Except for scheduled seniority increases, teachers and staff in Palo Alto schools will get no pay raise this year under tentative agreements reached by labor unions and the school district.
The board of education tonight (Tuesday) will discuss the draft agreements, reached by the Palo Alto Unified School District with the Palo Alto Educators Association (PAEA), representing teachers, and the California School Employees Association (CSEA), representing non-management staff.
"There wasn't a whole lot to discuss this year because of the economy being what it is," PAEA negotiator and teacher Triona Gogarty said.
The unions compromised on their earlier bid to hold the line on health co-payments, Gogarty said.
"We took an increase in copays in order to keep the costs flat," she said.
Nonetheless, district contributions to employee benefits will go up this year, from an average of $12,125 per employee to $12,865, according to Scott Bowers, assistant superintendent for human resources.
Gogarty said that increase is covered by a union concession from last year which allowed employees to opt out of district health coverage in return for $250 a month, thus saving money for the district.
In other business Tuesday, the school board will discuss findings of a poll taken in October probing voters' attitudes toward renewal of the school district's $493-a-year parcel tax, which expires in 2011.
The current tax, supported by 74 percent of voters in June 2005, raises $9.3 million a year -- about six percent of the district's $154 million operating budget.
The board also will hear a proposal to extend certain summer school classes to six weeks for five hours a day, allowing students to cover a year's worth of material.
In addition, the Citizens' Oversight Committee for the $378 million Measure A facilities bond passed last year will present its first annual report.
The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. in the board room of school district headquarters, 25 Churchill Ave.