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Paramount : Teachers Hold First Session With Mediator

Teachers in the Paramount Unified School District are still without a contract after a negotiating session and a demonstration outside district headquarters by about 200 teachers who gathered after school Tuesday and stayed through a board meeting that night.

The approximately 525 teachers in the district have been without a contract since Aug. 31 when their 3-year agreement expired. Negotiations reached an impasse in January and a state mediator was called in to help.

Tuesday was the first negotiating session with the mediator but the meeting ended without any progress, said John Burritt, executive director of the Teachers Assn. of Paramount. Burritt said the board is “stalling” and that the tactic “is bordering on bad faith bargaining.”

Classroom size, not wages, Burritt said, is the issue causing the impasse. Teachers, he said, want the district to phase in a plan that would eventually reduce classroom size to about 25 students.

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