Representatives of San Diego Community College teachers Wednesday agreed to a tentative contract giving the instructors a 6% salary increase but requiring them to help pay for their medical benefits.
If approved, the pact will end a 21-month stalemate between administrators and the district's 1,700 teachers, who have continued working without a contract since June, 1983. The pact must still be ratified by teachers, though little opposition is expected.
"I think it is good to get some peace back in the district," said Bob Petty, Mesa College sociology professor who negotiated for the California Teachers Assn., which represents district instructors.
Petty said that, while the new contract eases some tensions, it does not resolve the basic gripe of district teachers, whose pay ranks 57th among the 70 community college districts in the state. Teachers want salary increases that would bring them into the top quarter of community college pay.
The tentative two-year pact would give 6% raises to all teachers now, and 5% increases next year. The 6% increases will cost the district $2 million, to be taken from the district's financial reserves, said Chancellor Garland Peed. He added that part of the money for next year's increases will come from state lottery proceeds.
In addition, the district will pay each teacher $166 a month for medical coverage. Depending on what kind of medical plan the teacher subscribes to, he or she would then have to pay as much as $10 a month.