Sacramento City educators prepare to strike tomorrow

Sacramento City Teachers Association (SCTA) advised educators and parents to prepare for a strike tomorrow because Sacramento City Unified School District (SCUSD) management continues to fail the community by refusing to resolve a staffing crisis that left 10,000 Sac City students without a permanent teacher.

SCTA and the District are back at the bargaining table today in a last-ditch effort to get SCUSD to provide the resources Sacramento students deserve and avoid a strike. After a weekend where the SCUSD leadership refused to negotiate, the district only spent an hour at the table yesterday before going “to caucus” and never returning, prompting a mediator from the State to cancel the session.

This is just another example of SCUSD management not taking seriously the issues facing the district or acting in the best interests of students. In the absence of a settlement by 11and time, SCTA and SEIU Local 1021, which represents SCUSD classified personnel, will go on strike tomorrow.

“The district has misplaced priorities and no sense of urgency,” said SCTA President David Fisher. “My advice to educators and parents is to prepare for a strike. The actions of the district make it inevitable.

SCTA President David Fisher

Last week a report from a neutral investigator on the side of SCTA, concluding that teacher salaries and benefits are “clearly relevant to staff recruitment and retention.” While SCUSD pledged in writing to follow the investigator’s recommendation to the extent possible, district negotiators declined Monday to resolve the staffing crisis. This central problem facing the district has left 3,000 to 5,000 students stranded in auditoriums or forced to double and triple classrooms each day, due to a shortage of staff.

SCUSD is short of 250 teachers, over 100 substitute teachers and 400 essential school staff. Nearly 600 students who have applied for independent study because they cannot attend school in person, are not receiving any education.

But rather than working collaboratively and negotiating fairly with educators to find solutions to this glaring problem, SCUSD is instead engaging in bad faith bargaining, violating the ground rules established by the mediator by publishing its proposal in a Press release.

At a time when educators have worked harder than ever and the district is sitting on record $125 million reserves, SCUSD negotiators are demanding massive cuts to educator health benefits that would cost an additional $12,000. per year for coverage. The district now receives more than $20,000 per student per year, but rather than using available funds and increased state support to retain and recruit teachers and staff, SCUSD continues to offer concessions.

“The district’s cynical and bad-faith proposal shows that the superintendent and the school board are driven by an agenda to maximize operating profits at the expense of student learning,” Smith said.

Follow the Sac City educators’ strike!

Follow SCTA on Facebook, Twitter and instagram for up-to-date news and information, and visit their website at www.sacteachers.org. A strike fund has also been set up to provide financial support to educators struggling to make ends meet while on the picket line. Please consider donating and share with your networks.

#SCTA4Students #SacCitySolidarity

Click here to donate to the #SacCitySolidarity Strike Fund

Andrew B. Reiter