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Community Digest

Long Beach

April 11, 1985

The Long Beach Unified School District must pay its 2,700 teachers the 2% pay raise called for in their current three-year contract, a Superior Court judge has ruled. The California Teachers Assn. had sued the district in Los Angeles Superior Court, claiming that the teachers should have received a 9% pay raise at the beginning of the 1984-85 school year, instead of the 7% increase they were given.

Judge John Cole's order, issued Monday, said the teachers must be paid the extra money retroactively with interest.

According to the Teachers Assn. of Long Beach, teachers' raises are decided by a formula based on the amount of daily attendance money the district receives from the state each year. The district gave the teachers a 7% increase, while the association contended that they deserved 9%.

District spokesman Richard Van Der Laan said that, although it is "premature to speculate about possible appeals," the board of education will meet with its attorney Monday and decide upon the best course of action.

"To pay the additional 2% salary increase would cost an estimated $1.7 million and would result in a teachers' salary schedule 11.2% higher than the year before," Van Der Laan said.

The average Long Beach teacher earns an annual $29,048, and the court-ordered pay hike would increase that salary by about $581.

The Long Beach Redevelopment Agency this week moved the city one step closer to approving what development bureau manager Roger C. Anderman said would be the downtown area's largest redevelopment project to date.

The agency extended until April 30 an exclusive negotiation agreement with local developer Stanley Cohen on a proposed 400,000-square-foot office building and 500-room Sheraton Hotel to be built across Ocean Boulevard from the Long Beach Convention Center.

The extension of the agreement was precipitated by a letter to the city from North America Taisei Corp., a Japanese-owned company with offices in New York and Los Angeles, expressing interest in becoming a partner with Cohen in the project. Cohen has been seeking a financial partner for the proposed Shoreline Square Project for the past two years.

"We feel this is the strongest evidence of commitment that we have seen to date," said Anderman, referring to the Taisei letter dated April 7.

By granting the extension, he said, the agency was giving Taisei's board of directors time to formally approve the joint venture between Cohen and Taisei, which it is expected to do on April 25.

"It's important to get that block across from the Convention Center cleaned up," Anderman said. "The city is trying to attract people to the Convention Center and we need to show them the best face that we can."

In other action, the agency authorized eminent domain proceedings to begin condemnation of the last parcels of property at the site of a proposed IDM Corp. development bounded by Broadway, First Street and Pine and Pacific avenues. It also scheduled a May 7 joint meeting with the City Council to take final action on the proposed project.

A public hearing on proposed Long Beach Transit fare increases is scheduled for 3 to 6 p.m. Tuesday.

Transit officials have announced that a 20% increase in revenues is necessary during the fiscal year beginning July 1. During the hearing, to be held in the lower level auditorium of the Long Beach Main Library at 101 Pacific Ave., the transit board will consider several options, including increases in adult, senior citizen, student, disabled and Dial-A-Lift fares and in the price of passes and ticket books.

"We are operating in a very difficult financial environment," said Laurence W. Jackson, president and general manager of Long Beach Transit. With future federal support for public transit uncertain, he said, increased fares are necessary to avoid service cutbacks.

The board may make a decision on the fare increases as early as April 22.

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