FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- Clovis Unified's mental health professionals are one step closer to their first unionized contract.
The district reached a tentative agreement with the Association of Clovis Educators' psychologists and mental health support providers.
The group is calling it a "historic" moment, as it's the first certificated contract in district history.
"It doesn't just give us a voice, but it gives us a voice with some teeth behind it," explained Jade Edwards, who serves on ACE's bargaining team.
Edwards is a school psychologist. She looks forward to the changes that will follow, once the district approves the contract.
"Spanning from anywhere from salary to work hours to evaluations to how we do job assignments," she said. "We're just feeling really good about having a lot of things that, even if they're standard operating procedures, they are now written down. So we have a lot of a sense of security of the process and a voice in any changes that come with that process."
According to Edwards, it will ultimately allow the district's mental health staff to serve Clovis students in a way they need and deserve.
"One of the biggest things that they'll notice is that I think pretty much every single site will see an increase in the amount of time a psychologist is at their site," she said. "We're also working with the district on what it would look like to have a full-time psychologist or a full-time equivalent of the psychologist on every single campus."
District leaders said it was important to collaborate with ACE, as they value the work being done by mental health staff.
"It was a long process and we had always worked toward creating a contract that met the needs of our employees and that meets the needs of the students too. I think we were able to achieve that," said Kelly Avants, chief communications officer.
ACE has agreed on the three-year contract. It will be presented to the Governing Board on June 14, and the trustees will consider it for ratification.
If approved, the contract becomes effective immediately.