Negotiators for the Los Angeles school district and the teachers union reached a tentative agreement on a salary increase early today. If formally approved by both sides, the agreement would avert a strike that the district's 32,000 teachers had threatened for next Monday.
Catherine Carey, a spokeswoman for United Teachers-Los Angeles, said the agreement calls for a 10% raise for teachers retroactive to last July 1.
Meanwhile, union officials counted ballots cast in Tuesday's strike-authorization vote "just in case," Carey said. But she added, "We are optimistic we have a settlement and there won't be a strike."
Extra State Money
Union and administration sources indicated that the agreement called for using $29 million in extra state money allotted by Gov. George Deukmejian in his revised budget earlier this month to pay the union members' raises retroactive to July 1, when the current fiscal year began.
Negotiations had resumed for the first time in three months on Tuesday, three days after an impartial fact-finding panel authorized by the state issued a report that favored the school district's position. State law requires the fact-finding process as the last step before a public employee union can legally strike.
The talks had broken down in February, shortly after the teachers staged a successful one-day boycott of classes. The 21,000-member union sought the right to assess dues, or "agency fees," from the several thousand teachers in the district who are not union members but are nonetheless represented by UTLA in contract negotiations. The administration, in return, sought an expanded power to transfer teachers from school to school.
Concentrated on Salaries
Both parties later agreed to withdraw those issues from the bargaining process and concentrate on salaries.
When the talks broke down, UTLA was seeking a 14% salary increase for the entire school year, while the school district's best offer was for a 10% raise retroactive only to November--the equivalent of an 8% raise if calculated over the full school year.
The teachers are working under a three-year contract that expires in 1988 but allows renegotiations each year of salary and certain benefits.