LONG BEACH — The Ocean Beach School District has completed negotiations and reached a tentative agreement with classified staff, the personnel including bus drivers, secretaries and instructional assistants who form the backbone of local schools.
The agreement resulted from talks in Long Beach between union representatives and the OBSD administration on Aug. 22, according to the district. School is set to start Tuesday, Sept. 4.
School districts across the state are in negotiations in response to the 2012 McCleary state Supreme Court decision, which deemed the state’s education-funding efforts insufficient.
Since the decision, billions more state dollars have been approved to fund schools, including $2 billion for teacher salaries.
In response, OBSD agreed in June to a 21.1 percent salary increase for local teachers, catching up for years following the 2008 Great Recession when no cost-of-living increases were provided. However, no raises were given to classified staff, and former Superintendent Jenny Risner began implementation of reduction-in-force layoffs for staff. That RIF was rescinded by current interim Superintendent Scott Fenter and the Ocean Beach School District Board of Directors.
Determining how to distribute the $2 billion provided statewide by the Legislature is threatening the start of the school year in several districts, including Longview.
In the Ocean Beach district, Fenter does not anticipate problems starting classes. He said the district is waiting on signed letters of understanding and the official votes of two bargaining groups, he said.
Once all parties have agreed to the agreements and voted, the school board will finalize the agreements at its September board meeting.
Groups involved in the negotiations each have active contracts.
However, whenever any action within the state occurs that impacts salaries and benefits — including the McCleary funding decision — affected parties have the right to reopen their contracts, Fenter said.
More details will be available about the contracts once they are finalized, Fenter said.