By Nick Sestanovich
Following nearly a yearlong impasse over contract negotiations with the Benicia Teacher Association (BTA), the Governing Board of the Benicia Unified School District voted to ratify a tentative agreement with a 2.5 percent salary increase at Thursday’s meeting.
Throughout the 2017-18 school year, the BTA and BUSD’s bargaining teams met for several negotiation sessions. In January, the district had proposed a one-time bonus of 1 percent off the salary schedule for the 2017-18 and 2018-19 school years. BTA countered with a 5 percent increase for 2017-18 and a 4.25 percent increase for 2018-19 school year. After being unable to reach an agreement, BTA requested to file for impasse. Teachers, students and parents voiced their disapproval at board meetings, with some educators providing lists of free services they would no longer offer to students outside of their contract hours unless an agreement was reached.