Teachers, School District Deadlock Over New Contract

Friday June 04, 2004

Nearly one year after their contract expired, the Berkeley Federation of Teachers (BFT) announced Tuesday they have unilaterally declared that negotiations with the Berkeley Unified School District are at an impasse. 

BFT President Barry Fike said he expected the Public Employees Relations Board (PERB) to appoint a mediator to meet with negotiating teams from both sides of the dispute over the summer. 

The district is not budgeted to approve any wage increases over the next three years. Recent contracts signed with two of the district’s classified unions included no pay raises, but maintained full medical benefits, the cost of which increased by about 12 percent last year. 

The teachers’ previous contract had tied salary increases to a composite of salaries at 31 area school districts to ensure that Berkeley teachers achieved the median pay of the other districts. 

Depending on experience and education level, a Berkeley teacher makes between $33,848 and $70,358. 


—Matthew Artz