San Ysidro teachers end strike

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SAN DIEGO - Teachers reached a contract agreement with the San Ysidro School District Monday, ending a four-day strike.

The teachers' union reached a tentative agreement with the district after marathon negotiations over the weekend.

The district's 200 teachers voted to ratify the deal Monday morning and will return to their classrooms at 8 a.m..

The teachers went on strike on Tuesday after contract negotiations reached an impasse.

"They should be proud, they should be very proud," said Carol Wallace of the San Ysidro Education Association.  "We went from take backs to actually having the district give us the raise that we deserve."

The tentative agreement includes a 1 percent salary increase plus a 1 percent bonus this year and a additional 1 percent raise a year until the contract ends in June 2016, said San Ysidro Education Association President Carol Wallace.

Wallace said union members could not accept the former contract because they felt the district was trying to manipulate the numbers.  Initially, the board of trustees was considering a 6.5% pay cut, but then offered teachers a 1.5% pay raise with a .5% bonus.

"They also included an extra 5 minutes of instruction time, which is working two additional days," said Wallace.  "We went from take backs to actually having the district give us the raise that we deserve."

"What triggered our hope in this process was arriving at an amicable settlement, where the two parties could agree at something which was fair and reasonable, but also recognize the financial crisis we find ourselves in," said Dr. George Cameron, Acting Superintendent.

Union leaders told Fox 5 they were not able to improve health benefits as part of the new contract.  They said they intend to bring it back to the table for 2015.

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