Striking public school teachers returned to their classrooms Wednesday, ending a six-day walkout without any sign of a settlement in their wage dispute with the Compton Unified School District. For the past two months, the 1,200 members of the Compton Education Assn. have been conducting an on-again, off-again job action in protest of a pay scale that makes them the lowest-paid teachers in Los Angeles County.
To further dramatize the cause, union executive director Wiley Jones has gone on a hunger strike, vowing not to eat until a new three-year contract is signed. The teachers want a raise of at least 7.3% this year so that salaries will come closer to the county median. Negotiators for the district, however, are currently offering a 5% increase.