Glendale Unified, teachers reach deal on unpaid furlough days

After months of negotiations over the fate of five unpaid teacher furlough days, union leaders have agreed to push them off for one school year.

Glendale Unified officials had proposed scheduling the furlough days into the school year by tagging them onto weekends or regularly scheduled school breaks.

The Glendale Teachers Assn. had sought to schedule them during the week in order to make the furloughs more noticeable.

Negotiations over the schedule began in March.

The five days would equate to a 2.5% pay cut for teachers, saving $2.3 million for Glendale Unified.

“We’ve been stalled in our negotiations for quite a while,” said Glendale Teachers Assn. President Tami Carlson.

But in an effort for the union to get moving on other issues, she said, “We went ahead and accepted this.”

The five days remain on the books from an August 2010 agreement that originally included nine furlough days, said Maria Gandera, the district’s assistant superintendent of human resources.

Four of the original nine furlough days have since been rescinded by the district.

While union leaders would like to see the days entirely eliminated should California voters approve a Nov. 2 tax initiative, Gandera said state budget cuts will keep everything on the table.

“We cannot guarantee anything,” Gandera said, citing dwindling state resources. “Our reserves that were healthy once upon a time are being slowly depleted. We have to look at the financial solvency of the district.”

With both parties now settled, Gandera said the district is excited to move forward into a full 180-day school year for both students and employees.

“We are back in alignment with of all our employees,” she said.

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