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VENTURA COUNTY ROUNDUP / West County | Oxnard

Rio School Board to Vote on Contract

October 04, 2000|ANNA GORMAN

After months of contentious negotiations between the teachers union and district officials, the Rio Elementary School District board is set to vote tonight on a settlement agreement proposed by a state mediator.

The three-year contract would raise salaries by 10% for teachers working on emergency permits, 12% for most teachers, and 15% for teachers who have at least 45 units of additional training or a master's degree and have been teaching for at least 12 years.

If the contract is approved, teachers without credentials would start at $33,133, and credentialed teachers would earn $35,700 their first year, Supt. Yolanda Benitez said.

The proposed agreement also sets teaching hours and benefits, and outlines how the district plans to implement its peer assistance and review programs, part of Gov. Gray Davis' reforms aimed at improving teacher quality.

The teachers and administrators began negotiating last spring, and called in a state mediator a few months later. The mediator proposed the agreement during negotiations Sept. 15, and the Rio Teachers Assn. ratified it Sept. 22. If approved, the contract would be effective from July 1, 2000 to June 30, 2003.

"This was a very difficult impasse," Benitez said. "And I'm glad that we have come to an agreement so that everybody can get focused on the business of children."

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