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FOUNTAIN VALLEY : Teachers’ Contract Defers Issue of Raise

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Fountain Valley School District teachers have a new contract that leaves open the question of pay raises.

The Board of Trustees approved a contract for the 1995-96 school year that continues salary negotiations until September.

Teacher Pat Harney, president of the Fountain Valley Education Assn., which represents the district’s 260 teachers, nurses, counselors and psychologists, said employees have had only a 1.35% pay raise in the past five years.

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“They’re very upset about it. They have families, responsibilities and bills to pay. It’s been very hard for them,” Harney said.

Trustee Julie Hoxsie said the board “would love nothing better than to be in a financial situation to help them out. But we have to examine the budget and see if we can provide a salary increase and still remain fiscally responsible.”

Harney said that teachers’ salaries are among the lowest in the county.

“Even if we got a 3% pay raise, we wouldn’t move out of that position unless the other districts got pay cuts,” she said. “That’s pretty sad.”

Harney also said that teachers understand the district’s financial crunch, in part due to declining enrollment in recent years and the county bankruptcy.

But they hope that income from recent sales of district property will allow the district to afford raises, she said.

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