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A $4,000 bonus for teachers and raises for subs part of tentative educators’ union contract

The San Francisco Unified School District and its teachers' union hammered out a tentative new contract Saturday night.

If approved by the members of the United Educators of San Francisco and San Francisco's school board, teachers will get a $4,000 bonus and substitute teachers will get a raise, among other things, according to school district officials.

The new tentative agreement would replace the collective bargaining agreement that expired June 30, 2020. The new agreement expires June 30, 2023. It comes on the heels of another major negotiation over health and safety, which prompted widespread debate as the Omicron variant of Covid infected thousands of students and staff within a few weeks. That contract was bargained over the course of a week, ultimately granting teachers 10 Covid-specific sick days and promises to make testing and high-quality face masks more available.

Representatives of both sides issued statements in favor of the tentative contract.

"Given all of the struggles educators have been through over the past two years, we are relieved that we could get one-time compensation directly to all members, as well as a much needed increase in substitute pay," said union president Cassondra Curiel.

Saying he was "extremely pleased" with the tentative agreement, "We are living through a moment in history with challenges we have never faced before, and educators continue to inspire us with their resilience and strength," said Superintendent Dr. Vincent Matthews.

The United Educators of San Francisco union is one of the unions representing workers in the school district. It represents teachers and other educators including school nurses, social workers and counselors and is the largest union in the district with 6,000  members, said Curiel.

The tentative agreement creates recruitment and retention incentives for educators and aims to help stabilize staffing at the school district. If the contract is approved, teachers and other school site educators will get two one-time bonuses of $2,000; one in June of 2022 and one in November of 2022, Curiel said.

Sabbaticals would be suspended for the 2022-2023 school year and would be limited during the 2023-2024 school year to help reduce teacher vacancies.

Union members are expected to vote on the tentative agreement in the next week and, pending ratification by the union, the SF Board of Education will vote on the agreement in February.