SANTA PAULA : Teachers Angry at Official's Pay Raise

Santa Paula school teachers are angry that an administrator was given a $12,000 raise after 10 teaching positions and $515,000 were cut from the budget.

"We've been negotiating all year long for an extra $37,000 and then they turn around and give the assistant superintendent a 20% raise," said Robert J. Berg, president of the Santa Paula Federation of Teachers. "This is just a slap in the face of every teacher in the district."

Santa Paula Elementary School District trustees approved a raise for Assistant Supt. Randall Chase on June 15, increasing his annual salary from $56,000 to $68,380 beginning July 1. He will also receive $1,200 for mileage and could qualify for a $1,500 bonus if he meets certain educational goals.

Supt. David Philips said the raise was necessary to bring Chase's salary in line with the amount paid other assistant superintendents in the county.

"There is no good time to give administrators raises, but if we don't do it, we're going to lose people because their salaries are so low," Philips said.

Contract negotiations between Santa Paula teachers and the school board, which began in November, have been tense, Berg said. Teachers are demanding a 6% salary increase and turned down the district's last offer of a 5.23% raise, he said.

The teachers' demand would cost an additional $37,000.

To balance the district's $12.89-million budget for 1990-91, trustees decided to eliminate five elementary school and five middle school teaching jobs, at a savings of $340,000.

The district will be left with 134 teachers.

Other cuts include $12,000 for staff development, $10,000 in bonuses and $27,000 for parking lot repairs. Another $18,000 was saved by cutting in half the number of lunchtime aides.

"This is ridiculous. Instead, they should be making their cuts in the district office," Berg said.

School officials said the cuts were necessary to cope with declining enrollment and reduced state aid.

There were 3,166 students in the district this year, contrasted with 3,204 the year before, resulting in a $250,000 loss of state revenue, Chase said.

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