Below are a number of Frequently Asked Questions related to possible strike. A printable version can be found by clicking here.
Frequently Asked Questions About a Possible SCTA Strike
Q. Why is a Strike a possibility in the Sacramento City Unified School District?
A. A strike is a possibility because for nearly one year and through more than 25 bargaining sessions, the District’s leadership has failed to bargain in good faith during negotiations with our Association. The District is in the best financial position in its history. Ongoing revenue from the state has increased by $127 million or 57% since 2012-13, but salaries for educators have increased by only 8% during the same period. Additionally, the District received $800 per student more in ADA than either Elk Grove and San Juan (which don’t have a massive vacancy rate), while our wages lag considerable behind. A comparison of wages can be found at http://sacteachers.org/calculator/ or by clicking here. At the same time, the District just negotiated a contract with administrators that provides increases of approximately 15% in take home pay. The District ended this year with another $4.77 million surplus. The District has refused to provide accurate information and refused to bring decision-makers to the bargaining table. While negotiations have moved to fact-finding, the District’s bad faith conduct has not been remedied.
Q. What is going on with fact-finding?
A. The fact-finding hearing is scheduled for October 2nd. Both sides will present their best case to a panel that includes a neutral third party. After the hearing a panel with one representative of the Association, one from the District, and the neutral will meet and if an agreement can’t be reached the neutral will draft a report. Once the draft report is completed, it will be shared among representatives of the parties for ten days who can then submit responses. A final report will become public after those ten days have elapsed. Once the fact finder’s recommendation is made public, either side may accept or reject the report. If we accept the report, and the District rejects it, we then have the right to strike, a right reinforced by the District’s unlawful, bad faith bargaining.
Q. What are we voting on?
A. The SCTA Board of Directors, the Bargaining Team, and the SCTA Rep Council are all recommending that members vote to authorize the bargaining team to call a strike to protest the District’s bad faith bargaining and to support a fair settlement. The exact date a strike would commence is a determination that will be made after the fact- finder’s recommendation is released publicly and we know the District’s response. The more we are united, the stronger the vote, the more likely we are to reach a great settlement.
Q. Why don’t we all just call in sick?
A. A sick-out does not have the same legal protections as a strike. By making our protest an official job action, we are letting the broader community know that there are major problems at Sac City and that we are united to address those problems.
Q. Can anyone be disciplined for striking?
A. Absolutely not. It is unlawful for any employee to be disciplined for participating in a legal strike. To date, there are no known examples where any certificated educator has ever been disciplined for participating in a legal strike.
Q. What about probationary, temps, interns and substitute teachers?
A. All employees, regardless of their status, have the legal right to strike and cannot be disciplined or discriminated against in any way.
Q. Is a strike considered a break in service?
A. No, it is not.
Q. Will a strike have any effect on retirement?
A. In all likelihood no. First, there is a possibility to negotiate make-up days with the District. Second, even if a makeup days are not agreed to, because of the CALSTRS calculation formulas, which bases educators’ pensions on their highest three years of earnings, the loss of days from a strike will have a minimal affect.
Q. How does the voting work?
A. Votes will take place at work sites, but the results determined cumulatively throughout the District. To be eligible to vote you must be a member of SCTA. Authorization requires a simple majority of those voting.