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L.B. Teachers Protest Over Stalled Pay Talks

December 12, 1985|DAVID HALDANE | Times Staff Writer

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.

'Angry and Frustrated'

"I know that the teachers are angry and frustrated," Goddard said. "More and more are (talking about) leaving the district."

The Public Employee Relations Board in Los Angeles ruled earlier this week that an impasse exists in the teacher negotiations and assigned a mediator to work with negotiators toward reaching a settlement. The contract expired three months ago.

Goddard said that representatives of both sides would meet with the mediator Monday to begin that process.

Long Beach teachers currently earn $19,749 a year to start. The top of the scale is $36,985 for teachers with master's degrees and 24 years' experience. Under the district's last proposal, salaries for beginning teachers would go to $20,600 a year, with the most experienced teachers earning $39,155 a year.

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