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Salem-Keizer Public Schools and SKEA Reach Tentative Agreement on Licensed Staff Contract

Tentative Agreement Reached on Licensed Staff Contract

After more than 11 months of negotiations, Salem-Keizer Public Schools and the Salem Keizer Education Association (SKEA) have reached a historic tentative agreement.

After more than 11 months of negotiations, Salem-Keizer Public Schools and SKEA have reached an historic tentative agreement on a new contract for more than 2,500 licensed employees.

The $42.5 million cost of the two-year increases includes a 9.75% increase over the life of the contract as well as a one-time retention bonus payment, increases in employer health insurance contributions, and new earning opportunities for teacher leaders, teachers of special education and dual language, and bilingual staff.

In addition to wage and benefit increases, licensed staff will see increased educator-directed time and new prioritization around the issue of elementary class ratio.

We are pleased to reach a fair and respectful contract that recognizes the quality and commitment of our educators. In reaching this agreement, we demonstrate that shared interests and a determination to stay at the table can lead to fair and responsible contracts, overcoming differences that arise even in dire economic circumstances. 

Superintendent Andrea Castañeda

After SKEA members vote to ratify the agreement, the agreement will be brought before the school board for approval.

The tentative agreement reached today represents months of hard work by both our district leadership and our licensed association. We are thankful for the commitment on all sides to keep our students in school. In the coming months, we invite our unions, our families, and our community to join us in demanding a better funding model for Oregon’s children.

Board Chair Karina Guzman-Ortiz

Contract Highlights

The contract, which is now pending ratification by association members, contains the following highlights.

Tentative Agreement Summary: Improvements in Compensation, Benefits and Working Conditions

Cost and Break-Down

  • Total value of today’s agreement: $42.5M
  • In across-the-board increases (not including step): $15.8M
  • In one-time payments: $19.3M
  • In insurance: $2.8M
  • In additional differentials: $4.6M

Rates of Pay and Benefits

  • A one-time retention bonus of $6,000 for full-time eligible staff within 10 days of ratification; $3,000 for less than half-time eligible staff
  • A 9.75% salary increase over the next two years of the contract
  • 6.25% in year 1 retroactive to January 1, 2024
  • 3.5% in year 2
  • Increases in differentials for special education teachers and bilingual and dual language educators
  • An additional $100 per month toward insurance costs in the next year

Working Conditions

  • Prioritization of elementary class ratio with an increase to $600,000 in annual budget to help remedy elementary class sizes that exceed ratio
  • Creation of teacher leader roles at every school that expand teacher voice and offer a payment of $2,500 per teacher leader
  • Clarity around the definition of FTE
  • An increase in employee-directed time, especially for elementary teachers
  • Increase of 60 minutes of prep time per week for elementary teachers and the assignment of additional educator-directed time throughout the school week and year
  • Process protections to create a reliable and predictable 40-hour workweek
  • Reduction of limits on use of personal leave during the school year

Other Items

  • Increased protections and safeguards to limit student-caused injury

Thank You, Licensed Employees!

Andrea Castañeda, Superintendent
Salem-Keizer Public Schools