Despite an impasse in contract negotiations declared two weeks ago, more than 170 Glendale teachers and their supporters Tuesday packed a meeting of the Board of Education to plead for increased work benefits.
Charles Tubbs, a Glendale High School math teacher and a member of the Glendale Teachers Assn. bargaining team, urged the board to reach "a fair settlement" with teachers, who have been working without a contract since July.
Tubbs was one of 10 speakers who asked the board to reconsider demands by teachers for better working conditions and benefits, including time allotted during the day for preparation of lessons, grading and other paper work.
Negotiations broke off March 17 after union representatives rejected the district's final contract offer, which would provide an increase of 22.7% in wages and benefits over a three-year period.
Mark Desetti, president of the teacher union, said salary increases proposed by the district are "fairly good" but said the proposal does not go far enough to improve working conditions and benefits. Teachers and the board have agreed to meet with a state-appointed mediator, who has not yet been named.
More than 100 teachers picketed in front of the district headquarters before the board session Tuesday.
In a prepared statement read after the teachers' presentation, board President Charles W. Whitesell urged teachers to reconsider the district's proposal, which he called "one of the finest--if not the best--multiyear wages and benefits packages offered in the county this year."