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Teacher furlough days remain on Glendale Unified calendar

Teachers union rep says attorney advised against filing updated proposal with district.

December 08, 2011
  • Language teacher Cendy Iraheta teaches Spanish to students at Montain View Elementary in a Gift of Language class after school on Monday, May 24, 2010. (Roger Wilson/News-Press)
Language teacher Cendy Iraheta teaches Spanish to students…

Three teacher furlough days remain on the 2011-12 Glendale Unified calendar after teachers union representatives failed to bring an updated proposal to the negotiating table Thursday as scheduled, according to district officials.

The unpaid days are scheduled for March 16, April 24 and June 15.

“The district was ready, willing and able to negotiate a counter-proposal in good faith,” said Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources David Samuelson said. “We can’t negotiate when one party isn’t willing to present a proposal.”

District and union leadership have been haggling for months over seven furlough days — three this school year and four next school year — each worth $458,450 in savings to Glendale Unified. They were included in an August 2010 agreement, but district officials have since said that they would be willing to postpone them with the ultimate goal of eliminating them altogether.

Union representatives say that the district has more than enough cash reserves to buy back the days.

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“Furlough days are a pay cut for teachers and we do not want to give them if not needed,” Glendale Teachers Assn. President Tami Carlson said.

Carlson said that the district’s offer to delay three furlough days scheduled for the 2011-12 school year to 2012-13 — and four furlough days scheduled for the 2012-13 school year to 2013-14 — is illegal because it exceeds the 2013 expiration date of the current teacher contract.

The union can’t negotiate any terms that would exceed the date stamp of the contract, she said.

“We told them to refer to the last legal proposal that crossed the table, which was our proposal of Oct. 19,” Carlson said. “Our attorney advised us not to give a counter to an illegal proposal.”

Despite the ongoing stalemate, Samuelson said the district remained optimistic a deal could be struck.

-- Megan O’Neil, Times Community News

Twitter: @megankoneil

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