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Local News in Brief : Bonita Unified Teacher Strike in Third Day

Teachers in San Dimas and La Verne who have not reached a pay agreement with the Bonita Unified School District spent the third day of the new school year on the picket line as the district experienced its second strike in 18 months.

District spokeswoman Barbara Ward said 70% of the district’s 363 teachers did not show up for work Thursday, necessitating the use of about 200 substitute teachers. Student attendance in the lower grades was slightly lower than normal, but 46% of the students at the district’s three high schools did not go to school, Ward said.

Steve Godbey, a spokesman for the Bonita Unified Teachers Assn., said that the walkout was “an overwhelming success” and that teachers will remain out again today. Union members will decide at the end of today’s picketing whether to continue the strike, he said.

The teachers’ association is demanding a 6.4% increase in salaries, which range between $19,200 and $41,900. School board members say the district can afford a 3.8% increase.

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For the fourth year in a row, a state-appointed fact-finder will be brought in to recommend a settlement. The teachers’ association called the strike last week after the school board rejected a union proposal to make the fact-finder’s recommendations binding.

The teachers’ last strike--in March, 1987--lasted one day.


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