SMMUSD Reaches Tentative Agreement with SEIU 99, Education Workers United

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The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District has reached a tentative agreement with SEIU 99, the union representing 50,000 education workers from k-12, community colleges, AND early education centers, including SMMUSD. Union members will vote on whether or not to approve the deal online starting today through Wednesday.

“The solidarity we showed brought us to this point. Voting yes now, so we can prepare to bargain for more increases in 2025,” explains Jessica Maclearn, Paraeducator at John Adams Middle School. 

The deal includes an 18% wage increase for SEIU workers in the next two years in addition to a 10% one earned in previous bargaining and increases to health care and other benefits. It is widely expected that the union members will vote to ratify the deal avoiding the first strike against SMMUSD in as long as anyone can remember.

“After months of actions, we’ve made significant progress for a strong contract,” explains Henry Plascencia, Bargaining team member & Skilled Maintenance Worker at SMMUSD, exclaims, “ I’m voting ‘yes’ to guarantee the wage increases we deserve.”

While relations between SMMUSD and its workers have traditionally been relatively low-key. However, this Spring SEIU members picketed a board meeting and outside of Santa Monica High School to draw attention to negotiations between the union and district.

Other highlights of the deal include:

January 1, 2024 – 5% wage increase + retroactive pay to 1/24

July 1, 2024 – 3% wage increase 

2024-25 school year – Two step adjustment effective on step increase date = 5% increase

2025-26 school year – Two step adjustment effective on step-increase date = 5% increase 

$1000 bonus for all upon ratification of the agreement

1 additional bereavement day for a death outside of immediate family.

$20,000 life insurance benefit at no cost to the employee.

Increased basis for Security Officers, Paraeducators, Health Office Specialists, and Food & Nutrition Service Workers. 

Improved health care benefits for part time workers, including reduced out-of-pocket costs for workers. 

Santa Monica Next has reached out to SMMUSD for comment and will update this post when we hear back from them.

Damien Newton
Damien Newton
Damien is the executive director of the Southern California Streets Initiative which publishes Santa Monica Next, Streetsblog Los Angeles, Streetsblog San Francisco, Streetsblog California and Longbeachize.

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