A fact-finding panel brought in to assist with talks between the Berkeley Unified School District and one of its unions finally led to a contract breakthrough -- after three years of negotiations.
The district and the Berkeley Council of Classified Employees, which represents 590 employees, hammered out the details of an agreement on Wednesday.
“We entered into the fact-finding phase early on Tuesday morning, and everyone worked together nonstop until we were able to reach a tentative agreement at 3:30 a.m. on Wednesday,” Superintendent Donald Evans said in a prepared statement. “It was a productive process.”
While the two sides had worked out a number of issues prior to this week, they could not agree on the district’s proposed transfer policy allowing it to shift employees between various job sites. The proposal put forward by the fact-finding team included language that offered protections to workers.
The two sides had also disagreed on the amount employees would pay for their health care. The district agreed to increase its contribution by $60 a month, starting in January 2015.