Teachers in Beverly Hills locked in a new deal Friday that is expected to increase salaries by 11 percent over the next three years — which union officials said will make them the highest paid in L.A. County.
The Beverly Hills Unified School Board unanimously voted to ratify the contract, which lands teachers a 5.16 percent increase for the coming school year.
"With this contract, it definitely makes the district a lot more attractive to qualified teaching candidates," said Telly Tse, a special education teacher who is president of the district's teachers union.
The funding formula behind the raise is unique, according to Tse, who says it's only been tried by a handful of other districts. It comes from secured property tax revenue.
The first year, teachers will get 70 percent of the "positive difference" from a two year range of city property tax revenue (READ: Check out the formula here, see page three), the second and third year of the contract, the amount drops to 65 and 55 percent, respectively.
Beverly Hills teachers last had a raise in July 2011.
The starting salary for teachers in the district is now $49,500, according to Tse. That would appear to make the teachers among the highest paid in country, according to recent data from the National Education Association. By comparison, according to a spokesperson for L.A. Unified's teachers union, teachers there start at $44,071.
Tse hopes that in future negotiations he'll be able to further improve teacher health benefits. On Thursday, 85 percent of teachers voted in favor of the new contract.
"There are still areas that we want to work on," he said. "But for today, we can celebrate."