Labor deal lessens blow to SFUSD staff 

A tentative labor deal expected to save hundreds of jobs and avert a teachers strike at San Francisco public schools was reached Tuesday.

The San Francisco Unified School District and United Educators of San Francisco came to agreement on a labor contract just minutes before Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting, where commissioners were set to vote on sending final layoff notices this week to about 350 certificated staffers to help close a $113 million budget deficit.

The tentative two-year deal would reduce the number of layoffs to “a little bit under 200,” SFUSD Superintendent Carlos Garcia said, meaning the district will not have to increase class sizes.

In addition, there will be 200-plus layoffs that are not budget-related, SFUSD spokeswoman Gentle Blythe said.

Both sides made concessions that would improve working conditions while saving the district $27 million, and potentially another $2 million in the future, teachers union President Dennis Kelly said.

The state mandates that final layoff notices be sent to district employees by Saturday.

The agreement might stave off a strike by teachers. The union, which represents some 6,000 district employees, had planned May 20 as the date to hold a strike vote after negotiations became increasingly contentious.

If the district holds up its end of the deal, May 20 will be the date union members will vote to ratify the contract, Kelly said.

The district initially recommended 701 budget-related layoffs, but slashed that number in half early Tuesday. That decision came after 17 straight hours of mediated negotiations the previous day that failed to produce a deal.

The two sides returned to the table Tuesday afternoon and managed to strike a last-minute agreement.

The union agreed to eight furlough days and to cut employee stipends in half during the next two years, he said.

Seniority ultimately will dictate who gets laid off, Kelly said.

Since the deal is tentative, the district will still send out 350 final layoff notices in order to meet the state deadline. But the pink slips will include a notice stating that they may still have their jobs if the union agrees to the deal.

Massive cuts avoided

The San Francisco Unified School District and the United Educators of San Francisco struck a deal Tuesday to help reduce the budget deficit.

$113 million SFUSD budget deficit

350 Layoff notices that were to be voted on

200 Layoffs agreed to

200-plus Layoffs not related to budget deficit

701 Layoffs originally proposed

8 Furlough days in agreement

$27 million Savings resulting from agreement

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