Education

Rocklin school district could pay subs $425 a day as it braces for possible teacher strike

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After more than a year of negotiations, Rocklin teachers will go back to work Wednesday without having signed contracts for the second consecutive school year. The school district now says it’s preparing for a possible strike as instruction is set to begin.

In a news release sent out Friday, the Rocklin Unified School District says it is offering $425 per day to certificated substitute teachers in the event Rocklin teachers refuse to show up for work.

The school district and the Rocklin Teachers Professional Association have been engaged in collective contract bargaining since May 2017 for the 2017-18 school year, yet have been unable to come to agreement on terms regarding wages, benefits, special education policies and safety training for dealing with students exhibiting extreme behaviors. Bargaining for 2018-19 has yet to begin.

“We had hoped to reach an agreement prior to the start of the new school year,” the school district said Friday. “Unfortunately, that has not happened and the (teachers association) has indicated a ‘strike is on the table.’ ”

But no decision about a strike has been made and the teachers association is still hopeful one can be avoided, said Colleen Crowe, president of the Rocklin Teachers Professional Association.

“I think the district is in a way trying to scare the community,” Crowe said, adding that the decision to strike can’t be made without a vote in the affirmative from the teachers union’s more than 600 members. “We are all going to be at work Wednesday the 15th.”

A membership meeting will take place next week to determine what happens next, Crowe said, adding that nobody wants a strike.

Both sides have said they are working to set up dates to continue bargaining.

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