COMPTON — Public school administrators and striking teachers have agreed to ask an administrative law judge to help negotiate a settlement in the two-month contract dispute that has cost the Compton Unified School District at least $3 million.
Although most of the district's 1,400 teachers did not show up for work Wednesday morning for the eighth time since the on-again, off-again strike began, Supt. Ted D. Kimbrough said the union has agreed to return to work today and remain through Tuesday as the mediator studies the stalled contract negotiations.
Kimbrough said negotiators on both sides agreed that, "Maybe what we need is a cooling off period and some assistance in reaching a settlement."
The Compton Education Assn. wants teachers to receive a raise next year of at least 7.3%, but district negotiators are offering a three-year series of increases that would start at 5%. District officials also filed 10 examples of what Kimbrough described as unfair labor practices.
"We're always interested in reaching a settlement in whatever manner is necessary," union spokesman John Burritt said. "If the district is entering (talks with the administrative law judge) in good faith, then I think it's positive . . . We'll stay at the table as long as it's productive."