FTA and Fresno Unified tentative agreement stops strike from happening

Thursday, January 18, 2018 08:01AM
Sleep deprived but determined leaders from Fresno Unified and the teacher's union ended an 18-month stalemate.


FRESNO, Calif. - Sleep deprived but determined leaders from Fresno Unified and the teacher's union ended an 18-month stalemate, ushering in a period of renewed cooperation.

"Invariably people will ask who won, today kids won. Today kids won," said Superintendent Bob Nelson.

Leaders from both bargaining teams erased doubts about an impending strike, unveiling a tentative contract agreement at a joint press conference.

News of their united front led parents of the district's 70,000 students to breathe a sigh of relief.



"I think it's great, not only do the teachers need to work, the children need somewhere to go," said parent Doris Hackett.

The new contract lays out several changes. The district now offering an 8.5 percent total salary increase, added health care benefits, and class size reductions.

Committees will also be formed to address safety concerns and special education.

"This agreement doesn't take care of all the problems, we're committed to working with the district," said Fresno Teacher's Association Tish Rice.

Both sides credit the success to a change in attitude made possible by a pair of Fresno Pacific University professors.

RELATED: Fresno Teachers Association and Fresno Unified reach tentative agreement

The Teacher's Union says they helped clear up misconceptions that had been festering for months.

"That was the seed that sprouted this fruit of a deal," said Fresno Teacher's Association Manuel Bonilla.

District leaders want to make sure the healing process continues.

"There will be naysayers, I am undeterred by those naysayers getting in the way of us collaborating," said Nelson.

The real work begins now to keep the momentum growing.
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