The Alameda Unified School District and the Alameda teachers union agreed to a new three-year contract last week. Teachers will receive a four percent increase this school year under the new pact. But teachers stand to gain another one percent this year if Alameda voters approve a school parcel tax proposed for the March 2020 primary ballot.

Low teacher-pay has been a continuing problem for Alameda school administrators in recent years and has stymied the school district’s ability to retain and attract quality instructors. Alameda has consistently been the among the lowest-paid in Alameda County.

In addition, Alameda teachers will receive an eight percent wage increase during the second year of the contract. The consecutive years of wage increases, however, will only boost Alameda teachers’ pay to roughly the county average and for the first time in two decades, according to the school district.

Under the third year of the contract, the school district teachers union will return to the bargaining table.

“This agreement is the result of creative and principled efforts on both sides of the table,” AUSD Superintendent Pasquale Scuderi said. “We value our teachers, we know their pay has long ranked among the lowest in the county, and this agreement allows us to collaboratively pursue an innovative solution for providing the salaries our employees so clearly deserve, while also allowing the district to remain responsible stewards of the public’s resources.”

In the meantime, snagging the extra retroactive one-percent wage increase at the ballot box next year may be difficult for the teachers and the school district. Polling conducted last summer on a potential parcel tax showed the current taste such a tax was less than the two-thirds majority required for passage.