from the Daily News:
Los Angeles Unified School District and its teachers union have reached an impasse in their latest contract talks and are calling in an outside mediator, after the district declined to offer a salary increase, district and union officials said Wednesday.
Once a state board officially confirms that an impasse exists, a mediator will be called in by October to help the talks.
District officials said United Teachers Los Angeles wants a 6 percent raise despite the LAUSD facing $427 million in budget cuts. The district noted that a 6 percent raise was given to teachers in the 2006-07 school year.
Superintendent David Brewer III said he is glad to see the talks move to mediation.
"This is a positive and important step for us," Brewer said in a written statement. "I am very hopeful this mediation process will lead to an agreement soon that is in the best interest of our children, our teachers and the entire school district."
The union, which represents about 48,000 employees, called the district's spending on outside consultants a waste of money and criticized continued millions spent on its computerized payroll system that was flawed from the start in 2007 and left thousands of employees without paychecks.
The union remains frustrated that the talks have not been more productive.