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Irvine

May 10, 2000|Mathis Winkler, (949) 764-4311

A unanimous vote by Irvine Unified School District trustees to ratify a new teachers contract last week ended months of unrest.

But while union members had grudgingly agreed to accept a compromise, teacher representatives described the vote as "truly a sad time for us all."

Although 653 teachers had endorsed the new contract, which strips away a 280-minute uniform school day and eliminates caps on class sizes, 322 had voted against the change.

"The bottom-line rationale for ratification was that the district had the right to impose their last, best and final offer," said Irvine Teachers Assn. President Gail Rothman at the school board meeting last week.

But responding to Rothman's comments, Sue Long, the district's deputy superintendent for human resources and chief labor negotiator, said legally binding timelines had given the district no other choice but to push ahead with the compromise.

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