San Diego Unified, Union Declare Contract Negotiation Impasse
After 10 months of labor negotiations, San Diego Unified School District and its teachers union declared an impasse.
In a statement, Superintendent Cindy Martin said they have “reached tentative agreements on nearly all issues including adding more counselors, nurses and special education support; increasing time for teacher preparation; maintaining benefits; and supporting consistent Visiting Teacher coverage. There are still a few areas where we have been unable to reach agreement.”
Lower class size and pay are the two sticking points — two of the most expensive issues.
The district can’t afford to pay teachers what they are asking for, Martin said.
“It does come down to money when you’re at the very end of the negotiations,” Martin said. ”We have mutually declared an impasse, which is simply another step in the bargaining process.“
San Diego Education Association President Lindsay Burningham said negotiations have come a long way since last May. However, pay and class size are perennially contested issues.
“That's the biggest priority to have a respectable pay and benefits package for our members,” Burningham said. “But at the same time one that's competitive and can recruit and retain people here in San Diego.“
Both sides said they are a long way from a strike and both think a mediator could help with negotiations. It's expected to take about a month for a mediator to be selected. In the meantime, the two sides are still talking.