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Hundreds of Orange County teachers strike over pay and benefits cuts

Hundreds of Orange County teachers were walking picket lines Thursday, the first day of a strike protesting pay and benefits cuts in the Capistrano Unified School District.

Schools in the 51,000-student district remained open, but most after-school activities and sports events were canceled.

Scores of substitute teachers were hurriedly brought in to preside over classrooms with lesson plans that included enrichment activities in line with state education standards. But there were reports that some students were leaving campuses because there were too few substitutes.

The Capistrano Unified Teachers Assn., which represents the district’s 2,200 teachers, called the strike after negotiations over wage and benefits cuts broke down. The district last month imposed a 10% pay cut on teachers.

Both sides have agreed to meet in a closed-door session later Thursday to try to end the deadlock.

-- Carla Rivera

Photo: Teacher Kay Serafini is comforted by sixth-grader Nikki Sadriafter after the teacher was seen crying on the picket line at Carl Hankey K-8 School in Mission Viejo. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (109)

These striking teachers and the Union that supports them are clearly only interested in how much Money and benefits they can squeeze out of their system. It is especially sad, and obvious to most normal working class individuals, that they have the proverbial Gall to do this during a time when most, are cutting back and doing with less and, accepting it. These Teachers should only paid what the teachers financial system can support to pay, and no more.

I don't believe the Union nor the teachers excuses with regard to this issue primarily being about a contract dispute, this is actually about benefits and money, period...

They should all be laid off and replaced with teachers willing to work within the financial limits of their organization, or have their pay kept at the rate it actually needs to be.

Greed is what one normally call this, and the time has come for all you overpaid state workers to come down to earth like the rest of us, it's just a matter of time before you all get your pay lowered or laid off.

So good luck,

Thank you very much,

Patrick H/Orange County, CA

I have loads of evidence on slush fund activity which has been occurring in several Orange County School Districts (the Capistrano Valley Unified School District having the most slush activity) for many years. In fact the Orange County Sheriff Department was made aware of this activity in June, 2008 and even opened a criminal investigation but so far has done absolutely nothing. The district attorney is also aware of these activities but has never contacted us to even look at the mounds of evidence we have. If you are concerned about how your tax dollars are being leaked out of the school districts, I highly recommend you call the Sheriff Department and encourage them to follow up on this case.

What saddens me most is the self-centered thought process behind the teacher's unions and their supporters. The public labor unions and collective bargaining have their boots on the throat of California and are racing us into decline and decay. Who amongst them is willing to seriously sacrifice what was "over-given" them during the financially wreckless excess of the last couple of decades? It's just a free-for-all fight over the goodies falling out of the taxpayer pinata. Why don't they tie public sector pay/benefits/pensions to those of the private sector and we can all rise and fall together? I bet we would find out real quickly that a 10% pay cut sounds a lot better! These parents keeping their kids out of school in "solidarity" our probably the same ones that helped defeat education reform on the ballot a few years back. The cost of the strike is further compounding our state budget crisis and prolonging the inevitable. I say fire all the teachers and I bet we will find most of them begging to be rehired with a 20% paycut and will be GRATEFUL to have a job. The students who are missing school should be held to consequence as well including being held back if they are not meeting the attendence requirements. People... you can not have your cake and eat it too!

The venom towards teachers is AWESOME! I can't wait till they *are* all fired and you get to see everything fall apart. Teachers have long held up this broken system, through their dedication and sacrifice, so that it at least functions somewhat. GO AHEAD and find out! Then you will be the ones crying for all that free babysitting, counseling, supplies & copies paid out of teachers' pockets -- oh, and THE DECENT EDUCATION that kids still get even though this system failed a long time ago. I CAN'T WAIT. Society's greatest hypocrisy -- claiming education is paramount but shafting it every year -- will finally be revealed. Hello corporate schools! YEA!

I'd like to see swarms of people WANT to go into K-12 teaching...but as we know, that doesn't happen. Ever ask yourself why? Let me ask you to ponder why YOU aren't a teacher? I'm waiting for all these "genuine" people you speak of who have a Bachelor's, a CA Credential (2yrs for Preliminary, add'l year for Clear), and a Master's (2yrs) who are going to replace the "lazy," "greedy" teachers: There are 617 job openings in the state -- go for it! In fact, here are just some job specs from real job postings:

Essential Duties and Responsibilities
-Fosters a safe and nurturing learning environment
-Continuously builds professional knowledge
-Organizes classroom systems/procedures and manages student behavior to ensure all students are fully engaged in learning
-Develops and maintains IATs (lesson plans)
-Establishes an environment where students are excited about learning and preparing for college
-Develops lesson plans according to the California state standards
-Prepares lesson plans for substitutes
-Builds strong relationships with students and parents
-Communicates with parents/guardians on a weekly basis
-Identifies student's areas for improvement and is able to work with the student and family and internal resources to suggest options for improvement
-Provides continual assessment of student progress, maintain student records and portfolios, and complete assigned paperwork in provided timeframes.
-Conducts both student and teacher lead parent conferences
-Collaborates with the Resource Specialist to meet the needs of all students
-Attends and participates in Academic Success Team, Parent/Teacher Advisory Council, and other school-based meetings and activities
-Performs disseminated leadership duties
-Attends and implements professional development training throughout and beyond the school year
-Demonstrates support and knowledge of school's goals and mission
-Is detail oriented when tracking students' grades, attendance, etcetera
-Works with the Principal, Assistant Principal, and the Director of Professional Development to ensure teaching methods are directed towards meeting and surpassing the standards
-Attends and participates in school-based meetings and activities
-Special assignments as assigned throughout the year

