Culver City School District, Teachers OK Pay Raises

Times Staff Writer

The Culver City Unified School District has reached an agreement with Culver City teachers to pay senior teachers with advanced educational accomplishments more than $40,000 a year.

The $40,019 figure, retroactive to Nov. 1, applies to 56 of the district's 245 teachers with at least 20 years' experience, a bachelor's degree and 72 additional semester units of college credit, including a master's degree.

The previous high salary for such a teacher was $37,000 yearly--a ranking of 40th out of 43 Southern California school districts.

Another 78 teachers with a minimum of 10 years' experience will earn between $36,869 and $40,000, also retroactive to Nov. 1. The remaining 111 teachers in the district will receive a 6.5% raise, retroactive to Sept. 1.

"We felt it was very important to close that gap on senior teacher pay with other districts," said Diane L. Kaiser, president of the Culver City Federation of Teachers, bargaining agent for Culver City teachers.

"The increase also will serve as an incentive for the district's less experienced teachers. They now will have something to shoot for in terms of their education and experience with the district."

Vote Scheduled on Dues

Teachers also won the right to determine whether union dues, about $280 a year, will be made compulsory. An estimated 50 teachers do not pay dues. An election on the issue will be conducted before the end of the academic year by the state Public Employee Relations Board.

Ralph R. Villani, assistant superintendent of the district and its negotiator, praised the contract settlement. "We are very happy for the teachers," Villani said. "We have never taken the position that our teachers were overpaid."

He added, however, that the wage agreement will produce a deficit of between $120,000 and $140,000 this year and $400,000 in 1987-88. He said that cuts in maintenance and in classified (non-teacher) staff will have to be considered in reducing the deficits.

Kaiser contended that the deficits are erroneous estimates. "They are based on the assumption that the governor's budget for state support of education will not be increased by the Legislature," Kaiser said. "We do not believe that the governor's proposal will stand."

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