CERRITOS (CNS) – Teachers at the ABC Unified School District, unhappy with the results of ongoing contract negotiations, are planning a “work slowdown” on Monday and a sick-out and possible strike in the coming days, it was reported today.
Ray Gaer, president of the ABC Federation of Teachers, told Cerritos Community News that “the ABCFT will commence a work to rule campaign starting Monday. We are not entertaining a strike at this time but we are trying to illustrate to the ABCUSD School Board that our work matters and should be valued.”
The main issue appears to be teacher pay, with union officials saying they’ve worked without a contract for two years, while the district has spent money on various campus improvements.
Attempts to reach the teachers and district officials Sunday were not immediately successful.
In its most recent newsletter on Jan. 22, the teachers union said its negotiating team exchanged offers with the district in a mid-January negotiating session and had another meeting scheduled for Jan. 26.
“Expectations have only gone up, not down,” the union’s Ruben Mancillas said. “Members know what the inflation rate is. Members know what the salary schedules are in neighboring districts. Members are aware of how much additional federal and state funding has been made available to help support the extraordinary circumstances we have all been challenged with. Members have even seen new capital improvements like solar parking structures going up in the district parking lot. They have an understandable sense of urgency regarding negotiations producing a positive result for themselves and their families.”
District officials — who did not immediately respond to Cerritos Community News’ request for a comment, previously told the newspaper that the government reclaims reserve money above a certain percentage if it’s not spent.
The ABC Unified School District serves the cities of Artesia, most of Cerritos, Hawaiian Gardens, the portion of Lakewood east of the San Gabriel River, and tiny portions of Long Beach, Norwalk and La Mirada.