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Negotiations continue over teachers’ furlough days

Glendale Unified teachers continue to face seven unpaid furlough days in the next two years after district and union leadership failed to reach a modified agreement during recent negotiations.

The parties were unable to strike a deal during meetings last week, representatives reported, adding only that talks will resume on Nov. 3.

“The negotiations continue,” said district spokesman Steven Frasher.

The unpaid furlough days were included in an August 2010 agreement reached between the district and the Glendale Teachers Assn. in the face of serious budget cuts. The parties signed off on a total of nine unpaid furlough days spread out during three consecutive school years.

Shortly thereafter, the district received an influx of cash from the federal jobs bill and the two furlough days scheduled for the 2010-11 school year were eliminated. But three furlough days scheduled for spring 2012 and four scheduled for the 2012-13 school year remain on the district calendar pending an agreement between the parties.

The district has negotiated deals with its two other bargaining units — management and classified staff — to delay by previously agreed upon furlough days one year with the intent of eventually eliminating them altogether, David Samuelson, assistant superintendent of human resources, said during a school board meeting last month.

District officials are seeking a similar deal with the teachers union, saying that they want to keep the furlough days on the books only until the state’s financial climate stabilizes. Under the district’s proposal, the 2011-12 furlough days would be pushed out until 2012-13, and the 2012-13 furlough days would be pushed out to 2013-14, with the goal of doing away with them completely.

But union president Tami Carlson has called for the days to be eliminated entirely — without postponements.

“We feel the furlough days are tied to where we were in 2009-10,” Carlson said. “That clearly is not the case anymore.”

In their most recent proposal, the union asked that the district do away with the furlough days scheduled for the current school year, and reopen negotiations on the 2012-13 days depending on what happens with the state budget.