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April 12, 2019 Negotiations Update

Negotiations Update: April 12, 2019
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Negotiations session: April 12th, 2019

BFT and BUSD met for the third time on Friday, April 12th. The BFT team welcomed guest David Schroeder from Berkeley Independent Study. 


BUSD Proposes 2% Raise for 2019-2020

BUSD made an initial proposal of a 2% salary increase for the 2019-2020 school year with future years to be determined. BFT will continue to discuss compensation with our Executive Board. BFT will make a counter proposal that addresses the sustainability crisis that members are experiencing and that threatens the retention of our excellent teaching staff.

Agreement Reached on “No Tell” Personal Leave

BFT and BUSD have agreed that a teacher may use four days of their earned sick leave per year for entirely personal reasons. The leave may be taken in half day or full day increments and may not be used to extend holidays or non-student work days. Teachers will need to notify site administrators prior to taking the leave, but are not required to give a specific reason for the leave. This item was a high priority in our 2018-2019 Negotiations Survey and this agreement is a victory for our members.


BFT Proposals Presented on April 12

BFT Proposes Independent Study Restructure

BIS teachers are currently paid at an hourly rate and most are kept in perpetual temporary status. BFT proposed that they be placed on the secondary salary schedule with a standard duty day the same as for all BUSD teachers. BFT further proposed that the percentage of BIS teachers with temporary contracts be no greater than the percentage of total BUSD teachers with temporary contracts.  These proposals were developed in close consultation with BIS teachers, and BIS teacher and BFT Executive Board member David Schroeder joined the BFT bargaining team at the table when they were presented. BIS teachers are highly skilled and credentialed professionals whose work is crucial to the success of vulnerable students who for various reasons are unable to thrive in typical school settings. Making their pay and employment status comparable to other BUSD teachers is a matter of fairness and will help retain our excellent Independent Study staff.

Child Rearing Leave for Hourly Teachers

BFT proposed that teachers who are paid hourly, which currently includes Adult School and Independent Study teachers, shall be entitled to child rearing leave equal to other bargaining unit members who receive 25% of their salary for up to 89 days. Currently these hourly teachers are entitled to unpaid leave only.

Berkeley Adult School Benefits

BAS teachers currently must wait until their second year of employment to enroll in a BUSD health plan. BFT proposed to eliminate this unjustified waiting period.


Discussions continue on the calendar for the 2020-2021 school year.  The first day of school in the 2020-2021 school year will be August 17, 2020.


Contract Campaign: Teachers Across Berkeley April 30th

Strength at the table comes from strength in the streets! Please plan to join your BFT colleagues for Teachers Across Berkeley on Tuesday, April 30, after school. We’ll place beautiful new BFT placards (designed by BFT activist Miriam Stahl) in the windows of local businesses in every neighborhood in Berkeley. Help build community awareness and support for our struggle to keep teachers in Berkeley! Talk to your BFT Site Rep for details about your site’s meet up time and place on April 30th.

Past Updates
All negotiations updates are posted on our website here.
Next Session
The BFT and BUSD teams will meet again for an all-day session on Friday, April 26th.
Questions, Comments, Feedback?

For information or to offer comments please contact BFT Vice-President Matt Meyer at

This Negotiations Update was prepared by BFT Treasurer Cynthia Allman and edited by the BFT Negotiations Team.