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The Paly Voice

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Teachers union, district reach tentative agreement

Motoko Iwata
Palo Alto High School teachers participate in a walk-in last week by Churchill Avenue prior to Monday’s announcement of a tentative agreement with the Palo Alto Unified School District. The event was one of the efforts by the union to raise awareness about the recent negotiations between the Palo Alto Educators Association and the district. “There have been teachers at each site making some noise, getting people to honk their horns and rallying for kids,” said Erin Angell, a PAEA site representative who helped to organize the event.

The Palo Alto Educators Association and the Palo Alto Unified School District have reached a tentative agreement after months of negotiations and recently reaching impasse.

According to a PAEA member speaking on condition of confidentiality, the deal includes increases in pay and other benefits that the union has been negotiating for.

“The tentative agreement says that PAEA members will get a 4% on-schedule increase this year, a 1% off-schedule bonus this year, and a stipend schedule will also go up 4% this year,” the member said. “Next year, there will be a schedule restructure that cuts the salary schedule by three steps, newer teachers will get paid significantly more, and most other steps get an on-schedule 1% increase. In addition to that, there’s a 4% on-schedule increase as well. The contract will not be opened next year – there might be negotiations, but anything negotiated will be added to the 2025-2026 school year, not next school year.”

Erin Angell, Advanced Authentic Research teacher and a PAEA site representative says that the next steps are meetings to get members informed.

“The next steps are that the PAEA exec board are going to hold a webinar tonight for all members, and that way they can walk us through what the details are and what that might be,” Angell said. “After that, our site reps are going to have a lunchtime meeting on Wednesday for our Paly members to come, hear more, and discuss. After that, there will be a vote to ratify and hear what members across the district have to say about what they think.”

The PAEA member mentioned above said that the next step will be ratification.

“It’s likely the vast bulk of negotiations have ended,” the member said. “One of the next major steps is for the PAEA members to vote to ratify the contract, which requires a majority vote of voting members. Typically they ratify, but there’s always a chance that they don’t.”

The deal does fall short of the union’s original requests.

“The union was requesting 5.5% on this year and 5% on next year,” the member said. “Our salary restructure would have had more of an increase for members, as well as cutting the schedule down to 25 steps instead of 27.”

If ratification happens, negotiations will likely come to a close.

“Given that they [the PAEA members] likely will ratify, it [the contract] will just go to the board, the board will likely approve it, and that’s it,” the member said. “If members don’t ratify, then we go back to negotiations, but again, very unlikely.”

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About the Contributor
Motoko Iwata
Motoko Iwata, Opinion/Editorial Editor
Motoko Iwata (Class of 2026) joined The Voice in her sophomore year. At Paly, she does badminton and debate. In her free time, Motoko enjoys spending time with her friends and reading about current events.

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