Possible Teachers Strike Has Sacramento District Scrambling To Fill Hundreds Of Positions

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Sacramento teachers plan to go on strike as soon as Wednesday of next week.

The announcement was made during a large protest Thursday outside the Sacramento City Unified School district offices.

“I honestly can’t even believe it,” said one parent, “it’s just crazy.”

About 2,000 people with signs and posters in hand crowded the Sacramento City Unified School District parking lot.

“I understand why the teachers are doing it and I support it,” said the parent Kristie Corcoran.

It was announced that in six days, teachers would go on strike if the school system doesn’t meet their demands.

“They’re ignoring us,” said Theresa Philipps, a science teacher in the district, “they forget that we’re the service providers.”

Frustrated teachers say they’ve been overlooked for pay raises. They have class sizes that are too large, and that some schools are lacking nurses and special-needs educators.

“I think the district is doing a great job about hiding and lying about their financial situation,” said Philipps.

“It’s not realistic, and it’s completely unworkable,” said Alex Barrios with the Sacramento City Unified School District.

He says the Sacramento City Teacher’s Union’s demands would drain the school system’s cash reserves almost immediately.

Barrios says the district proposed a $25 million package, which will still lead to financial trouble down the road.

He says the school systems reserve funds will drop from $66 million now, to $31 million by the 2020 school year.

“We may have to make some cuts down the line, but we think it’s sustainable because we do want to reward our teachers,” said Barrios.

An independent fact-finding report is due to be released in 10 days. Barrios says any action by the teachers union, including a strike before then would be a violation of their terms.

“It would be an illegal strike, and we would take legal action to try and stop it,” said Barrios.

The school system has received more than 1,000 applications for substitute teachers in the event of a strike. Barrios says the school system is preparing for the potential for 600-700 teachers to walk out.

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