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