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Sacramento city schools, teachers may announce contract deal Monday

By Melody Gutierrez
Published: Saturday, Jun. 12, 2010 - 12:00 am

The Sacramento City Unified School District and the Sacramento City Teachers Association are expected to announce a two-year agreement Monday that preserves class sizes and saves pink-slipped teachers and counselors.

District officials said details of the agreement will not be available until Monday, while specific impacts will be hammered out in the coming weeks. The deal still must be ratified by union members.

District officials and teachers' union hope to maintain 25 students per teacher in kindergarten through third-grade classes, according to a press release. The agreement also is expected to save many middle and high school counselor positions.

"I am extremely proud of our entire district today," said district Superintendent Jonathan Raymond in a press release. "This announcement illustrates a commitment by both sides to stand together as we weather uncertain financial times, regardless of how long they may last."

Union members will vote on the agreement Monday. If OK'd, it will go to the school board for final approval later this month.

"SCTA is also proud that we were able to work together to reduce layoffs and to maintain stability at our schools, as well as help protect important programs," SCTA President Linda Tuttle said in a press release.

The district and SCTA have been at odds for months while the district tried to close a $30.6 million budget deficit. That deficit grew to $32.5 million after the May budget revise, district officials said.

District lawyers filed an impasse application May 20 with the California Public Employment Relations Board in order to have a state mediator assist in negotiations.

PERB officials said the district withdrew the application days later.

The district was asking the teachers union for $4 million to $5 million in savings through three furlough days and increased health contributions, such as increasing co-pays to $15 or contributing $50 toward monthly premiums.

The union wanted to find savings by cuts to common planning time and generate money through a parcel tax.

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