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Teachers, CUSD settle terms
Ceres teachers get 1.565% raise retroactive to 2013-14, more
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Ceres Unified School District and its teachers union reached an agreement on a new employment contract for 2013-16.

The Ceres School Board approved the contract with a 5-0 vote Thursday night, June 26.

Trustees Mike Welsh and Valli Wigt were absent from the meeting. Betty Davis, Lourdes Perez, Teresa Guerrero, Faye Lane and Jim Kinard were present.

"The district made a financially responsible yet respectable offer to us," Ceres Unified Teachers Association President Cheryl Brewer said. "It's really refreshing to finish contract negotiations during the year we're working. Generally, they roll over."

The terms of the agreement include a 1.565 salary increase retroactive to 2013-14 and an additional one-time 1 percent bonus.

Teachers will receive a 4.10 percent salary increase in 2014-15. They'll also be afforded an additional two days of staff development.

CUTA membership ratified the agreement on June 10 following a pair of successful negotiation meetings.

"Things went nowhere for months," Brewer said. "These last two sessions, we saw such a difference. Their willingness to negotiate changed drastically. That was a big move in a positive direction."

Confidential, classified management and certificated administration (excluding cabinet members) will also receive a 4.10 percent increase in their pay during the 2014-15 school year.

"It's not personal," said Kinard, board president. "It's a process. We're very happy about what we were able to give the teachers and all the employees. They're all deserving."

"Negotiations is give and take," Davis said. "We did the best we could with what's available. There's lots of pressures and needs for limited dollars. We have to live within our means. I'm glad to get the money to the employees. I was on the picket line out there when I was a teacher."

"We looked at everything," Lane added. "We didn't take sides. We did what's best for the students and district."