SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — It has been less than a week since elementary school students within Sacramento City Unified School District began in-person classes.
But a union representing bus drivers, food workers, teacher aides and more could strike if they feel schools are not safely reopening.
Although both sides have yet to agree on a plan, they are reporting to work.
“We all want to return to school. All of us want to go back to school,” said Karla Faucett, SCUSD chapter president.
Faucett and Dan Schallock represent the SEIU Local 1021 union.
It has about 1,900 members and 92% voted to reject the district’s safety proposal, with an option of striking on the table.
“Our big divides are in health and safety,” Schallock said.
The union is asking the district to provide childcare, N-95 masks and distancing of 6 feet. Also listed in the proposal are one-time stipends of $1,500 for employees with children between the ages of 3 and 14.
“How would you feel the choice, either I have to go to work to make a living to put food on the table for my family, or I have to go home and be a mom or dad to take care of my children. That’s a tough decision to have to put on a person,” Faucett said.
The district disagrees on what is dividing the two sides, telling FOX40 it’s between childcare and distancing requirements. While the union wants a distance of 6 feet, the district says they are following state and federal guidelines with a 3-foot distance.
On stipends, the district says they have offered it along with a $1,000 bonus for members who have worked on-site since last summer.
After not coming to agreement, a mediator was brought in with the aim to resolve differences.
“The District is committed to working through the impasse process with SEIU and remains hopeful that through that process, and with the assistance of a State Mediator, we will reach an agreement,” SCUSD said.
Both sides remain optimistic that a deal can be reached, but the question of when remains.
“Unless a resolution happens very quickly. A strike is coming very quickly,” Schallock said.
As of Wednesday, a strike has been scheduled for April 22. That is also the day when middle and high school students return to campus.
The district says their impasse was approved on Monday and hope an agreement happens soon.