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Beverly Hills Weekly
Beverly Hills, California
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March 14, 2001     Beverly Hills Weekly
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March 14, 2001
 

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t chers Expected ccept Agreement Will Give Beverly Hills Teachers A 10 Percent Raise Gwen Gross Steve Taylor By Amanda Michne The eight-month stand off between the teachers and the school district may finally be coining to an end next Friday as teachers, who have been work- ing without a contract since June. are expected to approve a new three-year contract that includes a 10 percent raise retroactive to September 2000 and an additional pay step for 16th year teachers that will bring their annual salaries to $70,000. 'We're very excited about the fact that we have a tentative agreement and it is, in terms of salary, it's exactly what we wanted," said Steve Taylor, the president of the teacher's union, after the ten- tative agreement was announced last week. The vote to approve the agreement was sup- posed tO take place March 7, but was rescheduled to March 16 due to "omissions" in language that Taylor described as technicalities. The expected settlement should clear the dark clouds that have hovered over the school district all year as the Beverly Hills Education Association and the Unified School District locked horns over wages in a dispute that led to contentious school board meetings and caused teachers tO picket outside the district office while worried parents feared the disagreement could po~,sibly end in a teacher's strike like the one that occurred in 1989. The battle lines were drawn last December when both sides jointly filed forms indicating an impasse in negotiations. State-appointed medi- ators eventually helped the teachers and the District reach this tentative agreement. Gwen Gross, the superintendent, praised the "collaborative effort" of the teachers and the District that led to thesettlement. "I really have to commend [the teachers] for com- ing forward and seeing some of the contract language that could be used to generate rev- enue,, Gross said. Gross was hired as superintendent in August, inheriting what she has called a District- ',Vide budget "crisis" as well as a teaching staff with expired contacts. She explained that the District could not afford the raise that the teacher's wanted without jeopardizing the district's financial integrity over the next three years. The District had offered the teach- ers a 10 percent raise starting Jan. 1, 2001. The teachers wanted an 11 percent raise retroactive to July 1, 2000 to bring their salaries in line with similar school districts. Both sides expressed satisfaction with the compromise. "We did have to make a few concessions in regard to language and substitute teacher %sis," Taylor said. "But," he added, "we're excited to get this over with and move forward." In a memo issued jointly by the BHEA and the District, Taylor and Jeff Hubbard, assis- tant SUperintendent of human resources said, "We believe that this precedent setting . greement signals a positive change that sets the tone for a new direction of truly work- Ing on behalf of the staff. Board, parents, community, and of course, the students of l everly Hills Unified School District." Gross said she is glad that the new contracts "validate with a very strong salary InCrease, the exceptional job our teachers have done in the district." [] W In the Finest Jewish Tradition With the Greatest Respect... At our Lowest Possible Prices One call for all arrangements Services in all Jewish cemeteries Specializing in burial in Israel CHEVRA KADISHA MORTUARY CEMETERIES MONUMENTS MARKERS 7832 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles (323) 653-8886 (800) 654-6772 License No. FD-1326 Serving The Community For Over Twenty Years COMPUTER DIGITAL IMAGING, PHOTO RESTO'RATION MAC or IBM READ & WRITE Znd sot tie at tile time of purchase MON-FRI 8 AM.-6 PM SAT 10 AM-5 PM. WWW.Goldencolor.Corn March 8 - 14, 2001 9