“The future is bright for Ventura Unified.”
The Ventura Unified School District (VUSD) Board of Education voted unanimously on January 3, 2023, in a special board meeting to ratify the Ventura Education Support Professionals Association (VESPA) and Ventura Unified Education Association (VUEA) contracts. This occurred after an intensive months-long negotiations cycle.
The board sated “We want to acknowledge that this was a very challenging and trying negotiations cycle that had varying impacts across the school community. However, despite the intense process, the agreement we reached has positioned Ventura Unified to be able to recruit and retain the best and brightest staff and educators for the foreseeable future.”
The new contract provides VUSD employees with the following:
1) 10.0% salary schedule increase in 2022-23 retroactive to July 1, 2022.
2) 2.0% off-schedule bonus based on the new 2022-23 salary schedules.
3) Move to a new Group Purchasing Organization (GPO) for health and welfare benefits in 2023-24. The new GPO will offer the same or equitable PPO and HMO products as currently offered.
“The move to a new GPO will provide our employees with similar and even more options to health care than they have had in the past while allowing the District to control its health and welfare costs. This is essential for the District to plan for the future in an environment of declining enrollment. But, more importantly, our employees will be able to choose from additional choices that were not available to them in the past, including the opportunity for cash in lieu of insurance for those already insured under another plan,” stated Ms. Gina Wolowicz, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources.
“The future is bright for Ventura Unified. The District and the associations left the negotiations table with a renewed commitment to working together to provide a quality educational experience for all students,” stated Superintendent Dr. Antonio Castro.
“As a school community, we have been through several very difficult events in the last five years. Therefore, it is important to spend time to connect, reengage, and rebuild relationships that have suffered during the pandemic. We show people we appreciate them by honoring their work, recognizing their commitment to our community’s children, and providing competitive compensation. I know I speak for my colleagues when I say that we recognize that our great schools are a direct result of having an incredibly dedicated and talented staff. They go above and beyond to serve our students and their families daily. We are deeply grateful for their commitment and the love and support they show our students,” stated VUSD Board President Sabrena Rodriguez.