L.A. Teachers Accept Board Plan To Pay Back 3 Percent Salary Cuts

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Los Angeles teachers voted last month to accept an offer from the school district to pay back the 3 percent that was cut from their salaries in November.

The agreement on the one-year contract put an end to discussion of a strike this school year.

The financially strapped district will pay the money back, with interest, over a four-year period.

The district intends to make the same offer to the bargaining units representing other employees whose salaries were cut, according to a spokesman.

The first payment to teachers of at least 0.5 percent must be made by June 1993, said Catherine M. Carey, the union's spokesman. The district must finish reimbursing teachers by December 1995.

Reimbursing teachers will cost the school district about $6.5 million annually, plus 5 percent interest. No figures were available on the total cost of paying back all district employees.

Los Angeles teachers will lose about 1 percent of their annual pay this year, however, for taking two furlough days.

When negotiations begin in the spring for a new contract, Ms. Carey said, the district has agreed to consider teachers' full pay as a base.

"We won't be bargaining from a schedule that is 3 percent less," she said.

The teachers also retained their full health coverage this year through a separate set of negotiations that also involved other district unions.

The agreement does not preclude the possibility of further pay cuts next year if California's financial situation does not improve.

But the agreement obligates the school district to pay back this year's cuts, regardless of what happens in future years.--A.B.

Vol. 11, Issue 16, Page 19

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