Classes to Resume at San Juan Capistrano Schools

Schools were nearly empty Monday as students joined picket lines

Monday Teachers Strike

Classes were to resume Tuesday in Orange County's second largest school district.

That's because a standoff ended with a tentative three-year agreement between the district and its teachers union. The Capistrano Unified School District and California Unified Education Association came to terms about 11:30 p.m. Monday after more than 32 hours of closed-door negotiations over the past five days.

"We are really, really happy for our teachers and our schools, to have our family back together again," school board President Anna Bryson told the Orange County Register. "It's a really wonderful feeling to know our kids will have their teachers."

The tentative agreement restores salary and furlough days as revenues increase and reopens bargaining in the 2011-2012 school year, said Bill Guy, a spokesman for the parent union California Teachers Association.

More than 2,000 teachers walked off the job Thursday after the district slashed salaries to help close a $34 million budget shortfall.

Negotiations continued over how long a 10.1 percent pay cut will last. Teachers said they did not oppose the pay cut but wanted it to expire by June 30, 2011.

The schools looked like ghost towns Monday on the third day of the strike. Attendance on Monday ranged from 50 to 17 percent.

Some students joined their parents to support the teachers on the picket lines. That included the Saalberg girls, Olivia and Lauren. They did not attend Bathgate Elementary School down the street on Monday. Their mother believing whatever they're losing in the classroom they're gaining back by taking a stand.

"Olivia had perfect attendance, up until Thursday. Perfect attendance this year, but I was willing to keep her home because I just feel so strongly that we have the best teachers. The cream of the crop and they need to be respected," said Janet Saalberg, Capistrano Parent.

The teachers moved from schools to street corners to rally public support, at the same time meeting with district officials to try and resolve the main sticking point, whether a 10 percent pay cut is a temporary cut, or becomes permanent.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
Contact Us