Sacramento schools reopen as tentative deal ends strike

April 4, 2022 GMT

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Teachers and other workers returned to schools in Sacramento on Monday following weekend negotiations that resolved a strike for better pay and more staffing that lasted nearly two weeks.

The Sacramento City Unified School District announced Sunday that it reached tentative agreements with the Sacramento City Teachers Association and a union representing workers such as bus drivers, instructional aides and custodians among others.

The strike in the district in California’s capital began on March 23, affecting 43,000 students and 76 schools.

“The power of our strike resulted in a deal that will help address the severe staffing crisis in our district,” the teachers association tweeted.

The tentative agreement includes ongoing 4% salary increases starting with the current school year, 3% one-time stipends for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 school years and one-time payments of $1,250 in the current school year. It also gives a 25% daily rate increase for substitutes who filled in for absent teachers this year and 14 more sick days for substitutes who test positive for or have symptoms of COVID-19, the school district said in a statement. The school district also agreed to cover 100% of health care coverage.

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“From start to finish, our members have been united in the belief that schools should be adequately staffed with a teacher in front of every classroom,” teachers union President David Fisher said in a statement. “Additionally, we were united in our belief that concessions in healthcare benefits were unacceptable at a time when the district was receiving increased funding.”

Teachers will hold a ratification vote of the deal early this week and the school board is expected to vote on the agreement at its Thursday meeting, the teachers union said.

News of the settlement came as Sacramento reeled from a weekend mass shooting in a nightclub district that killed six people and wounded 12 others.