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Lucia Mar teachers reach a tentative labor agreement with the district

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The Lucia Mar Unified School District reached a tentative agreement with the Lucia Mar Unified Teachers Association on April 8 in an effort to avoid a teachers’ strike. The agreement is for a 6 percent raise in teachers’ salaries over the next three years.

Before the agreement is finalized, it’s subject to ratification by the union and the district’s school board. Spokespeople from the union and the district were cautiously optimistic that the past year of contentious negotiations could be resolved without a strike.

“Our bargaining team worked really hard to get a deal,” said union representative Donna Kandel. “It’s certainly not all we wanted, but it’s all that the district was willing to offer. We appreciate their hard work and we still have a ways to go, and we will continue to work to solve the issue of inequitable pay in our region.”

Superintendent Jim Hogeboom struck a positive tone in an email to New Times: “It was long, hard work, a lot of back and forth between the district and the union, but this compromise is great for our kids and great for the community,” he said.

After reviewing a fact-finding report released on April 4, both sides took the weekend to review the terms of that report and reached the tentative deal.

Should both sides ratify the contract, the full details of the agreement will be released to the public. If the deal isn’t ratified, the fact-finding report could be released.

If the union doesn’t vote to ratify the agreement, it could technically still opt to strike because its executive board already approved such a move. Voting will take place online through the week, and the results will be tallied on the morning of April 17.

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