The Palo Alto school board will vote on two major agreements on Tuesday night that, if approved, will give 2% raises to both the teachers union and the district's non-unionized management association.
The district announced last month that it had reached a tentative three-year labor agreement with the Palo Alto Educators Association that would provide an ongoing 2% raise and 2% one-time bonus this year. The teachers union has since ratified the agreement.
Under the new three-year contract, raises would be negotiated each year, unlike the now-expired contract, which contained three year's worth of salary increases and bonuses.
This year's raise, effective retroactive to Jan. 7, 2019, would cost the district $1.2 million and $2.4 million in each of the following years. The off-schedule 2% bonus is based on employees' salaries after the raise is applied and would cost the district $2.4 million.
The board will also take action on a revised memorandum of understanding with the Palo Alto Management Association, a non-unionized group that represents 85 principals, assistant principals, directors, coordinators, school psychologists and other administrators. The agreement provides for five years of "me too" raises tied to salary increases negotiated with the teachers union, despite the fact that several sitting board members have criticized in the past the district's practice of automatic raises for senior management. They said in previous interviews that the agreement was a worthwhile tradeoff in light of unrest among the senior management-group members and the difficulty of creating an effective, performance-based compensation system for the group.
The memorandum of understanding does not apply to members of the district's executive cabinet: the superintendent, assistant superintendent, deputy superintendent and chief business officer.
A tentative agreement with the district's classified employees union will also be presented as an informational item at the board meeting, meaning no discussion is required. The proposed three-year contract includes a 2% mid-year raises for classified staff, which will cost the district $406,000 this year and $812,000 in future years. The Classified School Employees Association has not yet ratified the agreement.
The district and classified union agreed on medical, dental, and vision insurance benefits in October, which represents an increase in cost for the district of approximately $230,200.
Also on Tuesday, the board will discuss what topics the district would like to bring to the next round of negotiations with its unions, including compensation — meaning shortly after taking action on the new teachers' contract, the district will return to the table to negotiate next year's raises.
In other business on Tuesday, the board will consider a request from Stanford University to suspend further action on a tentative agreement the two entities recently reached regarding the university's expansion plan. Stanford made the request on Friday after asking the Santa Clara County Planning Commission to delay upcoming hearings on its general use permit application, which the county declined to do. The hearings begin May 30 in Palo Alto.
Tuesday's school board meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the district office, 25 Churchill Ave. View the agenda here.