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Negotiations Update 5.26.17

Negotiations Update: May 26th, 2017
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Negotiations session: May 24th, 2017
BFT and BUSD met for an all-day session on Wednesday, May 24th. This was our penultimate session—our final meeting for the 2016-2017 school year must be on May 31st. This deadline is due to BFT’s By-Laws: our membership must have two weeks to vote on a potential Tentative Agreement, ending while school is still in session.

In the event that BFT and BUSD are able to reach agreement on May 31st, there will be an all-membership meeting on June 5th at the Berkeley Adult School Multipurpose Room at 4:00.

Significant Challenges Remain
However, the May 24th session made clear that BFT and BUSD remain far apart on at least two crucial issues: K-5 prep time and compensation. These are obviously critical issues for our members—it is absolutely vital that prep time at elementary schools changes to reflect the coming changes in class size as part of the new BSEP parcel tax, Measure E1. BFT and BUSD have thus far been unable to agree on the appropriate amount of prep time for 1st-3rd grade teachers. And obviously compensation is hugely important: BFT understands the uncertain and tough fiscal realities of the current California budget, but as BFT President Cathy Campbell made clear at the May 3rd BUSD Board meeting, BFT members cannot go two years without a raise.
Given the importance of these two issues, the BFT Negotiations Team is clear that significant progress must be made in order for us to recommend a Tentative Agreement this Spring. In the absence of an agreement, BFT and BUSD will return to the bargaining table in Fall 2017.
Get Ready!
If we do not reach agreement next week, all members should come back ready to get right into an escalated contract campaign! We’ll need to demonstrate to BUSD and the Board the importance of prep time, of improving our members’ compensation, and of the importance of the District’s most critical resource: it’s teachers and staff. Watch your inbox for more information after next Wednesday’s negotiations session!
Next Session
The BFT and BUSD teams will meet again for an all-day session on Wednesday, May 31st.
Berkeley Federation of Teachers, CFT/AFT, AFL-CIO

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Berkeley, CA 94702
(510) 549-2307 
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