Representatives of the Beverly Hills Unified School District and its more than 300 teachers will meet again Monday in an attempt to break an impasse in their negotiations for a new contract.
The teachers have been working without a contract since July 1, when their previous contract expired. The two sides have met several times, both before and after the expiration, but have failed to agree on a new pact.
Spokesmen for both the teachers and the school district blame each other for the stalled negotiations. In their last bargaining session Wednesday, neither side presented a proposal.
Walther R. Puffer, assistant superintendent, said district representatives were prepared to receive an offer from the teachers and make a counteroffer if the teacher proposal was "substantive and responsible."
Jacques Bernier, executive director of the Beverly Hills Teachers Assn., said that the teachers were willing to make a proposal only if the district proposal was presented simultaneously.
"They said they were not there to exchange proposals," Bernier said. "They want to see our proposal first. The district is only pretending to bargain."
Puffer said that the district has never released proposals simultaneously. "We have never negotiated that way," he said, "and we are not going to do it in this case. The only proper way to negotiate is to receive the other side's proposal, study it and make a counteroffer, if one is necessary."
Bernier said teachers are seeking a 6% pay increase and improvements in fringe benefits. The average annual salary of Beverly Hills teachers is $35,000.
Puffer said the district wants teachers to agree to an increase in the length of class time, from the current 40 minutes to 50 minutes.