ALAMEDA -- Teachers and officials with the Alameda Unified School District have agreed on a calendar for the upcoming school year and to maintain current class sizes in kindergarten through third grade as part of their contract talks.
Teachers also will receive an extra day's pay during the upcoming school year as part of settling the contract re-openers.
District officials and representatives of the Alameda Education Association will return to the negotiating table in the fall to try and work out a three-year contract. The talks began in January.
Along with maintaining kindergarten through third grade class sizes at 25 students until a new a new contract can be secured, the settlement of the re-openers includes the calendar for the upcoming school year and a process for determining the 2013-2014 calendar.
The announcement of the terms Thursday follows teachers rejecting a tentative contract with the school district in April, saying it would have cut time for classroom instruction, failed to offset previous pay cuts and did not go far enough in lowering class sizes.
The tentative contract offered teachers a one-time bonus equal to 1 percent of their salary, plus a 1.5 percent raise beginning next year. The raise would have switched to a one-time payment, however, in the event the state cuts funding to the district.
The tentative agreement guaranteed teachers more money for at least two years "even in the worse case
But union officials noted that the proposed raise was not guaranteed and followed teachers giving up eight days of pay during the last school year, equal to a 4.5 percent pay cut.
Securing lower class sizes was a key selling point of Measure A, the parcel tax that benefits public schools that city voters passed in March 2011. Failing to achieve it violates the measure's spirit, according to the union.
Larger class sizes also means teachers are carrying a heavier workload.
But district officials say cuts would likely be needed to achieve the goal of a maximum of 20 students in kindergarten through third grade and that some students would have to be moved to different schools.
In December, a state mediator was brought in to help resolve the issue, which has been a stumbling block in the talks.
About 10,000 students are enrolled in the Alameda Unified School District. The Alameda Education Association represents 524 teachers.
Reach Peter Hegarty at 510-748-1654 or follow him on Twitter.com/Peter_Hegarty/.