After nearly 600 days without a contract, Oceanside Teachers Association’s (OTA’s) consistent efforts at organizing members and parents brought a Tentative Agreement to the North San Diego chapter.
The California Teacher Shortage was an important organizing tool; OTA argued in times of shortage Oceanside should keep salaries competitive, rather than face an inability to hire due to substandard compensation.
OTA kept their members and parents informed and involved throughout the last four months of escalating activities; they included a last-minute Saturday morning effort several weeks ago to prevent the school board from approving temporary substitute pay increases in preparation for OTA’s potential job actions.
Two major elements of the settlement include a 3% salary increase, (1% retroactive to January, 2% in July) and the establishment of a Healthcare Retiree Account to provide a Medicare bridge for veteran teachers who may want to plan for earlier retirement.
A Supplemental Early Retirement Plan is also being offered this year, and approximately 100 OTA members will take part at the end of the 2017-2018 school year.
OTA President Jennifer Skellitt praised the efforts of members and parents who came to events and rallies in ever-increasing numbers through the Fall and into Winter. “We knew standing with parents would be the key to a settlement. When those parents began to passionately defend us, it gave our teachers added strength to keep the fight going.”
OTA expects a solid ratification vote in the next few days.