WHITTIER – Teachers and the Whittier City School District reached a tentative, three-year contract agreement that includes a 3percent pay hike retroactive to last month, officials said Monday. But the deal could be in trouble. Teachers’ union officials say lingering bitterness over protracted negotiations that left teachers working without a contract for seven months, plus a recent clash with the school board president, could sink the tentative pact. “It’s gotten really ugly,” said Martha Winans, president of the Whittier Elementary Teachers Association. Teachers voted on the agreement Thursday and Friday. The lack of an agreement had caused teachers to picket in front of schools and at the school board’s meetings. School board President Javier Gonzalez, who is also a teacher, took issue with the union’s tactics. He said the district could not offer teachers a big pay raise without having to cut programs and classified staffers. But Gonzalez also implied that teachers could look elsewhere for jobs if they weren’t satisfied. That prompted outrage from teachers and parents. “The problem is that they are just acting like, I don’t know, like we’re a gnat they just want to get rid of,” Winans said. “There is some good contract language in this agreement,” she added. “But overall, there are negative feelings. And because of what’s gone on, I’m not sure if it’s even going to get ratified.” The tentative agreement includes a 3 percent pay hike effective as of Feb. 1. It also includes increases in paternity leave, from one day to seven days, and more so-called “no questions asked” days off, from two to four annually. It also gives National Board-certified teachers a $500 stipend. District officials praised the agreement. “We were pleased to reach a tentative agreement last week,” Superintendent Carmella Franco said. “Pending a teacher vote on \… it may come up for a board vote on March 20.” Winans was not so sure. “I don’t know what the outcome is going to be,” Winans said. “I’m sitting on pins and needles.” [email protected] (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3051 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!