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L.A. School District, Teachers Union to Meet With Mediator on Deadlock

The Los Angeles Unified School District and its teachers union will meet with a state mediator today in an attempt to break their deadlocked contract negotiations. Both sides have also agreed to enlist a nationally known labor arbitrator.

Although both sides had earlier agreed to skip mediation, United Teachers-Los Angeles President Helen Bernstein said Tuesday that she thought it better “to give it a shot. We are not going to invest a lot of time in it, but I do hope I can get across to the district that this offer is not OK.”

State mediator Draza Mrvichin, who was involved in talks that preceded the 1989 teachers strike, will preside over today’s meeting.

The union and the district have agreed to bring in Thomas Roberts, a labor arbitrator who has ruled in landmark cases involving major league baseball, as a neutral fact finder. He will study the district’s offer to teachers and write a report by Sept. 9.

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