A year-and-a-half after protracted negotiations failed to bring settlement, Redland Teachers Association (RTA) and Redlands Education Support Professionals (RESPA) forged an agreement during state mediation that secured 6% in retroactive raises (3%+3%) for the last and the current school years. The deal also includes increases in RTA stipends, and a 1.17% increase in medical, dental and other benefits- some that have not been adjusted in 18 years. RESPA negotiated a $300 yearly increase to the district’s portion of health and welfare benefits.
Both unions ratified the contract by a general vote of their members; RTA President Teresa Steinbroner reported 82.2% of teachers voted in favor of the deal. “We felt like teachers were satisfied for now, but disappointed that it took so long,” she added. On Tuesday, Nov. 12, Redlands Unified School District (RUSD) Board of Trustees officially approved collective bargaining agreements for both RTA and RESPA.
Officials and members acknowledged the efforts of both the RESPA and RTA bargaining teams, whose members spent scores of hours with district office personnel negotiating over the past year and a half- including time spent with the state mediator to find the common ground that led to the settlement.
Recent months of rallies and instituting “Work-to-Rule”- to illustrate how many voluntary hours members of both unions give up daily in the performance of their duties on behalf of Redlands’ students- paved the way for the mediated settlement.
The retroactive agreements cover July 1, 2018, through June 30, 2022; some negotiating reopeners will take place in the spring. This will also provide opportunities for dialogue on changes to school years that begin in 2020 and 2021.