Compton : Teachers to Walk Out Again

The Compton Education Assn. has called on teachers to strike again today, the 14th time since early November that the teachers have stayed away from classes.

The mediator who has been trying to settle a pay dispute between the teachers and the Compton Unified School District said Tuesday that negotiations have broken down. "Both sides seem to have reached bottom lines that are far apart," said mediator James Tamm. "Further talks at this point seem to be fruitless."

Pat Ryan, president of the teachers' group, said the strike is being called because of the school district's "unfair labor practices and bad-faith bargaining."

Teachers and the district have been locked in a wage dispute for months, with the district offering a 5% pay raise for next year and the teachers seeking at least 7.3%. Starting salaries in the district range from $20,219 to $38,870 annually, depending on a teacher's educational credits.

District Supt. Ted Kimbrough has said that the teacher walkouts have cost the district millions of dollars because many students stay away from classes during the strikes, resulting in the district's loss of state funds based on daily attendance.

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