Los Angeles Unified School District, Unions Reach Agreement on Health Benefits
The Los Angeles Unified School District and seven unions on Tuesday reached an agreement on health benefits for more than 100,000 active and retired district employees, the Los Angeles Times reports. Earlier this year, LAUSD officials said that the district could not afford to cover the increased cost of health insurance for employees and retirees. However, LAUSD officials found $228 million in unspent funds from last year, and the Board of Education this week voted 4-1 to approve the health benefits as part of the district's fiscal year 2002-03 budget. Two board members abstained from the vote. The district will use $56 million of the funds to cover the cost of health care for employees and retirees, the Times reports. Sam Kresner, a member of United Teachers Los Angeles, called the agreement on health benefits a "welcome development" but said that the benefits "don't take the place of having a decent salary." The teachers union has asked for a 5% wage increase next year; the district can afford to provide a 1% raise, the Times reports. The union's contract with the district expires in June 2003 (Moore, Los Angeles Times, 9/4).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.