San Francisco teachers set Wednesday for strike
By Adam Martin, Bay City News Service
March 25, 2006
The union representing teachers, substitutes and aides in the
San Francisco Unified School District has set Wednesday as the
date for their strike authorization vote.
The union will hold a meeting from 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Kezar
Pavilion, located at 755 Stanyan St., to discuss the bargaining
package and issues that might spur a strike, spokesman Matthew
Hardy said Friday.
The union has two further state-mediated negotiating sessions
scheduled with the district for April 4 and April 10. "We're
not willing to schedule more negotiating sessions,'' Hardy said,
though he said the union would not strike until after those two
scheduled sessions take place.
"We've been as patient as we could, but the district has
not given any indication that they are willing to settle this,''
The main sticking point in the negotiations has so far been salary.
The union wants a 10 percent salary increase over the 18-month
contract period, with a 3 percent retroactive raise for the past
year. The district has offered 7.5 percent for the period, retroactive
District negotiator Tom Ruiz said last week that he wanted the
union to put the district's proposal to its membership for a vote
before they held a strike authorization vote.
Hardy, however, said the union has not received a comprehensive
proposal from the district. In addition to a salary increase,
he said, the union is calling for improved pest control, a phone
in every classroom, conflict mediation training for its members
and equal protection for paraprofessionals.
"All of these things are still on the table. What are they
supposed to vote on?'' he said. Ruiz said that, while the district
has not made a comprehensive offer, union members should have
enough information to vote.
"If you put all the proposals together that we have given
back to the union they would represent a comprehensive proposal.
Maybe it has not been packaged as such, but the union has our
proposal,'' he said.
Hardy said the strike vote would require a quorum of at least
15 percent of the union's membership to vote by a 2/3 majority
in order to authorize a strike. Members, he said, would be able
to cast their votes throughout Wednesday's meeting. The result
will most likely be read by 8:30 p.m., he said.
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