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Teachers, District May Be Closer to Contract

School may be back to normal for Manhattan Beach students if the teachers union approves a new offer from the school district.

Teachers in the Manhattan Beach Unified School District will learn about a proposal the school district is offering them in a meeting today at 4 p.m., said Karl Kurz, president of the Manhattan Beach Unified Teachers Association.

The proposal stems from the first day of negotiations in which a mediator participated [Thursday] and is the first one the teachers union feels comfortable enough to present to its membership.

On the table is a one-year deal in which teachers will receive a 3% salary increase and maintain their current level of benefits, said Kurz. He said the nearly 300 MBUTA membership would vote on the matter next week.

According to a press release from the school district, once approved by the union, the school board, and the Los Angeles County Office of Education, the settlement will:

  • Provide MBUSD teachers with a 3% across the board salary increase retroactive to July 1, 2012. Depending upon per‐student state funding levels in 2013‐2014, the salary increase may or may not continue on an ongoing basis. For example, if per‐student revenues in 2013‐2014 fall $50 below current levels, the ongoing salary adjustment would drop to 2%. If revenues dip $100 below current levels, the ongoing adjustment would become 1%. Should revenues decline by $150 or more per student in 2013‐2014, union members’ salaries would automatically roll back to 2011‐2012 levels.
  • Maintain health and welfare benefits at current levels.
  • Increase the hourly rate paid for extra duties performed outside the regular work day, from $31.83 per hour to $38 per hour.
  • Extend the agreement through June 30, 2014.
  • Provide negotiations re‐openers for 2013‐2014 on salary, benefits, school calendar, elementary teacher preparation time, and up to one additional topic selected by each party.
  • Compensate union members at the daily substitute rate if they are able to defer jury service to summer or other non‐instructional periods.
  • Modify current contract language relative to Article 3, Association Rights.

Many administrators, parents, students and community members have been alarmed and upset by the union, which instructed its members not to work beyond normal school hours or write letters of recommendations for college-bound seniors until contract negotiations were resolved. Teachers implemented the tactic the first day of school on Aug. 29.

MBUTA and MBUSD had been in talks during the school year, however, the district's proposal wasn't palatable to MBUTA, which didn't present the offer to its members. Kurz said the offer was a 2-1/2% one-time bonus [as opposed to a permanent salary increase] and included teachers having to spend more out of their pockets for benefits, essentially eroding the one-time bonus.

Dina Moll September 07, 2012 at 11:01 PM
No matter what your stance is on Unions in general, this cost of living adjustment in teacher's pay is LONG overdue. I wish Patch and other notable South Bay news sources would comment on how every MBUSD DISTRICT employee has received nearly a 6% raise, AND have cut down the number of days they work in a school year, while teachers continue to raise test scores, send students to Ivy league schools, and help the district maintain its top 3% position on the list of California's top performing schools. District officials constantly move money from the "general fund" where teacher's salaries can be improved, to other "untouchable" funds that are mandated by law not to be used for improving teacher's salary. How is this fair? With an enormous amount of money in the district reserves that is "untouchable," this cost of living adjustment is fair, and long overdue. PLUS, the talk of not having any furlough days is a mute point. Redondo Beach Unified does include 5 furlough days in their 2012-2013 school year, and their teachers STILL earn on average $1200 MORE than MBUSD teachers. Okay, my soapbox is done. :) Thanks MBUSD. I hope in the future we can continue this conversation.
Julie Brancato September 07, 2012 at 11:18 PM
Thanks to all who worked so hard to make this happen! Karl and his union reps fought for the teachers and all of our families! Julie Brancato Kindergarten teacher Grand View
Kelly Spondike Borah September 07, 2012 at 11:28 PM
As an employee of the district and a proud member of the union and appreciate all the hard work the union did to fight for our rights! The press should mention all the sides of the fight and all information which shows that we have worked beyond what we were being paid for. This is long overdue! Kelly Spondike Borah MBUSD employee Grand View Elementary
Sandra Rumble September 08, 2012 at 04:42 AM
I am very proud of all MBUTA members. We appreciate the hard work of the negotiating team and the many hours dedicated to the bargaining process. Most of all, I am proud to work with people that do so much for the students of Manhattan Beach. Sandra Rumble MBUTA Executive Secretary/Treasurer
Alan Zeoli September 08, 2012 at 05:49 AM
As a teacher, I have been troubled by the pervasive misrepresentation of the facts of this struggle, not just in Patch but in all of the local press. One of the most misleading statements in this article and one that is echoed in virtually every article and commentary on the teachers' struggle to receive fair wages is the phrase, "The union instructed its members" to do this or do that. We ARE the union; we all get together and decide as a body what to do. There is no one telling anyone else what to do. There is no union decision-making body apart from the teachers. In this current struggle we have been unified to a greater degree than ever before, motivated by the justice of our cause. We are proud of and grateful to our negotiating team for representing our collective will so effectively. It is a relief to finally be free to get back to teaching my students.

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