San Ramon Valley Teachers, District Try to Avoid Strike

Yet another teachers strike was looming Wednesday night in the East Bay as negotiations between teachers in San Ramon and their school district continued.

Both sides were at the district offices late Wednesday night, and reports were circulating that they were near an agreement. Teachers, parents and students attending a town hall at Dougherty Valley High School in San Ramon were hopeful a deal could be reached without a walkout.

“The salary they offered us was just 2 percent spread out over two years,” said Ann Katzburg, president of the San Ramon Valley Education Association. “We were asking for 5 percent.”

The district says what’s happening in San Ramon is reflective of what’s going on across the state.

San Ramon Teachers to Decide Whether or Not to Strike

[BAY] San Ramon Teachers to Decide Whether or Not to Strike

“All of us are facing declining enrollment, which means less revenue and at the same time rising health care and pension costs, with not enough money coming from the state,” district spokeswoman Elizabeth Graswich said.

The teachers union voted Friday night to approve a strike. Ninety-eight percent of the 1,695 union members said yes to a strike as teachers fight for manageable class sizes, more nurses, librarians, counselors and better pay to accommodate the cost of living in the East Bay, among other things, the union said.

“What that means is when we go to ‘fact finding’ — should it not go well — we have been authorized by our executive board to initiate a strike should we need it,” Katzburg said in a statement. 

The district has offered a 3 percent pay raise in 2019, according to the teachers union.

Graswich said the district had two “positive” meetings with the union last week. 

“We remain committed to the negotiation process and hopeful that we can find common ground and avoid the disruption a strike would have on the educational environment,” district spokesperson Elizabeth Graswich said.

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