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SCUSD and teachers continue negotiations as strike looms

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — The threatened strike by Sacramento City Unified School District teachers and other staff is just two days away.

SCUSD’s disagreement with its teachers and staff is not just about their main workplace contract. The pandemic added another layer to the ongoing staffing, wage, and working condition conflicts that led to Wednesday’s planned strike.

If the strike happens, SCUSD said it would close all 75 of its campuses, which would keep 40,000 students home from school.

Teachers, bus drivers, nurses and other workers plan to work picket lines Wednesday.    
Strike date set for Sacramento teachers, staff

Though for the teachers’ union, the strike comes down to one main issue.

“The whole reason we are here right now is because the district cannot staff its schools,” explained David Fisher, the president of the Sacramento City Teachers Association.

When the district and union could not come to an agreement on the COVID-19 bargaining, the district declared an impasse and a third-party reviewed their dispute.

The third-party independent group’s report was made public last week.

“Overall, it was a very thoughtful approach,” Fisher said.

The report found that the district and the teachers association were largely on the same page when it came to COVID-19 safety protocols. 

With regards to short-term distance learning, the district proposed having instructors teach in the classroom and over Zoom at the same time to accommodate quarantined students.

The report vetoed that idea but supported the district’s idea to have quarantined teachers teach over Zoom if they are willing, while their students attend class in-person while being supervised by a substitute.

And in a big win for the teachers union, the report recommends an across-the-board, retroactive cost of living increase equal to the amount to the superintendent’s cost of living increase for this school year.
Unions authorize strike by Sacramento teachers, staff

“We’re willing to accept that compromise. Now the ball’s in the district’s court for lack of a better phrase,” Fisher said.

“Our families will suffer from uncertainty and lack of stability in the event that our schools are forced to close due to strike,” district officials said just before last week’s board meeting on Thursday.

On Monday, the district declined to speak to FOX40. Their personnel are in negotiations with the unions. They referred media to the following statement:

The District remains committed to do all that we can to avert a strike and plan to continue negotiations on Monday in an attempt to reach an agreement with SCTA. SCUSD worked throughout the weekend to prepare for the meeting this afternoon.

Sacramento City Unified School District

A district spokesperson said the negotiations could go into the night Monday.

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