Strike Authorization Stirred by District’s Unlawful Behavior and Unwillingness to Live Up to Terms of Last Year’s Agreement – National Ramifications for Teachers’ Union Contracts Elsewhere
Sacramento (March 15, 2019): The Sacramento City Teachers Association (SCTA) today announced that 92 percent of the union’s members have voted to authorize a strike to protest the massive unfair labor practices and unlawful activity of Superintendent Jorge Aguilar and other district administrators and school board members. States and large school districts across California and the country have had major strikes over the past year, but this would be the first big city strike sparked by “unfair labor practices” and a district’s reneging on terms of a contract agreement.
SCTA’s members have authorized the SCTA Executive Board to call a strike – at a date likely in the next month – if Aguilar and the Sac City Unified Schools District persist in their unlawful behavior and avoid taking measure to correct their actions.
The unlawful activities include:
- Refusing to honor the collective bargaining agreement approved by teachers and the District in December 2017, which included class size reduction and increased numbers of school nurses and psychologists, and in effect, repudiating the contract;
- Refusing to meet at reasonable times and places with representatives, the educators have elected to have represent them, and attempting to dictate who the teachers have represent them at the bargaining table;
- Making unilateral and unlawful changes to the wages and working conditions of teachers without bargaining;
- Failing to send district representatives to the bargaining table who have the authority to negotiate on behalf of the district, rendering bargaining meaningless;
- And others
In addition, SCTA has questioned the fiscal mismanagement of Aguilar and others. The district stands on the brink of state takeover due to insolvency, particularly in the aftermath of a scathing audit (which you can read here) by the state of California's Fiscal Crisis Management Assistance Team (FCMAT). SCTA has also raised questions about conflicts of interest by Superintendent Aguilar and other top administrators, which you can read about here and here.
"It's truly unfortunate that teachers may be forced to strike to get Superintendent Jorge Aguilar, Board President Jessie Ryan and other district leaders to obey the law, including things as simple as agreeing to meet with us and honoring agreements they signed," said David Fisher, President of the Sacramento City Teachers Association and a parent of two students in the District. "What kind of example are they setting for the 40,000 students in our District?"
Recently, the California Joint Legislative Audit Committee directed the state auditor to conduct a forensic audit of the Sac City Unified School District due to growing concerns of fiscal mismanagement.
Prior to establishing an actual strike date, however, SCTA today sent a letter to the District offering to meet on Tuesday, March 26 and/or Thursday March 28 to give the district an opportunity to cure its unlawful behavior.