Educators in Madera voted overwhelmingly this week to accept a new contract offer from Madera Unified School District. Teachers there were on the verge of striking, but with this agreement, they have a short term fix.
The deal comes after teachers signaled they favored a strike in an unofficial vote six weeks ago. The teachers union is welcoming the district’s latest offer, but while it gets teachers closer to the salaries and benefits they want, other demands like smaller class sizes weren’t on the table. And there’s this: the new contract expires at the end of June.
“I'm not going to say that we are already planning for a strike next year," says David Holder, who heads the Madera Unified Teachers Assocation. "I'm just going to say that we are concerned over what happened this year, and some of the things that had to take place this year with the protests and some of the picketing,” says Holder. By picketing, he’s referring to a district event four weeks ago, where hundreds of union members picketed outside.
Madera Unified and the Union negotiated for seven months, just to reach a deal for the next three. They’ll be back at the bargaining table this summer.