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Teachers Get a Cut in Pay

October 18, 1987

On Sept. 30, Tustin teachers were shocked by a 2% pay cut that was reflected in their first paycheck of the 1987-88 school year.

The pay cut came about because of a quirk in the current contract which ends in June, 1988. Two percent of the 6% raise in that contract was tied to lottery monies, with the stipulation that the 2% would continue into this school year if lottery apportionments reached $100 per Tustin student.

While the lottery apportionments reached roughly $92 statewide, Tustin's share will be closer to $87 because of a declining enrollment penalty. Still, that translates into $869,680 of the district budget.

The cost of the 2% is approximately $300,000, which would still leave over $500,000 for programs. But the board adopted the district administration's recommendation to cut teacher salaries by 2%.

Teachers have several concerns about the hard-line stance the district has taken: Teachers signed the contract in good faith so that if the lottery money disappeared the district would not be impacted. The district will receive $85 of the $100 apportionment, and they will not share the proportional amount with teachers. Because they did not get a full glass of water, they will give teachers no water.

What this means is that a teacher with an annual salary of $30,000 will lose $600 as the board's decision now stands. If, however, that same teacher would lose only what the district would lose short of $100 per student, that same teacher's pay reduction for the year would be $78, a significant difference.

Administrators who received the same raises as teachers will not lose 2% of their salary this year.

We urge the board to send their negotiator to the table with at least the usual 0% offer, thereby restoring the 2% pay cut. Then serious negotiations can begin. All we are asking for is fair treatment and fair salaries.

GEORGE KORICH

Santa Ana

Korich is president of the Teachers Education Assn. in Tustin.

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