Support Striking Kaiser Therapists

NUHW members at Elk Grove Unified School District win better wages and benefits in new contract

NewsFebruary 22, 2022

NUHW members at Elk Grove Unified School District unanimously approved a new two-year contract that includes wage increases and a new mechanism to address workplace issues with management.

The agreement includes:

  • 2 percent wage increase retroactive to July 1, 2020, for 2020-2021 school year
  • 2 percent raise retroactive to July 1, 2021, for 2021-2022 school year
  • 2 percent, one-time bonus for the new 2021-2022 salary schedule

This was the first contract for 26 occupational therapists, certified occupational therapy assistants, and physical therapists, who were accreted into the existing contract of 54 mental health therapists and behavior support specialists already represented by NUHW.

“Relief, hope, and protection are three words that come to mind when considering what a ratification vote means to me,” said Jennifer Castillo, an occupational therapy assistant, who served on the Bargaining Committee. “Knowing that we now have support is an extraordinary relief.”

The contract provides up to $150,000 in life insurance for workers as well as 10 days of COVID-19 leave retroactive to last October. The agreement also sets up a working group of NUHW members and district representatives to address long-standing issues including workload burdens and workspace constraints.

The new contract also expands the definition of “immediate family” under bereavement leave to include adopted, foster child, stepchildren, legal ward, or a child dependent of the employee’s spouse or registered domestic partner. In the same vein, the parent definition expands to anyone who the employee or the employee’s spouse and/or registered domestic partner was a dependent of when they were a child.

“There are many positive things that came out of this contract,” said Corri Chadwick, a mental health therapist. “We worked through some very challenging details of the contract and added 20-plus new members in the process. In the end, we were very proud of what we accomplished and were able to bring back to our members.”

The contract still must be approved by Sacramento County Office of Education under the AB1200 County Office of Education Fiscal Oversight process before it goes before the Elk Grove Unified School District Board of Education for final approval.