So Cal education, LAUSD, the Cal States and the UCs

LAUSD school board approves agreement with teachers' union for 10 unpaid days

Teachers Protest

Damian Dovarganes/AP

File: Teachers, parents and supporters rally as the Los Angeles Unified School District board meets to consider budget cuts and layoffs, which include adult education, preschool and elementary school arts programs, in Los Angeles on Tuesday Feb. 14, 2012.

The L.A. Unified school board unanimously approved an agreement with the teachers' union today that will require teachers to take 10 furlough days — effectively shortening the school year by up to one week — to save thousands of jobs and more than $100 million in district payroll costs.

United Teachers Los Angeles members still have to approve the agreement and will begin voting on the measure Wednesday. Votes are expected to be tallied Saturday, said union spokeswoman Marla Eby.

According to the agreement, teachers would lose five days of instruction, one of their two pupil-free days used for professional development, and four paid non-work days, district officials said. About 4,000 teachers would have their preliminary pink slips rescinded, officials said.

"The good thing for the district is these are not [all] days we lose instructional services for students," said John Bowes, assistant chief human resources officer.

The district has been struggling to close a $390 million budget shortfall for 2012-13, and officials have said union concessions are key to bridging that gap and avoiding more severe cuts to programs.

This would be the fourth year of furlough days for teachers. Over the last three years, teachers have taken 16 furlough days, Bowes said. This year teachers took four furlough days.

For the 2012-13 school year teachers on a traditional single-track calendar will lose the last two days of instruction June 3 and June 4; the Monday through Wednesday of Thanksgiving week (Nov. 19, 20, and 21), and the pupil free day June 5, Bowes said.

The impacts on their paycheck will be spread across a few months so that, for example, the Thanksgiving week loss is felt in September and December, Bowes said.

If voters pass Gov. Jerry Brown's initiative to raise taxes on the November ballot then it is possible that some furlough days will not be necessary, officials said.

Tami Abdollah can be reached via email and on Twitter (@latams).

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