Irvine : Teachers' Settlement Near, Both Sides Say

Spokesmen for the administration and the teachers in the Irvine Unified School District expressed optimism Tuesday that a settlement is near in their prolonged contract negotiations.

"Both sides have made some movement," said Dan Saling, executive director of the South Orange County Educators Assn., the union umbrella group that includes the Irvine teachers.

"We've pretty much reached an understanding on economic matters, and the point we're now trying to resolve is (written guidelines for) teacher discipline. We're seeking 'just cause' language--warnings that must be given before a teacher can be disciplined. I think we're making progress on this."

District Supt. A. Stanley Corey said he was pleased at the progress made in recent negotiations with the union.

"I'm hopeful it will be wrapped up pretty soon," Corey said. "I think all the issues can be resolved."

Irvine teachers, who recently staged a one-day strike to protest prolonged contract negotiations, have been seeking a 4% cost-of-living adjustment to an existing contract that expires June 30. Saling said the administration's last offer was for a 3% raise but that a retroactivity clause brought it close to the amount of money requested by the union.

Negotiators met again Tuesday night in an effort to iron out the details, according to Corey and Saling.

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