Contract talks expected to resume Friday in New Haven District teachers strike

Contract talks are expected to resume Friday afternoon between striking teachers and officials with the New Haven Unified School District, union leaders said.

This is the fifth day of the strike and members of the New Haven Teachers Association were walking picket lines with parents and students while negotiators worked out the final details of how the talks would progress.

"NHTA President Joe Ku'e Angeles issued a challenge to the NHUSD managers to negotiate until an agreement could be reached and end the strike," union officials said in a news release.

"NHTA negotiations team members are bringing sleeping bags, pillows and overnight gear vowing to stay as long as it takes to reach an agreement."

The teachers are looking for a 10 percent raise over the next two school years but so far the district has offered a 1 percent raise for next year and a one-time 3 percent payment.

The district is also offering a permanent 0.5 percent increase if it's able to secure an additional $1 million in revenue, and another 0.5 percent if it can add yet another $1 million, according to district officials.

The district says that declining enrollment and budgetary deficits prevent it from shelling out the estimated $20 million over three years that the teachers' demands would cost.

Teachers, however, say the district is sitting on $26 million in "unrestricted reserves" and can well afford their request for a salary increase, which they say will cost $10.5 million over two years.

Student enrollment has declined every day since the strike started, with only 9 percent showing up for classes Friday, according to union officials.

The teacher's union represents 585 teachers, counselors, librarians, social workers, speech pathologists and nurses.

The school district includes roughly 11,0000 students at two high schools, two middle schools and seven elementary schools in Union City and parts of Hayward.