Cypress School District ratifies teacher pay raise agreement

File ACT courtesy photo

Almost a year after the Cypress School District began negotiations with its teacher’s union, the district’s Board of Trustees officially ratified an agreement during their Oct. 13 board meeting.

After traditional negotiations failed, a state mediator had to be called in to arbitrate a deadlocked negotiation between CSD and the Association of Cypress Teachers (ACT), a teacher’s union of the district’s approximately 200 teachers to reach a pay raise settlement.

It was the first time in the district’s long history that the school district and its teachers failed to voluntarily reach an agreement. The agreement negotiated by the mediator calls for a 3% retroactive raise for the 2021-22 school year and another 6% that was effective beginning July 1, 2022, both sides have confirmed.

The ACT membership approved the pending agreement in September almost immediately after the two sides agreed on the new terms.

“We are very happy to have an agreement,” said Dr. Tim McLellan, CSD Assistant Supt. for Business Services. “The district wants to see our teachers paid as much as possible within the budget,” he said.

“Now that the district Board of Trustees have also approved the agreement, the district will begin processing the checks representing the retroactive pay raise amounts,” McLellan confirmed. He said checks should begin arriving in teachers’ mailboxes sometime in December.

“We are happy the Board approved the contract,” said Elizabeth Dunagan, a teacher who has acted as the ACT’s chief negotiator throughout the process.

Though the pay raise issue has been resolved, she said, the district and the ACT have yet to schedule negotiations on the remaining issues.

Dunagan said the housekeeping issues include work hours, special ed staffing “and some conversation about how teachers can be more active with helping the district decide how funds can best be spent to support our students moving forward.”