BendBend-La Pine Schools, teachers union reach ‘conceptual agreement’ on contract

Bend-La Pine Schools, teachers union reach ‘conceptual agreement’ on contract

Bend-La Pine Schools, teachers union reach ‘conceptual agreement’ on contract

Bend-La Pine Schools, teachers union reach ‘conceptual agreement’ on contract

The Bend-La Pine School District says it has reached a “conceptual agreement” on a new contract with the Bend Education Association after months of negotiations. The new four-year deal is for certified employees including teachers, nurses, school psychologists, social workers and others.

The district said the four-year deal, reached Monday night, will allow both sides to avoid having a state mediator come in.

The agreement includes a cost-of-living increase for certified employees. The district said it will be 6.2% for the current school year, retroactive to July 1, 2023 and 4.15% for 2024-25, effective July 1, 2024.

The district said the agreement includes increases in the district’s insurance premium contribution: $50 a month effective Oct. 1, 2023 and $45 a month effective Oct. 1, 2024.

“The bargaining teams also agreed to reopen discussions in spring 2025 to negotiate salary and insurance cap adjustments for the 2025-26 and 2026-27 school years. In addition, each party will be allowed to reopen two other language items in the contract at that time,” the district said.

Both the union members and the Bend-La Pine school board must approve the agreement.

“This agreement is the result of lengthy and deep discussions with certified employees in our district on issues that matter both to them and to us,” Superintendent Steve Cook said in a statement. “We are committed to continually working to make Bend-La Pine Schools an employer of choice in our region, and to ensure our employees feel valued and cared for. We move closer to these goals with the mutual agreements we worked out through these negotiations.”

“We are pleased to have reached an agreement that prioritizes improvements to workload, learning environments, professional compensation and access to healthcare,” BEA President Sarah Barclay said in a statement. “The bargaining teams were dedicated to finding solutions to issues that our members advanced as necessary improvements for our students, staff and community, and persevered through a difficult process until those issues were addressed sufficiently. This agreement is a step in the right direction, and we still have work to do, together.”

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