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Kids in a classroom. (Photo: Shutterstock/Syda Productions)

8-Day Sacramento Teachers Strike Ended: Were Their Demands Met?

Coming on the tail of the shooting trauma downtown, SCTA thought kids needed to get back to school

By Katy Grimes, April 4, 2022 1:30 pm

The 7-day Sacramento City Teachers Association union strike against the Sacramento City Unified School District ended Sunday evening. School district and union officials announced they reached an agreement between the district, the SEIU Local 1021 and the SCTA teachers union.

Late Sunday, the SCTA issued this announcement:

“We are proud to announce that tonight around 7:30 p.m. we reached an agreement with the District that enabled to us to end the strike.
While we will be providing more details in an upcoming update, it’s important to know that we accomplished our major objectives that will help us address the staffing crisis in SCUSD. We’re also proud to announce that our sisters and brothers in SEIU also reached an agreement tonight.
Accordingly, classes will resume tomorrow. Contract ratification plans will also be announced soon.”

On the SCTA Facebook page, they announced “BREAKING: We WON for our students alongside our SEIU Local 1021 colleagues! The power of our strike resulted in a deal that will help address the severe staffing crisis in our district. We cannot wait to see our students tomorrow, back at school where we all belong. #SCTA4Students #SacCitySolidarity.”

A teacher source reported that apparently there has been no signed agreement between the school district and teachers union yet, which is usually the process once an agreement established. “I would expect a memorandum of understanding to come out today. But just to clarify, they said there’s an agreement but there’s no signing yet.”

The source gave one other noteworthy point to the agreement:

“Supposedly there will be a 4% pay raise retroactive to September 2021 to 2022.  However when you factor in the eight days of no pay for the strike… i.e., the lost pay, at least for top tiered salaries for teachers… it winds up being a net deficit of 4/10 of a percent… just to maintain what they already have… In the way of healthcare insurance.”

“Of course that doesn’t include any emotional trauma that the children have been through either… Or their families. Bottom line some bigger political money parties are involved I think… Especially coming on the tail of the shooting trauma downtown… They thought kids need to get back to school. No kidding!”

The SCTA addressed the shooting in their announcement:

“Finally, in the wake of last night’s tragic shootings, our students and our community need the strong and comforting support of SCTA and SEIU educators in our classrooms and throughout our worksites.”

The Globe was with parents of SCUSD students Sunday evening when the messages came through. We heard the unnaturally chirpy recording sent to parents announcing that classes would resume Monday morning April 4th. Similar to the tone of the recorded message SCUSD Board of Education President Christina Pritchett effusively said, “We are overjoyed that our students can return to school tomorrow.”

The only employee of the SCUSD who has reason to be overjoyed is SCUSD Superintendent Jorge Aguilar whose total compensation climbed from $380,692.47 to $414,818, an increase of $34,126 or 9.0% while city schools were in COVID lockdowns.

The Globe was also told that the SCTA union was already planning on returning to work April 11th, the drop-dead date that their striking time off would trigger an additional year of service in order to maintain their benefits.

The Sacramento City Unified School District issued a negotiations update April 3 with an overview of the agreement with SCTA and SEIU:

Employee compensation

    • Ongoing 4% salary increase starting in the 2021-22 school year.
    • 3% one-time stipend for 2019-2020, pro-rated for part-time employees;
    • 3% one-time stipend for 2020-2021, pro-rated for part-time employees;
    • One time payment of $1,250 in 2021-22 for every full-time SCTA-represented employee, and a pro-rated amount for part-time employees.

Increased Compensation for Substitute Teachers

    • Increase substitute teacher daily rate by 25% for substitutes who filled in for absent teachers during the 2021-22 school year.
    • Additional 14 days of sick leave for substitute teachers who test positive, are  experiencing COVID symptoms, or are required to quarantine.

Additional Professional Development

    • 3 additional paid days for professional learning in the 2022-23 school year. The professional learning will include anti-racist training, and content related to Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) and Universal Design for Learning.

Health Coverage

    • The district will continue to provide 100% paid health coverage through Kaiser and a mutually agreed upon alternative plan or plans. The current alternative plan is HealthNet.
    • The district and SCTA will research provider pools and/or additional benefit provider options to increase benefit plan choices for employees, and will reach agreement on or before August 31, 2022 or any other mutually agreed upon date on any additional plans that offer equivalent level of value as the HealthNet plan.
    • In the event that health plan changes are agreed to and  savings are achieved, the savings will be applied to fund additional positions that support the district’s MTSS framework for providing equitable learning for all students.

Withdrawal of pending unfair practice charges and grievances

    • SCTA agrees to withdraw a grievance and all of its pending unfair practice charges filed with the Public Employment Relations Board.

​​Here is an overview of the district’s agreement with SEIU:

Employee Compensation

    • 4% ongoing salary increase, effective July 1, 2021
    • $3,000 one-time stipend for 2020-21
    • $3,000 one-time stipend for 2021-22
    • $1,000 one-time retention stipend for current employees for the 2021-22 school year
    • Wage reopener for the 2022-2023 school year
    • $238 increase in Longevity Pay effective July 1, 2022

By offering equal dollar amount stipends to SEIU, instead of percentage-based stipends which was proposed to SCTA, the district is providing hourly paid employees significantly more money than what they would receive from a stipend based on a salary percentage stipend. These dollar-amount stipends reflect the district’s commitment to equity and social justice for all employees.

The agreement also included a package of incentives specifically aimed at recruiting and retaining Bus Drivers.

    • Special Salary Adjustment committee to discuss how to recruit and retain bus drivers.
    • $2,000 Retention Bonus for current bus drivers for the 2022-23 school year.
    • $2,000 Recruitment and Signing Bonus for new bus drivers who complete the SCUSD training program for bus drivers for the 2022-23 school year.
    • $2,000 Recruitment and Signing Bonus for SEIU members who refer a new bus driver who provides service to the district in the 2022-23 school year.
    • $5,000 signing bonus for new bus driver employees who are fully licensed to drive a bus. In order to receive the signing bonus, the employee must provide service to the District for the entire 2022-23 school year.

The agreement with SEIU also included several provisions to improve SEIU members’ working conditions, including:

    • Continue 100% district paid health premiums for all eligible SEIU members and their dependents up to the Kaiser active rates
    • Enhance dental and vision benefits to premier coverage plans
    • Provide safety shoes for nutrition services staff
    • Increase by $30 the amount allocated for safety shoes for transportation staff
    • A classification and compensation study for all SEIU classifications
    • Increase the minimum hours for bus attendants
    • Increase the number of 8 hour bus routes
    • Reduction from 3 years to 18 months that an employee will have to wait to receive credit for professional growth.

As the Globe reported last week, shutting down public schools at a time when parents are removing kids at an unheard of rate shows the depth of the lack of leadership in the city and in the state. Perhaps this was taken into consideration with the reopening and return to classes.

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One thought on “8-Day Sacramento Teachers Strike Ended: Were Their Demands Met?

  1. Those are extremely generous give aways to people that chose to stay home for two years and let the kids suffer. Then, come back to work and almost immediately go on strike again. Unbelievable!

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