The Lompoc Federation of Teachers has declared an impasse in negotiations with the Lompoc Unified School District after 100 hours of negotiations over several months failed to reach a deal. 

The teachers union, which represents more than 500 certified employees, contends that the district has offered a 1.25% salary raise and $1,000 one-time payment for each LFT member.

About 87% of the members voted this week to declare an impasse rather than accept the 1.25% raise, LFT leaders said.

The LUSD board this week approved a 2.875% raise for classified staff belonging to the California School Employees Association.

Teachers union leaders said both groups typically have received similar raises.

“A district’s budget reflects its priorities, and right now, it feels like district management is not prioritizing its teachers and other certificated staff,” LFT President Skyler Petersen said. “We — like CSEA members — are on the front lines every day serving our community’s students and deserve the same raise afforded to CSEA.”

Both sides began negotiations nearly a year ago but have not been able to reach a settlement. 

The district said LFT turned down an option of either a 1.25% on-schedule increase and a one-time $1,000 bonus, or a 3.75% off-schedule increase with a one-time $1,000 bonus, according to a written statement. 

District officials claimed the teachers union also rejected a salary increase equivalent to the one accepted by CSEA in terms of total fiscal impact.

“The district is hopeful that the impasse process will result in an agreement that rewards staff for their great work, is fiscally sound, and is in the best interests of the students and families in our district,” Superintendent Trevor McDonald said.

A declaration of an impasse sets the stage for mediation through the California Public Employment Relations Board. 

It reportedly has been several decades since the Lompoc teachers union declared an impasse in negotiations.

The relationship between the teachers union and district administration has worsened in recent months.

The Lompoc Unified School District has about 10,000 students ranging from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade. 

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.