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Union Agrees to 10% Pay Hike for Teachers

November 30, 2000|ANNA GORMAN

The union representing Ventura teachers has reached a tentative agreement with the district that would raise salaries 10%.

Under the agreement, teachers would receive a 2% raise retroactive to July 1 and another 8% Feb. 1, according to union President Steve Blum.

Teachers in the Ventura Unified School District also would receive a 1.54% increase in health benefits this school year and 4.2% next year.

To pay for the increases, the district agreed to cut its administration budget by $211,000.

The agreement also calls for increasing class size from 33 to 34 in grades six through 12 and the counseling load from 370 students to 415 per counselor.

"I think we got a good deal," Blum said. "Obviously, we are glad to be through this."

The agreement comes after several months of tense negotiations. Hundreds of teachers showed up at two board meetings this month to demand higher salaries. The union, which has about 850 members, declared an impasse earlier this month, and both sides had agreed to bring in a state mediator.

"It doesn't look like we're going to need it," Assistant Supt. Jerry Dannenberg said. "It looks like we are going to be able to solve it ourselves."

The union members are expected to vote on the agreement within two weeks, and then board members are expected to vote on the pact.

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