Las Virgenes Teachers Approve 8%, 4% Raises in 2-Year Pact

Las Virgenes Unified School District teachers approved a two-year contract by more than a 2-1 margin, teachers union leaders said Friday.

Members of the Las Virgenes Educators Assn. voted Thursday and Friday on the pact, which will give them an average 8% raise this year and at least a 4% pay increase next year.

The association did not disclose vote totals, although union president Karen Laugh said about 70% of her group's 300 members endorsed the ratification.

She said the split vote indicates a lingering distrust on the part of some teachers about the school district's commitment to make Las Virgenes salaries competitive with those in other school systems.

The 8% raise boosts top pay in the district to $35,040 a year. Most of the teachers are paid the maximum. Las Virgenes officials have pledged in the new contract to survey 11 other school districts next year about their teachers' raises. If the average pay increase at those districts is higher than 4%, they will match it for Las Virgenes teachers, the pact says.

Las Virgenes Supt. Albert D. Marley said school board members ratified the contract Friday. He said teachers will begin receiving this year's 8% raise on March 31. The raises are retroactive to September, and teachers will receive supplemental checks for that back pay sometime in April, he said.

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