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Teachers-district agree on 1997-98

Andy Bourelle

The agreement is final. The South Tahoe Educators Association and Lake Tahoe Unified School District have an official agreement regarding salary negotiations – at least for the 1997-98 school year. Negotiations for the 1998-99 school year will begin some time this fall.

The LTUSD board approved the agreement in July, and the educators association approved it Wednesday.

“We’re glad (negotiations) are over, at least for last year,” said Mike Patterson, president of the educators association. “For the most part, I think everyone was satisfied with the one-year agreement. We’ve still got a ways to go.”

The agreement came as a result of several meetings between the district, the educators association and a state-appointed mediator, who was appointed earlier this year when an agreement could not be reached.

The salary negotiations started in August 1997.

The tentative agreement has two facets.

Teachers will receive a 5.4 percent raise retroactive to Oct. 1, 1997, meaning that teachers will receive a 5.4 percent raise for the 1998-99 school year and a lump-sum payment for the difference between what they earned in 1997-98 and what they would have earned with a 5.4 percent raise.

The other aspect of the agreement is that the existing Salary Comparison Committee, made up of three teacher association members and three school district administrators, will gather information for coming up with a plan that will allow the teachers to be paid better in upcoming years.

In earlier discussions, the Salary Comparison Committee came up with a list of 20 other California districts considered comparable to Lake Tahoe.

Using the 20 agreed-upon similar school districts, LTUSD average teacher salaries are lower than all but one other comparable district.

The committee is to come up with a plan to place Lake Tahoe teacher salaries in the top one-third of that list. The committee is set to recommend a plan by April 1, 1999.

The average salary for the district’s teachers was $38,580 for the 1997-98 school year, according to the district, which does not reflect any increase from 1996-97 because negotiations went on the whole year.

According to School Services of California, located in Sacramento, the average teacher salary statewide for 1996-97 was $42,992.

Tahoe Daily Tribune E-mail: tribune@tahoe.com

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