The district's offer also includes benefit increases, said GUSD Superintendent Michael Escalante. Along with the 2.25 percent salary increase the district is offering a one-time payment of 0.75 percent (an average of $427 per teacher), a 0.5 percent increase payments toward in health benefits, and additional increases up to 1 percent for teachers with seniority.
The main negotiation problem right now is whether an increase is given as a salary or as benefits.
The offer will not be going to GTA members for a vote, said GTA President Sandra Fink, who is concerned that the 2.25 percent raise in salary offered by the district is lower than cost-of-living adjustment, which would increase their pay by 2.41 percent.
One development that could affect negotiations is the state budget proposed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger Monday, which would withhold $2.2 billion from schools.
"I'm hoping it will not play into the negotiations," said Fink of the budget. "We based our increase on what we know is there."
Fink received a standing ovation from fellow teachers after she spoke at Tuesday's school board meeting, telling the board to, "reprioritize your budget and make us your priority."
Several parents attended the board meeting to show their support for the teachers.
"I stand before you as a parent. I speak only for myself and my family," said parent Mike Padula, whose children attend Crescenta Valley schools. He told the board how teachers had mentored his children throughout their many years at GUSD schools.
"I am deeply concerned," added Padula. "You are the driving force that launches us into the right direction. Everyone's future is at stake."
Another parent with a daughter at Hoover High School came to the meeting even though he had suffered a recent stroke. It was difficult for him to speak but he said the matter was so important he had to come to the meeting.
It is customary that board members not comment on any issue that was raised during public communications, however, board President Greg Krikorian felt that this subject needed some recognition.
"As one board member I am in full support of the teachers getting their raise," said Krikorian to another standing ovation.