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District Officials Discuss 5% Pay Cut for Teachers, Who React With Anger

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Newport-Mesa Unified School District officials are discussing a 5% cut in teacher pay as part of the financially troubled district’s effort to cover shortfalls in its 1992-93 budget.

Union officials are outraged at the proposal and say teachers will not discuss salary as part of this year’s contract talks. They say the union’s three-year contract, which expires in summer, 1993, does not allow for yearly salary renegotiation.

“We’re willing to take our lumps,” but such a pay cut is more than teachers are willing to bear, said Maya Decker, president of the Newport-Mesa Foundation of Teachers.

Officials are looking for ways to cover part of an estimated $3.7-million shortfall in the 1992-93 budget and hope that the teachers will agree to cuts. Already the district has laid off about 30 teachers and more than 100 non-teaching employees, along with making program cuts.

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District officials were pleased that for the first time in months of budget talks, no new, higher deficit figures were reported at the school board meeting.

“I am happy to report to you . . . that it’s stable from eight days ago,” Supt. John W. Nicoll said.

The district relies primarily on property tax money--as opposed to state funding, as most schools do--and has been receiving constantly changing estimates from the county about how much revenue will be generated this year by property taxes.


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