With the opening of school five days away, contract negotiations between the Los Angeles Unified School District and United Teachers-Los Angeles have begun in earnest, but both sides say they are far from reaching agreement.
The district has offered a 4.1% salary increase, which would cost about $46 million, and maintaining last year's medical and health benefits would add about another $11 million, said the district's negotiator, attorney Richard N. Fisher.
The union has asked for a 12% raise for all teachers, which would cost about $131 million. The district employs about 33,000 teachers and about 22,000 are union members.
"We proposed 12% but feel it is conservative," union negotiator John Britz said.
The district is "interested in exploring" a multi-year contract with the teachers' union, Fisher said, that would set salaries for possibly two years.
Also on the bargaining table is a district proposal to pay fully qualified bilingual teachers a $5,000 bonus.
The union has also proposed a "school-based management" program in which teachers would be given broader authority over school budgets, curriculum and teacher assignments.
The district has not formally responded to the school-based management proposal.
The teachers are working under a three-year contract that ran out June 30 but was extended until it is replaced by a new agreement or is canceled by either party.