School board members are scheduled to decide tonight whether to begin negotiating a new contract with the teachers union.
Among the issues up for discussion are medical benefits, wages, the retirement plan, class sizes and whether to force all of the Simi Valley Unified School District's 950 teachers into the union.
Though the current three-year contract has not expired, wages are renegotiated on an annual basis, depending on yearly changes in state education spending.
Of particular interest to the union is the fact that since mandatory union membership was discontinued, the union must represent 100 or so nonunion teachers who benefit from the union's contract without paying dues, union President Ginny Jannotto said.
School board President Carla Kurachi said she favors requiring all teachers to belong to the union. So do trustees Diane Collins and Janice DiFatta. Trustees Norm Walker and Caesar Julian said they generally oppose a contract clause that would require membership. Walker and Julian both said, though, that they would be willing to look at a proposal before reaching a final decision.
The school board will meet at 6:30 p.m. in the City Council chambers in City Hall, 2929 Tapo Canyon Road.