In Beverly Hills's First Strike, Teachers Seek 18 Percent Raise

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Teachers in Beverly Hills, Calif., last week stayed out of the classroom for the second straight week in the affluent community's first teacher strike.

Approximately 300 teachers went on strike Oct. 16 after rejecting the school board's offer to increase their salaries by 11 percent over the next two years.

Beverly Hills teachers are seeking a pay hike of 10.5 percent this year and a total of 18 percent over the two-year period. The school district maintains it cannot afford such increases.

Concerned parents have offered to donate money to the district, and the school board has accepted the offers, according to a spokesman for the district.

District officials have hired4substitutes in an effort to keep the schools open. However, attendance in the 4,700-student system fell last week to about 60 percent, the spokesman said.

The Beverly Hills board has proposed increasing the starting salary for teachers for this school year from $21,604 to $28,041.

Veteran teachers in the district can earn up to $46,270 annually. The board has proposed raising that figure to $54,099 during the 1990-91 school year by using an "incentive increment" plan that the Beverly Hills Education Association has rejected.

In addition, the school board and teachers' union remain divided over health-insurance premiums and the length of teachers' work days.--ab

Vol. 09, Issue 09

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