Southwest teachers win contract with student-centered approach

SAN DIEGO- Teachers in South Bay focused a year-long effort around student-centered organizing and won community support for an outstanding contract settlement.

During negotiations that began in May of 2015, Southwest Teachers Association (SWTA) members continually pushed for improvements to district schools in the interest of students and the community. Through advocating for increases in instructional planning time for teachers to increase their instructional skills, increasing counseling and nursing services, along with improving pay, health benefits and stipends, SWTA built grass roots support for their pro-student agenda.

Among the provisions of the three-year contract include a minimum of eight hours of weekly dedicated counseling service time for each school site to address students’ emotional needs. By negotiating class caps for grades K-3, 4-6 and 7-8, appropriate student-to-teacher ratios will be codified and subject to accountability.

To ensure competitive pay to attract new educators during this time of ongoing teacher shortages, SWTA will enhance its salary schedule a total of 11.28%, 5% retroactive in 15-16, 3.19% in 16-17, and 3.09% in the third year of the agreement in 2017-2018.