LA Teachers Approve Salary Cuts To Save Jobs
Teachers in the Los Angeles Unified School District voted overwhelmingly in approval of a one-year labor contract in an effort to save approximately 5,000 jobs and maintain class sizes.
The vote, which took place Thursday and Friday, showed 83.2 percent of or 20,429 union members in favor of the agreement, according to The Los Angeles Times. About 40,000 members of the United Teachers Los Angeles were eligible to vote.
LAUSD President A.J. Duffy said the contract will benefit everyone and that now the union needs to "find long-term solutions to the budget crisis so that the classroom is not continuously threatened."
This contract, which was announced Saturday, consists of four unpaid furlough days. These furlough days equal a pay cut of about two percent, in comparison to the deeper temporary pay cut or seven furlough days teachers accepted in the current school year. Union leaders said they agreed to the furloughs on the condition they will be reduced if funding improves.
Also, the contract restores over 1,700 elementary and secondary teachers as well as 1,680 librarians, counselors and art teachers.
This temporary salary reduction is intended to help offset an estimated $408 million budget deficit.
Union leaders still expect many job losses due to declining enrollment, the expiration of federal economic stimulus funds and the district’s decision to convert some campuses to independently-run charter schools.
Although most class sizes are expected to remain the same size, those for kindergarten through third grade will increase to a ratio of 24 students per teacher compared to the previous 20-1 ratio.
The Board of Education is expected to approve the agreement June 14.