Local teachers will soon be headed back to the bargaining table and asking for a better labor contract.
The United Teachers of Richmond and the West Contra Costa Unified School District reached a tentative deal that would have provided a 1 percent raise in April and another 0.25 percent raise in July, but it was voted down by educators Wednesday.
"Our members decided that it wasn't good enough," United Teachers of Richmond President Diane Brown said.
The final vote was 480 in favor of the deal and 513 against it, with 65 percent of members voting, she said.
"Basically, the members opposed the salary improvements. They didn't consider it a raise," Brown said. "As a matter of fact ... it was called 'paltry.' "
She pointed out that local teachers haven't seen any salary increases in six years, and are "very much interested in multi-year increases."
The district and union were scheduled to return to the negotiating table April 15, but that date may change now that the tentative deal has been struck down.
"We haven't talked to them [the district] yet," Brown said. "This happened yesterday."
She categorized the negotiations that have taken place so far as difficult but not contentious.
"We would like for the district to let the public know that in our history we have been without any increases," Brown said. "And we would like for the district to publicly say that teachers in this district are a priority and actually show that in the negotiations."