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Teachers reach tentative agreement over salary
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Ceres Unified School District and its teachers union reached a tentative agreement on a new employment contract, pending approval from the Ceres School Board Thursday night.

"We found middle ground and that moved things forward," said Ken Moncrief, lead negotiator for Ceres Unified Teachers Association. "Both sides didn't get everything they wanted. But it was a fair deal. Teachers are overwhelmingly approving of what we did."

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.

"I'm happy we were able to reach a settlement," CUSD Supt. Scott Siegel said.

Last month teachers protested the district's handling of them, with Cheryl Brewer, president of Ceres Unified Teachers Association, saying they "have been receiving very little appreciation, respect, and professionalism from Ceres Unified School District."

Siegel strongly disagreed with that characterization," saying the 8.5 percent pay cut all CUSD employees agreed to take in 2010-11 to offset a $5.5 million budget gap has been fully restored.