The Glendale Unified School District's classified employees have rejected a tentative agreement that would have given them a 9.2% salary increase.
The rejection means that the two sides must go into mediation for the third time since negotiations started nine months ago.
California School Employees Assn. Local 3 bargained with the district collectively for two groups of workers, but only one of them accepted the contract. Charles Duncan, district spokesman, said the split vote means that the contract has been rejected.
"The union represented both groups," Duncan said. "This means we're back at impasse."
The group that approved the contract was composed of maintenance, custodial and warehouse workers. The group composed of clerical, food service, data processing and purchasing employees rejected the district's offer.
At issue in the split vote was a salary increase for clerical workers that Local 3 had requested be included in the agreement, said Mary Meehan, spokeswoman and chief negotiator for the classified employees.
As part of previous contract negotiations, the district had conducted a comparative study of all its employees to see if they were paid in accordance with what workers in other school districts and in private businesses are paid.
The district concluded that the clerical and food service group was underpaid and that the custodial group was in line with salaries for that job classification. As part of that study, the board recommended that the food service and clerical workers be given a salary increase to bring them up to par with those in similar jobs elsewhere.
But the tentative two-year agreement that was reached two weeks ago stipulated that the allocation would not be granted and that, instead, all employees would get a 2.5% pay raise in addition to the 6.7% cost-of-living increase.
Local 3 represents about 960 uncertified employees, about 600 of whom are in the group that rejected the contract. However, only 200 members voted on the agreement.