At its Feb. 23 meeting, the Hemet Unified School District board unanimously approved a pay raise for its teachers and other employees.

The raises were 1.5 percent retroactive to July 1, 2015, and then another 1-percent increase starting Jan. 1, 2016. In addition, teachers will have two more non-student days per school year.

“We’re very happy with the tentative agreement,” said Board President Jim Smith, prior to the vote.

“I’m very happy to vote for the teachers’ agreement. Everybody came away with what they needed,” said Vic Scavarda, the Idyllwild board member. “The negotiating teams were always respectful and always positive.”

Speaking in favor of the contract were John Graham of Idyllwild and Bonnie Little. No one spoke against the proposed agreement.

The total annual cost for both teachers, and support and management staff will be about $4.2 million, according to Vince Christakos, assistant superintendent. Reserves at the end of fiscal 2016-2017 will be about $23 million.

Beginning July 1, 2018, both the 1-percent salary increase and the two additional non-student days will end.

The beginning salary for a teacher with a bachelor’s degree and no additional graduate credits is $49,872, and in two-and-a-half years it will fall to $49,378.

The approval followed the Hemet Teachers’ Association’s contract ratification, which occurred earlier in February. HTA President William Valenzuela submitted a memorandum to the board confirming HTA’s approval.

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