Compton Teachers Sickout Controversy Reaches Stalemate

More than 50 teachers called in sick last week at Dominguez High School, and at least 19 did the same at McNair Elementary yesterday

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    During preparation for standardized tests, the Compton sickout controversy has reached a stalemate between the teacher's union and district officials.

    Sick or not sick?

    That is the question plaguing the Compton Unified School District after epidemic “sickouts” have hit elementary and high school campuses across the city.

    Tensions Mount Over Compton Teacher Sickout

    [LA] Controversy Deepens Over Compton Sickout
    Compton's teacher's union president insists that this week's walkout by at least 19 elementary school teachers wasn't planned. But the city's school district believes otherwise. John Cádiz Klemack reports from Compton for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Friday, March 21, 2013. (Published Friday, March 21, 2014)

    The problem is exacerbated because students in Compton are prepping for standardized tests and a teacher strike appears imminent.

    Teacher "Sickout" Was Planned: Officials

    [LA] Teachers Camouflage Possible Strike by Calling Out Sick: Officials
    Officials warn that Tuesday's "sickout" by teachers in the Compton Unified School District was planned, and more may be coming. John Cádiz Klemack reports for NBC4 News at 6 p.m. from Compton Tuesday, March 11, 2014. (Published Tuesday, March 11, 2014)

    The sickouts come amid contract negotiations between disgruntled teachers and district officials.

    Concerns Grows Over Compton Teachers' "Sickout"

    [LA] Concerns Grows Over Compton Teachers' "Sickout"
    Dozens of teachers in Compton stayed home in an apparent protest, and there are concerns that it could happen again. Beverly White reports from Compton for the NBC4 News at 11 on Tuesday, March 11, 2014. (Published Wednesday, March 12, 2014)

    The teacher's union President, Patrick Sullivan, insisted the sickouts were not staged by the union. He also said he was working during the first sickout.

    Compton Teachers Return to School

    [LA] Compton Teachers Return to School
    Parents and school district officials breathed a sigh of relief when teachers showed up for work on Wednesday, one day after 55 teachers called out sick from Manuel Dominguez High School in Compton. John Cádiz Klemack reports for the NBC4 News at Noon Wednesday, March 12, 2014. (Published Wednesday, March 12, 2014)

    NBC4 reported last week that more than 50 Dominguez High School teachers called in sick. On Thursday, at least 19 teachers did the same thing at McNair Elementary.

    NBC4 learned, however, that Sullivan had called in sick.

    Teachers Walk Out Over Contract Dispute

    [LA] Teachers Walkout Over Contract Dispute
    At least 19 teachers at McNair Elementary in Compton called in sick to work on Thursday morning amid ongoing contract negotiations between the school district and the teachers' union. Conan Nolan reports from Compton for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Thursday, March 20, 2014. (Published Thursday, March 20, 2014)

    District officials believe the sickouts were planned and will continue throughout labor contract negotiations.

    The union denies it.

    Compton School Board members, meanwhile, are demanding that the union and the district work out their issues so students are no longer affected.

    "We're not going to tolerate this type of behavior," said Micah Ali, the Compton School Board president. "We can never recoup the education these children will lose if teachers continue to practice this behavior."

    If it turns out the “sickouts” were planned, the union would be violating the bargaining agreement.

    Luther Waters, the principal at Roosevelt Middle School, said the impasse could have an impact on student preparations for standardized tests that happen next week.

    "There should never be a disruption of the school day," Waters said. "We're all in this for the same reason and ultimately it's student achievement."

    They'll have four negotiations between April 7-14.

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