“One day longer, one day stronger” is the rallying cry on the streets of Sacramento as the Sac City Educators Strike reaches six days today with teachers holding the line for the education Sacramento City Unified School District (SCUSD) students deserve.
The combined 4,600 members of Sacramento City Teachers Association (SCTA) and SEIU Local 1021, which represents SCUSD’s education support professionals, have packed picket lines at school sites across the city and come together for massive midday rallies. Powered by their unity and the widespread support of students, their families and the Sacramento community, educators are somehow getting stronger every day on the line, incensed by SCUSD’s antics and continued disrespect.
“We’ve got bargaining to fix on Day Six! We’ve got a school board to fix on Day Six,” shouted SCTA President David Fisher at today’s rally at the SCUSD Serna Center. “We’re here today to get a job done!”
Fisher and SCTA Vice President Nikki Milevsky led the 100-member bargaining team into the district office in an attempt to find SCUSD Superintendent Jorge Aguilar, waiting inside on his team to return to bargaining. The district is expected to give SCTA a proposal shortly. This after last night when district negotiators proposed new demands they somehow thought would lead to the end of a strike on its fifth day: adding more standardized tests for students and cutting the benefits of retirees.
The district continues to play games while Sac City educators continue to put themselves on the line for the quality public education all Sacramento students deserve, like a teacher in every classroom.
“There’s a solution that’s been evident since March 17,” Fisher said. “Why is it taking the superintendent and school board taking so long to come to that same conclusion?”
The district still refuses to accept the fact-finder’s recommendation designed to address the district’s severe staffing crisis. Sac City Unified officials continue to fail their students and community by refusing to address a staffing crisis that has left 3,000 to 5,000 students warehoused in auditoriums or forced to double- and triple-up in classrooms every day, due to a lack of staffing. More than 10,000 students do not have a permanent teacher, every day. SCUSD is short 250 teachers, more than 100 substitute teachers and 400 essential school staff. Nearly 600 students who have applied for independent study because they are unable to attend school in-person, receive no instruction at all.
The district also continues to demand a take-away in health insurance.
Educators were joined earlier this week by legendary organizer and activist Dolores Huerta, who energized the thousands rallying in the pouring rain.
“Just like we need the rain to nourish our lands, we need teachers to nourish our brains,” Huerta said.
Keep up with the Sac City educators strike!
Follow SCTA on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for up-to-date news and information, and visit their website at www.sacteachers.org. A strike fund has also been set up to provide financial support for educators struggling to make ends meet while on the picket line. Please consider donating and sharing with your network.