Negotiators for about 800 non-teaching employees who are locked in a contract dispute with the Anaheim City School District say they will continue to picket meetings of the Board of Education until a state mediator arrives next month.
At issue are this year's pay increases: The district has offered the employees a 6% raise and the employees are holding out for 7%.
An impasse in negotiations was declared at the end of January, and a state mediator is scheduled to conduct three meetings with the two sides in April.
In the meantime, the employees say they plan to demonstrate--as they did last month--with picket signs and bullhorns at the twice-monthly board meetings.
"We're very hopeful that the board will be personally involved with the mediator in settling this," said Jack Ashley, a field representative for the California School Employees Assn. "After that process is followed, I won't rule out anything. The employees are upset."
District Supt. Meliton Lopez said he feels confident that the pay issue will be resolved quickly with the help of the mediator, and that the employees will not feel a need to strike.
"I like to think we have a good relationship with our employees," said Lopez. "I hope we're not at the point where there would be a work stoppage."