Desert Sands Unified reaches tentative contract with teachers

School district offers salary hike and money to offset rising health care costs

LA QUINTA, Calif. - The Desert Sands Teachers Association and Desert Sands Unified School District announced Thursday a tentative contract agreement that, if approved, would see teachers receiving an across-the-board salary raise of 4%, effective July 1, 2016.

The deal also would provide an extra $489 for annual medical benefits and a one-time $1,000 payment to offset rising health insurance costs.

DSUSD Assistant Superintendent of Personnel Services Tony Signoret, Ed.D. said, "We understand the effort and hours put in by each of teachers, counselors, and all certificated staff."

DSTA President Mona Davidson said, "Negotiations are always a stressful time, but we appreciated the professional courtesy the DSUSD team accorded to our team members."

Some of the additional salary costs will be paid by supplemental/concentration funds based on the Local Control Funding Formula and the district's adopted Local Control Accountability Plan.

Members of the teachers union must vote to approve the offer before it can be implemented.

Educators contacted by KESQ News Channel 3 / CBS Local 2 said they had no major complaints with the offer and indicated they believed the agreement would be ratified.

Signoret added, "This year's contract is an outstanding example of how DSTA and DSUSD work together as partners."

Davidson added, "We are pleased that we are making progress in bringing the earnings of the teachers of this district back up to where they were before the downturn in the economy and the nearly $20 billion in cuts to education across the state."

The Desert Sand Unified School District is the largest district in the Coachella Valley and has nearly 30,000 students.

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