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Laguna Beach school district employees to receive 4% raise

Principal Jason Allemann, right, checks in with teacher Dawn Hunnicutt at Laguna Beach High on March 17.
Principal Jason Allemann, right, checks in with teacher Dawn Hunnicutt on the first day back to in-person instruction at Laguna Beach High on March 17.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

Laguna Beach Unified School District employees will receive a 4% salary increase for the 2021-22 fiscal year, after a collective bargaining agreement was ratified last week.

The district reached an agreement with the Laguna Beach Unified Faculty Assn. on May 19, signed by Sara Hopper, president and bargaining chair of the association, and Mike Conlon, assistant superintendent of human resources.

The agreement was approved 5-0 at the school board meeting on June 24.

The 4% pay raise, which is for all non-temporary employees, will go into effect Thursday when the new fiscal year begins. District Public Information Officer Shelley Spessard said the raise includes all district administration, including Supt. Jason Viloria.

“LBUSD staff holds an in-depth understanding of the systems needed to address each students’ individual academic and social-emotional learning needs,” Board President Carol Normandin said in a statement. “The Board is so proud of all employees for their unwavering dedication as they tirelessly worked to develop innovative ways to ensure all students received the best education amid the biggest crisis in education in our lifetime. While a raise doesn’t seem like enough, it is the amount that balances our commitment to fiscal solvency and a true testament of support to the most important resource we have, our employees.”

Under the 2020-21 salary schedule, teachers in the district received a minimum of $61,409 for less than 10 years of experience, a bachelor’s degree and up to 55 graduate semester units. With a 4% increase, that yearly salary would jump to at least $63,865.

Per the contract, the direct hourly instruction rate of pay is $51.53 per hour, up from $49.55 per hour. The hourly rate for other district-approved work done by a bargaining unit member on a voluntary basis will now be $45.09, up from $43.36.

Viloria made a reported $292,722 in salary in 2020-21. He was previously on a step salary schedule where his salary would increase each year, but this year he’s getting the same 4% increase that the rest of the employees are getting, Spessard said.

“When we ask ourselves how we can provide the highest quality education and experience for our students, the answer is clear — by investing in our staff,” Viloria said in a statement. “We want to recruit and retain the highest-quality employees to serve our students and deeply appreciate our board prioritizing this as an ongoing, multiyear strategic goal.”

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