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Teachers Ratify Contract Calling for 10% Raise

October 09, 1997

Los Angeles schoolteachers have overwhelmingly ratified a contract extension giving them a 10% raise over the next three years, union officials said Wednesday after a day of counting ballots.

Members of United Teachers-Los Angeles voted 18,856 to 4,324, or 81% to 19%, to accept their first true salary increase in seven years.

If the Los Angeles Board of Education ratifies the agreement as expected, the teachers will see a 6% increase beginning with their Nov. 7 checks and receive a separate check making the raise retroactive to July 1, UTLA President Day Higuchi said.

Another 4% will be added over the second and third years, Higuchi said.

The contract with the Los Angeles Unified School District pledges teachers for the first time to be held accountable for their performance.

Details of how to reward teachers who excel and punish those who don't are yet to be negotiated and would require ratification by the teachers, Higuchi said.

Opposition to the new contract focused on a provision that will phase out a $2,500 stipend that has been provided to about 4,000 teachers who earned a cultural awareness certificate that now is required of all California credential candidates.

The teachers absorbed a 10% pay cut during the recession of the early 1990s and had only regained the lost ground with a series of small raises and a bonus last year.

Although the proposed agreement only applies to teachers, the district has historically offered similar settlements to the seven other unions representing school workers.

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