-Solid knowledge of subject matter, including California State Standards and subject-specific frameworks and assessments
-Ability to analyze qualitative and quantitative student data
-Ability to communicate effectively (verbal and written)
-Must be computer literate (MS Office)

-Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university
-Master’s degree in subject matter field or Education is strongly preferred
-Must possess a current California teaching credential or be enrolled in a credentialing/internship program at a college/university
-Bilingual in Spanish is strongly preferred

Job Duties:
• Demonstrate knowledge and support of school’s mission, vision, policies and procedures, and charter petition.
• Adhere to the California Standards for the Teaching Profession.
• Deliver instruction in order to carry out the instructional vision of the school.
• Plan lessons and implement classroom activities in accordance with the California State Content Standards.
• Conduct periodic assessments of student academic progress in order to guide instruction and to ensure that the academic goals of the students, the school, and of No Child Left Behind are met.
• Provide intervention and enrichment as necessary to address students’ specific needs. We train all our teachers, including our physical education, science, and history teachers to help teach our reading and math intervention programs.
• Regularly track and report students’ progress to the Principal (via report cards, ELD folders, periodic assessments in language arts and mathematics, etc.).
• Provide students and their families with regular and timely information on classroom activities and student progress; find ways to involve parents/guardians in their students’ education.
• Actively participate in staff development and weekly meetings.
• Maintain a professional manner when working with students, staff, and parents/families via both oral and written communication.
• Collaborate with other teachers, staff members, and/or outside service providers to share best practices and to improve one’s own and others’ instructional practices.
• Provide a safe learning environment for students.
• Maintain high standards of student conduct, including implementing Synergy’s school-wide discipline plan.
• Establish a culture of high expectations that include college preparation for all students.
• Effectively manage student behavior and organize classroom systems/procedures to ensure all students are fully engaged in learning.
• Maintain accurate student records, including attendance, in accordance with Synergy’s procedures.
• Be proactive and initiate in helping out in any way needed.
• Perform other related duties as needed.

• Have at least one year of prior teaching experience as a full-time or part-time teacher, substitute teacher, teacher intern, student teacher, and/or teacher assistant. We will also consider brand new teachers who are enrolled in an approved intern credential program.
• Hold at least a Bachelor’s degree.
• Be highly-qualified as defined by No Child Left Behind.
• Possess a valid California Multiple Subjects Teaching Credential for teaching positions in grades K-6, a valid California Single Subject Teaching Credential for teaching positions in grades 7-8, a valid California Special Education Teaching Credential for special education teaching positions, or is working toward one of these credentials in an approved credential program.
• Possess a CLAD or BCLAD certificate or has authorization to work with English Learners embedded in the teaching credential, or is working toward obtaining authorization to work with English Learners.
• Possess positive communication and relationship building skills.
• Proficient in the use of computers, including but not limited to word processing, spreadsheets, multimedia presentations, e-mail, the Internet, and/or digital media.
• Demonstrate strong classroom management skills.
• Be familiar with the California State Content Standards.
• Possess an in-depth understanding of and commitment to the school’s mission and vision.
• Able to lift heavy objects up to 30 lbs.

Interested candidates should:
1. Complete the online EdJoin application,
2. Submit a resume via EdJoin,
3. Submit three letters of recommendation via EdJoin,
4. Upload their college transcripts on EdJoin, and
5. Answer the supplemental essay questions via EdJoin.

Look at what Hawaii is doing. Is that a better option?

This picture is joke right?

Let's take a poll right now how many of the teachers laid off this last year 2009/2010 would cross that picket line to pay their mortgage on time? This is rediculous. Many of these teachers would take a 401K over their pensions just to pay their bills today. Get rid of the union. They are worthless. They only good at throwing their weight around to force politicians hands to side with them. Hey ... CTA...how about you do us all a favor and investigate the friv spending that the district does. Investigage WHERE the money is going first. You are asking for more money without knowing really how it is spent. Cause you could care less how it is being spent as long as you get your share. Nice.

Question: Can anyone justify the NEED for a union in this day in age if there is no possibility of losing your hand or your life in doing the job? Remember the supermarket strike? Or how I like to call it, "Give more Money to the J.O. that dropped out of a Community College cause he couldn't handle the work load of 2 classes a week so decided to work his way up to manager" Strike? Can't believe I supported that when I was in college. Boo Hoo... you guys make triple-time (3X daily pay) for working on a Holiday. Don't support this strike: firefighters, cops and hard backbreaking laborers deserve the pension and benefits.

Our time is waistd as student coz of strike,ur choice 2 increase 7.5 2 8.6 n cut cost,our future wil b succesful n myk South Africa a gr8 country,plz we r near exams do sumtin n we wnt our old teachers tnx

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