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Orange County teachers strike continues into second day [Updated]

April 23, 2010 |  9:05 am


What was supposed to be a one-day teachers strike in Capistrano Unified School District continued for a second day Friday morning after negotiations with the district over pay and benefits failed to be resolved Thursday.

“We will be on strike until we have a settlement,” said Vicki Soderberg, president of Capistrano Unified Education Assn., which represents 2,200 teachers. “I am hopeful, but until then the issues are not resolved and the strike is still going on.”

Representatives from both sides are scheduled to meet at 2 p.m. to try to reach an agreement. Teachers and district representatives sat down to discuss negotiations Thursday afternoon, but a resolution was not reached after several hours, Soderberg said.

Teachers are protesting the school board’s decision to cut off negotiations and impose 10% pay cuts to help close a $34-million budget gap. The union, which represents 2,200 teachers, wants the district to make the pay cuts temporary and to restore salaries, unpaid work days and other benefits if “unforeseen funds” are received.

[Updated at 12:58 p.m.: More teachers joined the strike Friday morning compared with the first day, according to district spokeswoman Julie Hatchel.

About 200 classroom teachers -- 11% of the teachers -- crossed picket lines to get to their classrooms, down from 12% Thursday. Nearly 600 substitute teachers were hired to supervise classrooms.

Attendance in the 51,000-pupil district was down substantially on Friday. High school attendance was 10%, down from 23% on Thursday; middle school attendance was 27%, down from 39%; and elementary school attendance was 45%, down from 48%.]

-- My-Thuan Tran

Photo: A school bus approaches a group of striking teachers outside Aliso Niguel High School in Aliso Viejo on the second day of the teachers' strike. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times