Glendale Unified agrees to take teacher pink slips off the table

Glendale Unified has tentatively abandoned its plan to lay off up to 125 employees — including teachers, nurses and counselors — after a round of negotiations Friday with its teachers union, which must still sign off on the deal.

Officials cited a more optimistic budget proposal from Gov. Jerry Brown and a sense that the district would be able to pull out of its $15-million deficit by cutting costs elsewhere.

“We're still going to make reductions, it just won't be with the teachers,” Glendale Unified Supt. Dick Sheehan said.

As part of the proposal, the pink slips would be avoided only if the union agreed to a district proposal to postpone four furlough days until the 2014-15 school year.

In recent weeks, Glendale Unified had been trying to attract at least 75 teachers with higher seniority to accept the district's early retirement plan as a way to limit the number of planned layoffs.

The layoffs would have increased average class sizes from 24 to 30 students in kindergarten through third grade and saved the district about $6 million.

About 350 Glendale teachers were eligible for the plan, but as of this week, only nine teachers had applied for the offer.

Glendale Teachers Assn. President Tami Carlson could not be reached for comment Friday.

School officials cited the potential state budget recently released by Gov. Jerry Brown as a deterrent to layoffs.

The latest negotiations between Glendale Unified and its teachers union comes as Brown is proposing a new state budget that would provide schools with a 1.65% cost-of-living increase and other funding boosts.

Paired with the passage of Proposition 30 in November, district officials said they were now able to address the projected deficit without substantive layoffs.

[For the Record, 5:13 p.m.: An earlier version of this post failed to mention that the deal reached with the teachers union had yet to be signed off and was contingent on the postponing the furlough days.]

-- Kelly Corrigan, Times Community News

Follow Kelly Corrigan on Twitter: @kellymcorrigan


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