall contribution to medical benefits would increase by about 1 percent, meaning it would pay $845 for an employee-only plan, $1,050 for a two-party plan and $1,200 for a family plan per month.
"I think everybody feels good about it; it's definitely fair. Both sides were pushed, and I think we got as far as we were going to get," said Robert Strickler, president of the teachers union. "Nobody wanted to go to fact-finding or arbitration."
The two sides have been in negotiations for over a year, including a marathon session on Dec. 17 that started at 8 a.m. and ended 4 a.m. the next morning. Terms were reached later that afternoon.
The agreement leaves the door open to renegotiate salary and benefits the next two school years.
Antioch teachers have lobbied for a raise the past few months, saying they have received only one 1 percent salary hike in the past six years. The amount teachers pay for medical benefits for their families also increased in January.
The district's contribution to medical benefits covers the increased costs, thus the teachers wouldn't have to put raises right back into covering added expenses, Strickler said.
Teachers lamented that the district now has just over $31.2 million in unrestricted reserves and about $3 million in restricted reserves, according to its latest budget report.
The money had been saved the past few years to keep Antioch stable amid the uncertainty of state funding, officials said last fall.
The contract also includes state education code language about suspending students and notifying teachers about a student's history of violence in the classroom, which allows for the union to file a grievance if the district does not follow the rules, Strickler said.
The base salary scale for Antioch teachers ranges from about $36,000 to $80,000, depending on the number of years in the district and credits earned. Salary increases kick in each year based on tenure and experience.
Contact Paul Burgarino at 925-779-7164. Follow him at Twitter.com/paulburgarino.
What: Antioch Unified School District board meeting
When: 7 p.m. Wednesday
Where: School Services Building, 510 G St., Antioch