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Glendale Unified furlough day battle looms

Controversial days deferred for some bargaining units, teachers want them eliminated entirely.

April 25, 2012|By Megan O'Neil, megan.oneil@latimes.com

Glendale Unified and its teachers union appear headed for battle over furlough days scheduled for 2012-13, just months after they eliminated similar dates from the current school year.

District officials announced this week they had reached an agreement with classified and management staff to defer four furlough days on the books for 2012-13 to the following year. It restores a full schedule, and full pay, for those employees for the coming school year.

“While the districts needs the flexibility of having the furlough days in multi-year budget projections while state budgets are so unpredictable, our intention is to keep them far enough in the future that they may never have to be used,” Assistant Supt. for Human Resources David Samuelson said in a statement. “In this chaotic budget environment, we're taking things year-to-year, but we hope to re-establish a full school year for next year in our negotiations with the [union].”

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The Glendale Teachers Assn. rejected a similar proposal to defer all five scheduled teacher furlough days until the 2013-14 school year, pushing instead to have two eliminated and three deferred.

“We were promised if Measure S passed, they would all be rescinded, and they have not,” union President Tami Carlson said, referring to the $270-million school bond passed in April 2011.

Last year, district and teacher union leadership spent months haggling over seven furlough days agreed upon in August 2010 amid steep state education funding cuts. Three of the days were scheduled for the 2011-12 school year, and four for 2012-13.

District leaders proposed deferring all seven days by one year, with the goal that they be eventually be done away with.

Union leaders demanded that they be eliminated outright in light of an improving budget situation in Glendale Unified, thanks in part to the passage of Measure S.

In January, just eight weeks shy of the first scheduled teacher furlough day, the parties announced an agreement. Two of the 2011-12 furlough days were eliminated, while the third was deferred to 2012-13, bringing the furlough days scheduled for that year to five.

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