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Sac City Unified Re-opening & Strikin (4/8)

Updated: Apr 18, 2021

(thanks to Mo Kashmiri for this update)


1. SCUSD Reopens In-Person Learning

District re-opened schools with a concurrent learning schedule that offers 3 hours of in-person learning two times a week.

Students are divided

up into two cohorts. The District continues to offer distance learning, and educators will be teaching distance learners simultaneously.

  • K-3 & K-6 SDC started on April 8th

  • 4-6 will start April 15th

  • 7-12 will start April 22nd

Reopening wasn’t perfect and there were issues with tech setup. But, overall students and parents seemed happy to return to in-person learning. 2. Classified Employees Announce Potential Strike On April 22nd & 23rd (this update was announced after the board meeting)

The District announced impasse in negotiations with classified staff (who are represented by SEIU Local 1021). The classified bargaining unit includes instructional aides, school front office staff, bus drivers, and more. The classified staff voted down the Districts offer by 92% and their bargaining team announced a candlelight vigil on April 20th followed by an unfair labor practice strike on April 22nd and 23rd.

Please contact your school board member to ask them to return to the table and get a fair deal for classified employees.

There will be a special meeting at 5pm on Thursday, April 15th to discuss negotiations. The issues in dispute are

  • Access to N95 fit tested masks

  • Plexiglass barriers

  • Childcare stipends & reimbursement

  • Physical distancing

  • Leaves of absence

On April 14th, the SCTA Rep Council unanimously approved strike support for the SEIU classified workers up to and including a sympathy strike.

3. District Attempts to Meet & Confer with Sac City Teachers Association (SCTA) About Reducing Physical Distancing to 3 feet (as recommended by CDC), but SCTA refuses.

The District hopes to talk to SCTA about potential decreasing distance between students, and the effects of such a change. They point out that the latest MOU to reopen stated that they would continue to meet. SCTA disputes their interpretation. The District decides to continue trying to schedule a meeting with SCTA.

4. District Discussed Summer School Plans

There are no firm plans yet, but the District hopes to use some of the augmented COVID money to expand summer school. They discuss using an opt-out strategy instead of an opt-in strategy, and targeting it to certain students based on data. They are looking at a decentralized model based on SPSAs at each site, and are looking at partnering with CBOs for enrichment. Unfortunately, the District has not collaborated with teachers yet in developing the summer school program yet.

5. Board passed a symbolic statement against Anti-Asian hate and violence.

WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE? ARE THERE IMPORTANT NEXT STEPS ON THIS ISSUE? WHAT SHOULD SJPC READERS DO? Ask the Board to come to an agreement with their classified staff to avoid a potential strike. The staff deserve dignity, respect, and safety. Encourage them to work collaboratively with staff and families long-term instead of in a top-down manner.

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Mo, thank you for a pretty balanced report of the current issues in Sac City USD. I would give you B+. Two related things deserve mention. One, the District is prohibited from working from collaboratively with teachers because of the long history of the unions filing “direct dealing” grievances when the District seeks input or brainstorming with teachers. But when the District tries to meet and confer, the point you made about SCTA refusing to meet paralyzes important initiatives to improve student experiences. Two, the last statement — your call to action — ignores the first thing, and the District‘ actions might appear “top-down” because of the SCTA’s refusal to meet and the District’s inability to plan and work nimbly…

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Thank you so much for providing this background and perspective.

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