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Metropolitan Digest / LOS ANGELES COUNTY NEWS IN BRIEF

LOS ANGELES : School District, Union in Long Mediation Session

August 26, 1994

The Los Angeles Unified School District and its teachers union were locked in a mediation session with a state arbitrator late Thursday, a sign that both sides are attempting to break their deadlock over a salary dispute.

"We haven't really moved much, but we are still talking," said school district spokesman Bill Rivera. Before the session at the school district's headquarters, teachers union President Helen Bernstein characterized the talks as a positive sign and a chance to "use every opportunity" to reach a settlement.

Any new offer from the district would have to be approved by the full seven-member Board of Education before it can be formally presented to the teachers union. School board President Mark Slavkin is the only board member attending the mediation.

The district has offered to restore 7% of a 10% salary cut for teachers--which includes an indefinite 4% restoration and a 3% one-year-only return. The union has rejected the offer, calling for a full 10% restoration. Unless a new offer is presented, the next step in the negotiations process is fact-finding, in which a neutral arbitrator will issue a non-binding report on the merits of the case.

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