Teaching Profession

L.A. District, Union Leaders Agree To Tentative Pact

By Julie Blair — January 31, 2001 2 min read

Union leaders and district officials in Los Angeles agreed last week to a tentative three-year contract that would raise educators’ salaries handsomely and give principals more power in assigning teaching jobs.

In a 12-hour bargaining session Jan. 22, Superintendent Roy Romer and President Day Higuchi of United Teachers Los Angeles personally pounded out the final details of the agreement, which would ultimately award teachers and other certified personnel average raises of 11 percent this school year, said John Terez, the vice president of the union.

Under terms of the pact, which still requires ratification by the school board and the union rank and file, salary negotiations for the following two years would be reopened as soon as the California legislature approved the state’s annual budget. That action is expected within the next five months, Mr. Terez said.

The tentative contract also attempts to ensure that more students are taught by credentialed, experienced teachers, Mr. Terez said. If approved, principals could prescribe some teachers’ work schedules. Currently, the choicest nine-month shifts in the year-round Los Angeles Unified School District go to those with the most seniority.

“Overall, this is one of the best contracts we’ve ever had,” Mr. Terez said. “It has put teachers in a competitive position with other teachers in the county.”

“We made real gains on doing a better job of managing the district,” Mr. Romer added.

Superintendent Romer, the former Colorado governor picked to lead the nation’s second-largest school district last June, anticipates that the school board will approve the contract, although by a narrow vote, next month.

Union members will likely ratify the proposal in a vote scheduled for Feb. 12-14, according to Mr. Terez.

Veterans Benefit Most

The district’s 44,000 teachers had been working under the old contract since July 1, Mr. Terez said. UTLA members had threatened to strike Feb. 27 if an agreement had not been reached.

Under the tentative contract, teachers with more experience would reap a far greater proportion of the settlement. The salaries of beginning teachers who are fully credentialed would increase from $37,000 to $39,000 this year, Mr. Terez said. Those educators who have 30 years’ experience and are at the top of the pay scale would be paid $70,000, up from $61,000.

The pay and benefits package would cost the district $249 million this school year, Mr. Romer said. The cost of the entire three-year package would be dependent on the negotiations following passage of the state budget.The 723,000-student district would probably have to cut spending in areas that have yet to be specified, and utilize some reserves to pay for the proposed raises, Mr. Romer said. The district’s current annual budget is $8 billion.

In addition to the perceived win on salary issues, union leaders said they were pleased that talk of a merit-based pay system had been short-circuited during the seven months of negotiations.

The contract would instead authorize a voluntary pilot program that would award bonuses based on students’ test scores. Each time individual students showed improvement on the state reading test, their schools would receive grants ranging from $40 to $80 per pupil.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the January 31, 2001 edition of Education Week as L.A. District, Union Leaders Agree To Tentative Pact

Let us know what you think!

We’re looking for feedback on our new site to make sure we continue to provide you the best experience.

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Future of Work Webinar
Digital Literacy Strategies to Promote Equity
Our new world has only increased our students’ dependence on technology. This makes digital literacy no longer a “nice to have” but a “need to have.” How do we ensure that every student can navigate
Content provided by Learning.com
Mathematics Online Summit Teaching Math in a Pandemic
Attend this online summit to ask questions about how COVID-19 has affected achievement, instruction, assessment, and engagement in math.
School & District Management Webinar Examining the Evidence: Catching Kids Up at a Distance
As districts, schools, and families navigate a new normal following the abrupt end of in-person schooling this spring, students’ learning opportunities vary enormously across the nation. Access to devices and broadband internet and a secure

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Data Analyst
New York, NY, US
New Visions for Public Schools
Project Manager
United States
K12 Inc.
High School Permanent Substitute Teacher
Woolwich Township, NJ, US
Kingsway Regional School District
MS STEM Teacher
Woolwich Township, NJ, US
Kingsway Regional School District

Read Next

Teaching Profession After a Stillbirth, This Teacher Was Denied Paid Leave for Recovery. Here's Her Story
A District of Columbia teacher delivered a stillborn baby and was denied paid maternity leave. Her story, told here, is not uncommon.
6 min read
Illustration of a woman.
iStock/Getty
Teaching Profession Opinion What Your Students Will Remember About You
The best teachers care about students unconditionally but, at the same time, ask them to do things they can’t yet do.
2 min read
Images shows a stylized artistic landscape with soothing colors.
Getty
Teaching Profession High Risk for COVID-19 and Forced Back to Class: One Teacher's Story
One theater teacher in Austin has a serious heart condition and cancer, but was denied the ability to work remotely. Here is her story.
9 min read
Austin High School musical theater teacher and instructional coach Annie Dragoo has three underlying health conditions noted by the CDC as being high-risk for coronavirus complications, but was denied a waiver to continue working from home in 2021.
Austin High School musical theater teacher and instructional coach Annie Dragoo has three underlying health conditions noted by the CDC as being high-risk for coronavirus complications, but was denied a waiver to continue working from home in 2021.
Julia Robinson for Education Week
Teaching Profession Photos What Education Looked Like in 2020
A visual recap of K-12 education in 2020 across the United States.
1 min read
On Sept. 24, 2020, distance learners are seen on a laptop held by teacher Kristen Giuliano who assists student Jane Wood, 11, in a seventh-grade social studies class at Dodd Middle School in Cheshire, Conn. Many schools around the state have closed temporarily during the school year because of students or staff testing positive for COVID-19. Within the first week of November 2020, nearly 700 students and more than 300 school staff around Connecticut tested positive, according to the state Department of Public Health.
Teacher Kristen Giuliano assists Jane Wood, 11, during a 7th grade social studies class in September at Dodd Middle School in Cheshire, Conn., while other students join the class remotely from home.
Dave Zajac/Record-Journal via AP