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Tentative Accord Reached in West Covina School Dispute

Times Staff Writer

West Covina teachers and the school district Tuesday announced that tentative agreement has been reached in a salary dispute that sparked a two-day walkout last month.

Teachers in the West Covina Unified School District are scheduled to vote Thursday on the proposed three-year contract. As part of the settlement, the district has pledged to make West Covina teachers the fifth most highly paid in 20 San Gabriel Valley school districts by 1988. To achieve that, teachers would get salary increases of 6% to 8% each year over three years.

If ratified, the agreement would be retroactive to Nov. 1, when the last contract expired.

“The school board finally had to stop and listen,” Betty Joyce, president of the Teachers Assn. of West Covina, said of her group’s decision to stage a strike May 22 and 23.

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“This is the 15th month of negotiating the contract and there was very little movement. Finally the board realized the association meant business,” she said.

Meanwhile, negotiations continued Tuesday in the Claremont School District. Teachers and administrators there reported being close to a settlement.

About 65% of the teachers in the Claremont district participated in a one-day walkout May 24 for higher pay. The teachers seek a 7.2% raise while the district is offering 5.5%, plus up to 1.7% of any funds left over in the district’s budget.


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