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Schools in Sacramento reopen as temporary shops end strike

Schools reopened Monday in Sacramento City’s Unified School District after teachers and other workers reached a tentative agreement increasing wages and handing out one-time stipends, ending a crippling strike that had closed schools for eight days.

School district officials announced the tentative agreement with the Sacramento City Teachers’ Association Sunday night. and SEIU Local 1021, a union representing bus drivers, teaching assistants and supervisors, and other classified employees.

The teachers’ strike in the California capital that began March 23 — affecting 43,000 students and 76 schools — was driven by teachers and other classified district employees who, according to teachers and other district employees, are experiencing severe staff shortages, heavy workloads and concerns about pay were. The strike came as districts across the country faced similar crises exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, including staff shortages, exhaustion and the pressures of academic recovery.

The tentative agreement includes a 4% pay rise to increase the cost of living, thousands of dollars in one-time grants and improved dental and eye care plans — changes that address the root causes of a classified staff shortage, the unions said. The agreement with the teachers’ union provides for, among other things, cost-of-living compensation, one-off scholarships, additional paid COVID-19 sick days and increased salaries for substitute teachers as well as three additional training days.

“The community heard their stories, stayed with us, and continued to pressure the principal and school board to do the right thing with their workers,” said Karla Faucett, president of SEIU Local 1021.

Sacramento City Unified Superintendent Jorge A. Aguilar said in a statement that the agreements with the unions “show how much we value our staff” who go back to school on Monday. Aguilar also acknowledged the weekend mass shooting in Sacramento in a nightclub district that killed six and injured 12 others.

“Schools serve as safe havens and centers for emotional and mental health support for many students,” Aguilar said. “This tragedy underscores the importance of the return of our students and staff on Monday, and I look forward to welcoming our students back.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-04-04/sacramento-schools-to-reopen-end-of-strike Schools in Sacramento reopen as temporary shops end strike

Dais Johnston

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