Classes resume as Ridgefield teachers, district officials reach tentative agreement

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A teachers strike in the Ridgefield School District is at an end after the district and the teachers union reached a tentative agreement on Sunday.

On Sept. 18, both the district and the Ridgefield Education Association (REA) announced an agreement on an expired teaching contract had been met. School was set to resume on Sept. 19. Specific details of the contract will be revealed after the union votes to approve the contract at a general membership meeting on Sept. 20. 

The tentative agreement caps off months of negotiations that started in June over Ridgefield teachers’ new contract, which expired Sept. 1, the second day of school. The REA notified the district on Sept. 6 that if an agreement could not be reached by the following day it would strike on Sept. 9.

The strike lasted for six days, three days longer than the strike the REA conducted in 2018. That year, numerous districts in North Clark County held strikes over disputes about the use of state funding that resulted from a supreme court case decision.



This year, the issues were not just about pay, union officials said. Alongside salary increases based on cost of living adjustments, the union also wanted smaller class sizes for special education students and more paraeducator support. Another union request included more de-escalation training and disciplinary data research to seek solutions for students who break the rules.

Though a final contract wasn’t released to the public on Monday, the latest information from the school district said the details included raises of 7.5% this school year. Raises of 4.5% were set for next school year, followed by at least a 3% raise for the 2024-25 school year. Other agreements the district said it made included reducing special education class sizes, increasing staffing hours and removing morning and afternoon supervision time, which provides teachers with more time for preparation.

“We stuck together, made our strength and unity known, and our action worked,” the REA announced on its Facebook page on Sunday. “Our solidarity on the picket lines and the enormous community support we received made all the difference. We're looking forward to school tomorrow.”

The six days missed during the strike will be treated like weather-related school closures, the district stated. An amended academic calendar will be created and sent out to families as part of the final negotiations.

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