A Sacramento, Calif., school district is petitioning the state labor board to block a teachers union strike planned for Wednesday in what could be the first strike in the district since 1989, according to the Sacramento Bee.
Sacramento City Unified School District (SCTA) is asking the labor board for an injunction to stop the strike, alleging the Sacramento City Teachers Association has not bargained with the district in “good faith,” calling a strike before an arbitrator’s report over the dispute was released by the state. Also, the union must wait until the bargaining process is completed before calling a strike.
SCTA organized a strike for 2,800 member teachers as the union pushes for higher wages, smaller class sizes, and better working conditions. The Sacramento City Unified School District says the union’s demands are expensive, costing $65 million more than the district can reasonably afford in a three year period, The Sacramento Bee reports.
“It’s not realistic, and it’s completely unworkable,” school district spokesman Alex Barrios told CBS Sacramento.
The district offered SCTA a $25 million deal, even though that package may lead to some cuts later as the school district’s $81 million in reserves start to dissolve, according to CBS.
“The bottom line is we can’t be over $60 million off from each other in order to have a good faith bargaining session at this point,” Barrios told The Sacramento Bee. “If we are going to work out a deal and avoid a strike we have to come to a reality. We all support our teachers. We all love our teachers, but we have to be real.”
The teachers working in the district don’t believe the school system has been bargaining honestly to begin with.
“I think the district is doing a great job about hiding and lying about their financial situation,” a teacher in the district told CBS. “They’re ignoring us. They forget that we’re the service providers.”
The school district is offering substitute teachers $500 a day to work during the strike. The parents of many of the 47,000 students that will be affected are considering keeping their children at home during the strike.
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