Sau­gus teach­ers, staff to get raise

Two per­cent in­crease ex­pected, as well as bump in health ben­e­fits

The Signal - - FRONT PAGE - By Bren­non Dix­son Sig­nal Staff Writer

The teach­ers and staff of the Sau­gus Union School Dis­trict are ex­pected to re­ceive an in­crease in com­pen­sa­tion and health care ben­e­fits fol­low­ing a ten­ta­tive agree­ment be­tween the dis­trict and var­i­ous col­lec­tive bar­gain­ing groups.

The agree­ments, ac­cord­ing to the agenda for Tues­day’s board meet­ing, are be­tween the dis­trict, the Sau­gus Teach­ers As­so­ci­a­tion and the Clas­si­fied School Em­ploy­ees As­so­ci­a­tion, as well as man­age­ment, con­fi­den­tial, child devel­op­ment and un­rep­re­sented em­ploy­ees.

Staff and fac­ulty are all ex­pected to see a 2 per­cent raise in the up­com­ing school year, along with a $50 monthly in­crease to the health ben­e­fits cap or a $25 monthly in­crease to cashin-lieu for em­ploy­ees who waive med­i­cal ben­e­fits, pend­ing ap­proval from the board at Tues­day’s dis­trict meet­ing.

The raises will be­gin on July 1 and cost the dis­trict slightly more than $1.8 mil­lion, lead­ing board Pres­i­dent

Christopher Trunkey to be­lieve, “every­body will be happy,” he said.

The dis­trict was able to of­fer as much of a raise as pos­si­ble while re­main­ing re­spon­si­ble, he added.

The raise is nearly the same as the one the Cas­taic Union School Dis­trict ap­proved for its teach­ers in April, which shows up as a 4 per­cent raise for teach­ers this year, and then go­ing for­ward, it will re­sult in a reg­u­lar 3 per­cent raise in the salary sched­ule.

Sau­gus teach­ers and ad­min­is­tra­tors have been quite vo­cal at many dis­trict meet­ings in the past months, of­ten voic­ing con­cerns about pay, ben­e­fits and a gen­eral lack of sup­port from the dis­trict board.

It seems ev­ery week, there is a new speaker shar­ing sto­ries about the heavy load they are forced to bear.

“I cur­rently have two side jobs in or­der to make ends meet,” said Maria Blue, the cur­rent Teacher of the Year from Em­blem Acad­emy. “For some, ev­ery hour af­ter school, week­ends and breaks are filled with side work to fund their house­hold needs.”

Blue used a metaphor based on the flight of air­craft, with the con­cept of “drag” rep­re­sent­ing the bur­den teach­ers are forced to bear — touch­ing on sen­ti­ments that were echoed by other teach­ers in re­cent months dur­ing board meet­ings.

De­spite the ten­sion, Trunkey said the ne­go­ti­a­tions were sim­i­lar to those of years past and “re­flect the con­tin­u­ing and great re­la­tion­ship we have with our col­lec­tive unions.”

He added: “We’re all re­ally look­ing for­ward to start­ing next school year.”

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