More than 500 classified employees of the Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District are continuing to work without a contract after negotiations last week with a state mediator failed to resolve the issue of retroactive pay.
The employees, who are clerical workers, librarians and instructional aides represented by the California School Employee Assn., want their 6.5% pay raise made retroactive to July 1 because their contract expired June 30, said Betty Myers, the CSEA chapter president at the district. An impasse was declared in September after the district refused to make the pay raise retroactive to July 1 and instead offered retro pay to Sept. 1.
Myers said the union employees were told Aug. 29 they had to settle by Aug. 31 or they would not receive the retro pay. "We feel they didn't give us enough time to negotiate and they didn't inform us of a deadline," she said.
Shelby Wagner, assistant superintendent for personnel services, said it is district policy to start the effective date of salary increases in the month that negotiations are resolved. He said the deadline was an incentive "to finish negotiations so they don't drag on forever."
A dozen other issues negotiated for a new contract have been resolved. Both sides will be meeting again with the state mediator, he said.