Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Newark Teachers, Administrators Get 5.5 Percent Raise

By Doug Oakley
Staff Writer
Bay Area News Group

BERKELEY -- Newark teachers and administrators will get a 5.5 percent raise under a new contract signed with the Newark Unified School District, officials said. 

The teacher raise is retroactive to July 1 and is good through July 1, 2015, said Assistant Superintendent Tim Irwin. It is the first such raise the 300 teachers in the small school district have received in seven years, he said. 

Irwin said management in the school district, including district administrators, school principals, coordinators and managers, also will get a 5.5 percent raise. 

Newark teachers start at $57,368 a year and top out at $99,514 with 25 or more years experience, Irwin said. 

That's higher than Berkeley, where teacher pay starts at $39,500 and tops out at $82,000 a year, and in Hayward, where teacher pay ranges from $52,864 to $88,061 a year. 

Newark has 6,100 students in one high school, one middle school and eight elementary schools. 

Irwin said the money for raises came from a new state program called the local control funding formula. In addition to the raise, teachers in Newark agreed to collaborate more with administrators on the Common Core State Standards, Irwin said. 

The Newark raise matches a contract Hayward teachers got when the two sides there came to an agreement March 1. 

Berkeley teachers will get a 3.5 percent raise and a one-time, 2 percent bonus starting July 1. 

Teachers in other school districts in Alameda County are still negotiating for new contracts. 

Trish Gorham, president of the Oakland Education Association, said her group is currently negotiating a three-year contract with the Oakland school district. She said the fact that some school districts in the county are raising teacher pay is a step in the right direction. 

"You might credit the state local control funding formula and Proposition 30 for stopping the free fall that we were in terms of funding," Gorham said. "Who knows, in a few years we may be back to our funding level of 2010." 

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