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Orange County teachers strike continues into second day [Updated]


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

Comments () | Archives (50)

I am sure that there are teachers from other states that would be more than happy to teach in CA. Get rid of these teachers and their union! Lets make Ca a union free state!

When 25% of the state is unemployed and an unprecedented amount of teacher have already been laid off, I doubt the public with sympathize with these teachers who will be able to retain their employment with only a small reduction. There is no shortage of teachers. As the supply of teachers grows the demand for such services is reduced and the willingness to pay higher premiums is removed. If this continues I fear the fate of the teachers will be the same as the UFCW strike of 2004 where the unions surrendered pay and benefits. I am most concerned with the students affected by this, especially high school seniors.

I just moved here from Michigan, and I didn't know teachers are allowed to strike. So much for the usual guilt trip phrase " It's for the children". Guess we can see where the Orange county teachers priorities are at. Have a nice day.

Teachers from other states are NOT allowed to teach in CA. California (along with New York) teachers are the most highly qualified teachers in the nation! Due to our high standards, California teachers are among the most educated and highly trained in the nation. Many California teachers have Master and PhD degrees. Many people in the tech industry only have high school diplomas.

Therefore, teachers should be paid a commensurate salary that reflects that. Teachers already spend money from their own pocket for supplies for their students, stay after school to offer free tutoring, and counsel students in a variety of issues. To enforce a 10% pay cut just adds insult to injury.

And by the way, unions have improved working conditions for people in the USA for hundreds of years. Thank you unions for eliminating child labor. Thank you unions for the 8 hour work day. Thank you unions for the weekend. Thank you unions for work breaks and lunch breaks. Thank you unions for fair salary practices. Thank you unions for safety practices. Thank you unions for health benefits. Thank you unions for vacation day and sick days. Thank you unions for increasing the standard of living for millions of working class people.

Conservative extremists have been trying to destroy any and all public institutions in this country for thirty years, leaving us all to the tender mercies of the "free" market. They apparently don't care if the highways we drive on crumble into dust, the police and fire departments have to close down and only kids with rich parents can get an education. They'll be happy to retreat into their gated communities while the rest of the state ends up looking like a third world country. What's even more sickening are the number of middle class and working class people who have been so easily convinced to support a political party that is absolutely dedicated to screwing them over. Our problem isn't unions, who have the nerve to try to improve the lives of working people, it's the domination of our legislative process by a handful of right wing nut jobs. It's long past time to repeal Prop. 13 and overturn the 2/3rds. rule on taxes. 39 billion dollars in bonuses on Wall Street in the first quarter, and you think the problem with our economy is a few teachers unions? Get a clue dimwit.

Get real, BB. Quality teachers aren't interchangeable pawns, they're worth their weight in gold. Union muscle helps attract the best and the brightest. If the district is feeling a pinch, demoralizing valuable instructors isn't a good place to start.

Since when do us unemployed/underpaid taxpayers need to support the outlandish benefits and salaries of public unions when they only work 9 months out of the year. Do these Teachers realize they are demanding that those of us that remain unemployed, or that have taken jobs earning much less moeny continue to support their lifestyle. Wow! Whatever happened to all of us being equally miserable? Appaently that does not include the public unions that feed off of our tax dollars.

Yeah, let's just wipe out all unions, and all contracts while we are at it. Let's just let those in power do whatever they want. I am sure they have everyone's best interest in mind.

These teachers (and their union) are insane and drunk on their own power. Please name me another job that pays well - don't listen to the unions - provides unbelievable benefits, and is only active 8 months out of the year. Unbelievable!!! I have some experience with the teaching world and let me just tell you that, according to my observations, a full 50% of the teachers are incompetent to the point of being harmful to children. Another 30% are in the profession simply for the schedule (read: 8 months of work). That leaves roughly 20% of the entire pool of teachers almost worthy of their pay. I say almost because they are still only working 8 months of the year and in my view (all) overpaid.
I am so sick of hearing that teaching is a "hard" profession. Perhaps that is true. But so is being chief of neurosurgery at Hoag hospital, but he/she doesn't get the summer off.
We need a major shift in the educational policy in this state.

Abolish these public unions!!!!! They will be the end of us!!!

Must be nice. I'm a teacher in Virginia. We're not allowed to strike. We're grateful for the jobs we have. They're laying off teachers around here.

In case no one has noticed, California is almost bankrupt - there is no more money - not this year and probably not in the near future either. So cuts are cuts and temporary cuts become permanent cuts because there is no pot of gold that is going to show up at the start of the fiscal year on July 1st.

Teachers can argue all they like over "temporary" or "permanent", but the end result is still the same - THERE IS NO MORE MONEY.

Amazing how people who profess to love children and teaching continually have their hands out for more, more, more. Not to mention the additional cost of some educators who have filed numerous workers' compensation claims and other types of lawsuits. They are entitled to very rich benefits which is more that what any private-sector employee receives when they are injured. I have seen too many game the system. Enough.

Teachers-from the OFT up here in the 805: Do you really think that funding will magically appear? Teachers across the state are getting pink-slipped, programs are being cut, k-8 class sizes are increasing(high school already at 41), and probation teachers being cut due to funding. Again, have you been paying attention to the state budget situation. We are broke! 45% of the population does not pay taxes. We are borrowing enormous sums from communist Chinese and Obama is creating more debt(more than 8 years of Bush!). Teachers, be lucky you have a job. Too many people are losing their jobs. Try this Monday morning-Thank your principal for the job you have. Think about it...

Lots of teachers are fleeing CA for better salaries compared to the cost of living.

Umm....I don't think there are many teachers that want to leave their state to teach in CA. Once they look at the home prices I'm sure they'll look elsewhere:).It's not too easy to buy a home here on a teacher's salary. A new teacher starts at 48K in CUSD.
These teachers are not protesting their pay cut, they just don't want it to be permanent. Why is this so difficult? And- please don't start saying how they don't have to work very hard, get summers off, etc...most teachers work a ton of hours you don't see.

Most teachers from other states do not meet California credentialing requirements.

Not anyone can be a teacher. That's why you criticize instead of act.

Wake up and smell the budget deficits! Teachers at least have a job.

I see them caring signs that read "Save our Children." What an incredible irony. Here they are striking all the while the children are left instructionless in their schools. The signs should read "SAVE OUR PAYCHECK!" But then again, that's what we're all about isn't it? Saving our own pay checks.

Hey BB, just wondering how many days you've spent teaching in a public school classroom?

I willing to bet zero. Don't speak on issues you have NO EXPERIENCE with.

Actually many people do not teach in California because the ratio of pay to home ownership is much more realistic in other parts of the US. Try buying a $500,000 starter home with only a 50k salary.

And yes, I've heard the argument that Cali teachers are some of the highest paid (at 65k which is usualy after having worked 20 plus years), but that fails to take into acount cost of living here in Cali.

Is like saying that

I am sure that there are teachers from other states that might stoop as low as to scab in CA. Get rid of these scabs and their handlers! Let's make CA a scab-free state!

On that note, BB, how about all of the CA teachers who have already lost their jobs in the last couple of years? I'm sure they would be thrilled to take these jobs~

Ahh... I love the sweet smell of the First Amendment in the morning.

I agree with BB that we should do away with unions, only after we do away with the Republican Party which has been cutting and cutting and cutting.

i think mayor school borad members and all city workes should have to take a pay cut not just the teachers why keep taken from our kids. they tell our teacher no child left behind but not pay them to do it. to tell the truth from pres down all need a cut.

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