By Nick Sestanovich
Several Benicia Unified School District teachers rallied outside City Park an hour before Thursday’s school board meeting to raise awareness of ongoing negotiations between the Benicia Teachers Association (BTA) and BUSD.
On Jan. 24, BUSD and BTA held a negotiations meeting one day after a budget workshop which focused on providing information related to school funding, namely revenues and expenses, according to an update on the BUSD website.
“With declining enrollment, steep and ongoing pension, step and column and special education cost increases, even with the proposed budget update from the Governor, which still must pass in June, BUSD needs to make budget adjustments totaling_$800,000 for the 2018-19 school year,” the post read.
BUSD proposed a one-time bonus of 1 percent off the salary schedule for both the 2017-18 and 2018-19 school years, citing a desire to remain competitive with surrounding school districts. BTA countered with a 5 percent salary increase for the current school year and a 4.25 percent increase for the following school year. The post noted that while school board trustees are committed to reaching a “fair and equitable” settlement, the proposed raise by BTA would cost $3.2 million.