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L.A. Teachers' Raise Request

October 04, 1998

Re "Schools Must Prioritize Funding," editorial, Sept. 29:

If you're going to bash United Teachers of Los Angeles yet again, at least get the facts straight. One, we have not received a 10% pay increase. What we received was a reinstatement of money owed our members when we bailed out LAUSD. To my knowledge, I've received around a 2% pay increase in the past eight years. What LAUSD may call a raise is actually extra days of potential work time, which not all bargaining members have been able to use. At my school I had to come in during my vacation to enjoy two days of extra pay.

The primary directive given us each year when we choose classes is that we must have the appropriate credentialing for the class we choose, regardless of seniority.

UTLA's goals are to make students the priority. So when I stop spending 10% of my earnings every year to provide a proper program for our students and to further my training, because the district provides both, then I will know that the district is on the same page as the union.

LILIA M. MEZA

UTLA Chapter Chair

Bellagio Road Newcomers School

Los Angeles

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As a senior in LAUSD, I am appalled that at a time when the focus should be on student achievement the board would even consider salary increases for employees.

Our best teachers are certainly overworked and underpaid. However, this should be addressed through merit pay and goal attainment incentives. But a pay increase without a meaningful accountability system that ties student achievement with pay and job security is business as usual. Given the lack of professional standards for teachers and principals, a pay raise would not attract better-qualified teachers; it would only ensure that incompetent teachers remain in the system.

AHSAR LIHKAD

Los Angeles

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