LONG BEACH — An estimated 400 teachers packed the regular meeting of the Long Beach Board of Education Monday to protest stalled contract negotiations with the district. They also criticized the $90,000 salary the board has agreed to pay its recently hired district superintendent, E. Tom Giugni.
Giugni (pronounced Junee), head of the Sacramento City Unified School District, was named superintendent at a special board meeting Thursday. His four-year contract, effective Feb. 1, calls for an annual salary of $90,000. Giugni currently makes $70,000 a year. Francis Laufenberg, the district's previous superintendent who retired in July, earned about $77,000.
District officials have justified Giugni's salary by saying that it is comparable to the salary paid the superintendent of the San Francisco Unified School District, which is about the same size as the Long Beach district, and by explaining that it represents financial compensation for certain benefits Giugni will lose by coming to Long Beach.
Don Goddard, president of the Teachers Assn. of Long Beach, said members of his organization are disturbed that the board has given such a hefty raise to the superintendent's salary when it has taken teachers nearly eight months of negotiating to get the school board to offer even a modest wage increase to the teachers. The union has rejected that proposal.