SOUTH SACRAMENTO — Teachers in the Sacramento City Unified School District will once again be hitting the picket lines as their union claims the district is engaged in unfair labor practices.
The Sacramento City Teachers Association says it only wanted a one-day strike in April to minimize the impact on students.
On Tuesday, the union said it will once again hold a one-day strike on May 22 if no deal is reached.
The dispute between the district and its teachers union continues to be over a $35 million, two-year deficient.
The district says the teachers’ health care plan is costing it big, with about $11 million going to health insurance company Health Net for SCTA members in the 2018-2019 school year.
“That health care savings could produce the necessary deficient savings to help avoid state receivership,” said school board President Jessie Ryan.
But the union says that health care plan was included in the November 2017 contract agreement signed by both parties.
The union’s vice president told FOX40 she feels the savings should really come from cutting administrative jobs.
“Well, less than half of the administrators in the district are actually at sites working with kids,” said SCTA Vice President Nikki Milevsky.
But Ryan said that won’t save enough money to avoid a potential state takeover of the district.
“That’s always the first place you look and if we could find enough savings to avoid state takeover by administrative cuts alone, believe me, the board would have done that,” she said.
But the union says their agreement also states any savings that come from a health plan switch must go back into helping students by reducing class sizes and providing more nurses, librarians and psychologists.
“What they want to do is they want to have us change but then take the savings so they can continue millions of dollars in payoffs to their highest paid administrators,” said SCTA President David Fisher.
As the back and forth continues between both groups, the union says it picked May 22 to coincide with an event planned at the State Capitol.
“That’s the day that the California Teachers Association will be bringing educators from across the state to a Red For Ed rally to try to significantly improve spending on public education in California,” Fisher said.
On May 2, one dispute between the two groups may be resolved. An arbitrator mediating a salary schedule dispute will finalize his decision. That decision is going to be legally binding as ordered by a judge.