By Maddis Gregson, Clarion Staff Reporter
Update: Wednesday, April 6
A week and a half later we are back at school on April 4.
SCUSD, SCTA (the teachers’ union), and SEIU 1021 (non-teaching staff) officially began the strike on Wednesday, March 23. The strike lasted eight school days, with teachers striking and protesting outside of schools during the morning and joining with other schools at various locations in the afternoon, including the district headquarters at Serna Center.
Every day, the SCUSD website described whether or not there had been any improvements. The schools would contact student families late at night or early in the morning to inform them whether or not there will be school the next day. It felt like a waiting game for student’s families.
The district and unions met every day to negotiate in order to reach an agreement. Then, on Sunday, April 3, they reached a tentative agreement. The district offered a better proposition than the unions had requested, including not removing the 100-percent health coverage, adding a 2% wage boost on an ongoing basis, one-time bonuses, a 25% increase in substitute daily rate, an extra $150 per hour for nurses, and three additional paid days for professional growth.
The district and school teachers and staff were all eager to get teachers and children back in the classroom. Kennedy juniors were extremely fortunate because Principal Reginald Brown and ASB coordinator Seanne Louvet-Musca found a way for our Juniors to still have their prom, which was indeed essential.
The decision has not yet been made whether to add extra days at the end of this school year to make up the days that have been taken from us.
It has been 3 years since the last teachers strike in Sacramento City Unified School District (SCUSD), which only lasted a day. But the rumors are true, the teachers’ union-Sacramento City Teachers Association (SCTA)- has concluded they will strike beginning of March 23, 2022. On April 18, 97% of the teachers have voted to continue with a strike.
Along with SCTA, SEIU Local 1021 union will be collaborating and non-teacher staff will be striking alongside the teachers. Last week,John F. Kennedy High School teachers handed out flyers in the parking lot to parents dropping off students for school. According to the flyers, SCTA has stated reasons for the strike and why they need the parents and students support: 3000 students go without even a substitute teacher in a classroom, 600 go without instruction and are still on a waiting list to be enrolled in independent study, and students are crammed into buses because of a driver shortage.
They also state that “SCUSD is in its best financial position in its history” but instead of spending resources on students and recruiting and retaining staff, SCUSD Superintendent Jorge Aguilar has demanded cuts in the average educators take-home pay of $10,000 a year. Aguilar has responded that “having a strike will only cause chaos for students and families.”
The teachers held a rally in front of the district’s main office on March 17, and soon after there was a board meeting. There was said to be no negotiations and no agreements, and the threat of a strike carried on. Afterward, SCTA verified that the strike will be planned for March 23; SCUSD announced on March 20 that all district schools closedown the day of the strike and throughout however long it last.
The conditions of the strike will only cause harm to the students because of the education that will be taken away from them. Teachers are not allowed to step foot on campus, assign homework, or be in contact with students over Google Classroom because that would mean they are crossing the picket line which goes against the strike. Many teachers are finding this upsetting because of their teaching time being taken away from them and they would have to plan accordingly. However, many teachers are still going through with it despite the disruption. Although students are excited for the extra days off, it may be causing the district to add extra days at the end of the year into what is supposed to be our summer. All we can do at the moment is wait for this to pass and hope that it won’t go longer than 3 days.