Sacramento City Teachers Association will delay second one-day strike
The teachers union at Sacramento City Unified School District on Thursday night said it will delay its second one-day strike, which had been planned for May 22.
No new strike date was announced, and Sacramento City Teachers Association President David Fisher said at a news conference Thursday the union hoped it would not need to schedule one.
The announcement was made just before the school district’s board meeting was set to convene, where the board was set to vote and approve the district’s 2019-20 third interim financial report.
District Superintendent Jorge Aguilar said he appreciated the union’s decision.
“It is the right decision for parents and students who would have been harmed most by another teacher strike,” Aguilar said. “We look forward to commencing negotiations with SCTA leaders and working together to address our severe fiscal challenges.”
The union on April 30 had announced the planned walkout, protesting alleged unfair labor practices by the district. The union and district have been in a long-running labor dispute, while the district struggles to close a $35 million budget gap and avert a state takeover.
The union staged a one-day strike on April 11 for the first time in 30 years.
Fisher said Thursday that several developments led to the union’s decision to delay the strike – among them:
- The district’s budget situation is “much better,” Fisher said, with its latest revision released Wednesday indicating it can buy time to stave off insolvency and government takeover.
- State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond sent a letter this week in response to an SCTA request, saying he would bring the district, union, the state-created Fiscal Crisis Management and Assistance Team and Sacramento County Superintendent of Schools David Gordon to the table to try to avert both a strike and receivership.
- Sacramento County Supervisor Phil Serna asked the union for postponement to give the two sides time to work together to hammer out an agreement.
The teachers union in a statement cited several other reasons for the delay, including a district audit at the request of Assemblyman Kevin McCarty, D-Sacramento; an independent arbitrator’s May 2 ruling in the union’s favor in a salary dispute; improved school funding in Gov. Gavin Newsom’s revised state budget; and the California Public Employment Relations board’s receipt of an SCTA complaint, which the union says will go before an administrative law judge, because PERB found it to have merit.
“We look forward to working with Superintendent Thurmond, the District, SCOE and FCMAT to achieve labor peace and avoid fiscal insolvency,” the union said in its statement.