Jul 28, 2014
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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, District May Be Closer to Contract

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.

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