Santa Barbara Unified School District Announces Agreements Reached with Teachers Union

Teachers at Santa Barbara High School supporting the Santa Barbara Teacher's Association union (SBTA) in 2024 (courtesy photo)
Teachers at Santa Barbara High School supporting the Santa Barbara Teacher's Association union (SBTA) in 2024 (courtesy photo)

A tentative agreement between SB Unified and Santa Barbara Teachers Association was reached early Thursday morning after negotiating for over 18 hours during the Fact Finding session.

Once ratified, the 3 year contract, which includes two years of salaries settled, will become effective July 1, 2024, and end on June 30, 2027.

This new contract reflects our values to provide competitive wages for our hardworking teachers and keeping our budget fiscally sound while improving student achievement.

Agreements reached were as follows:

  • In 2024-2025 an ongoing salary increase for all educators of 10%.
  • There will be increases to the incoming teacher salary with 13 years of service.
  • The addition of a new step 23 with an increase of 4%.


  • In 2025-2026 a 3% salary increase in July and 2% in January.
  • An increase to provide 14 years of incoming service credit for a maximum step 15.
  • A contingency clause was included for an additional salary increase in case property taxes come in above 5% in 2024-2025.

Previously agreed to tentative agreements for health and welfare and class size reductions will also go into effect.

Additional changes to hours and conditions include:

  • An increase of 2 days to Early Education teachers,
  • A change of calendar to 195 days for school psychologists and speech and language teachers while keeping the same salary,
  • An additional 2 days to Special Education teachers.

We are pleased with the work of the Fact-Finding Panel, SBTA leadership, and the District’s negotiations team.

Our new agreements will allow both parties to move forward and collaborate to realize our motto- Every Child, Every Chance, Every Day.

The tentative agreement must now be ratified by a vote of the bargaining members and approved by the Board.


Written by SBUnified

Press releases written by the Santa Barbara Unified School District (SBUSD). Learn more at

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      • I know this might not be a popular opinion but I’ll chime in. I keep reading comments critical of admin receiving pay raises.
        As a former admin who knows many admin working in the area..
        First, I was a teacher and always considered myself to be one. Those around me pushed me to leadership roles. I was no longer a teacher per se but I was working to support our educational system and my roles were essential.
        The changes to my life were immediate. While I once worked 186 days as a teacher, I was now 210 and then 225. The hours I worked increased dramatically. Sixty plus hours during weekdays to keep up with the work. Worked every Sunday too. Doing the math, I was not making more money per hour, simply working more hours. And the stress increased dramatically. Definitely had a long term effect on my health. I had evening events and weekend events to attend because of my role – I could never volunteer to coach my children’s sports team. I gave up a lot to be a school leader. I’m not looking for sympathy but it was a very hard job. I made the choice to put in the extra time to make a little more money to support my family. So, yeah, I disagree that admin should be left out…. If my district quit paying me increases, I could easily go elsewhere.
        Now, I’m not talking about Hilda here. With how many high quality people that have left, I really wish she wouldn’t get a dime of the districts money. But most admin do deserve the same consideration given to all of the other district employees.
        And the “me too” concept is the statewide norm – admin does not have a union advocating for it’s interests nor would they want to compete with the teacher’s’ interests. if you have a better way for districts to maintain competitive admin pay, I’d love to hear about it.

        • “Competitive admin pay”?? Let’s start with competitive pay for the bottom up – teachers that are doing the teaching. I don’t buy your top down argument one bit. It’s not working now. And that’s the reality.

        • I appreciate your comment. It may not be widely understood by the general public, but everyone in this district knows there is a big difference between a school site administrator and a downtown office administrator. You guys work crazy hours and are the public facing managers of schools tasked with solving a huge variety of problems expertly and quickly. Yes you occasionally make teachers angry with decisions and/or management style, and sometimes parrot the eye-rolling buzz-phrases du jour, but most know that your role on a campus is to make the school work efficiently and to the benefit of everyone, most especially students and teachers. Experienced teachers generally don’t grumble about the pay differences because most of them see the time you put in, they understand you are in the middle of the management sandwich, they know or at least hope you are on their team, and most would never want that job. Few of you last more than ten years in a given role.

          The outside experts Hilda has brought onboard are a different matter. They, along with Hilda herself shouldn’t have ever been hired and certainly don’t deserve any of the teachers’ very hard won raises.

          • Agree 100%. Not everyone who does any type of job deserves the pay. I did call out Hilda. Also, she did create one cabinet level position that never existed. At the time no one balked, and now it gets rubber stamped and it is one of the highest paying. As far as spending money on outside consultants.. So many amazing “home grown” admin left because of her. That was a sign that something was not right in the leadership realm. So decisions such as hiring outside consultants became top down as the experienced local leaders chose to leave as they had no voice anymore.

        • When people talk about admins not getting the “me too” raises, I’m sure that 95% of us are talking about those who are already paid more than a fair wage, like Hilda and the people she has hired.

          SB teachers pay has not been competitive. Hilda’s is MORE than competitive.

          BUT ALSO – I work in the corporate world, and at the top end of the pay scale you do NOT get high % raises. You don’t. There is generally zero reason to give 10% to someone making $50k and 10% to someone making $160k. It simply does not happen. At higher wages, your pay raises are less about % and more about dollar amounts. Think $3k to 6k. “Staff”, like school principals, assistant principals – these wages are closer to teacher wages, and deserving of raises.

  1. So, let me see if I understand this correctly…

    Back in December, the District proposed a 9% raise for 2024-25 followed by a 4% raise in 2025-26. And, today, six months later after hundreds of teachers, students, and community members put in countless hours and effort, they settle for this?

    If you compare this agreement with the proposal from six months ago, the only change is a 1% increase for 2024-25 and >1% increase for 2025-26. I never expected the teachers to get the 15%+8% they were asking for, but my goodness… How can you even consider this a “negotiated” agreement?

  2. I wish the district would do a town hall unpacking of the budget. Hard for me to believe that it is really this tight. Just Tuesday night the board approved 5,000. for board coaching from a former employee now doing a very lucrative consulting business. The board can get coaching pro bono by asking some of our better former board members like Monique Limon, Virginia Alvarez, or Ed Baron. When 88% is spent on salaries and benefits. It leaves 12 % for classroom, facilities and what ever else. Our board has spent considerably on outside consultants. It also spends a lot on special ed, and special ed litigation. So much money could be said in special ed by a bottom up proactive model. This could reduce special ed by 70% . Considering it costs 4x more per students this would be significant. The public and teachers need more transparency. And a chance for reciprocal conversation where questions are answered and facts are shared in an understandable way.

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