The Fresno Area Substitute Teachers Association (FASTA), a chapter of SEIU 521, voted to support the Fresno Teachers Association (FTA) during its tentative strike and committed to not cross the picket line, despite Fresno Unified’s effort to break the strike by offering extremely high daily wages for substitute teachers.
Driving the news: FASTA had previously agreed to support the district during a potential teacher strike, including the provision of $500 per day pay for substitutes. They were actively involved in substitute recruitment efforts.
- FTA members voted 93.5% in favor of authorizing a strike, effective from November 1.
- FASTA’s President, Esther Rojas-Jasso, stated that the chapter voted unanimously to support FTA and encourage its substitute teacher members not to cross picket lines.
- Rojas-Jasso criticized Fresno Unified for using intimidation tactics and pitting workers against one another instead of addressing the issues that harm students in the classrooms.
- Rojas-Jasso called for an immediate end to the District’s Unfair Labor Practice and for a fair agreement to be reached through negotiations.
The other side: Fresno Unified is taking legal action against SEIU 521 – Fresno Area Substitute Teachers Association (FASTA) for “bad faith bargaining and violating the contract they bargained and signed with Fresno Unified School District” by filing for an injunction.
- Fresno Unified asserted that the decision was made after a vote by less than 2% of their membership.
- The district expressed deep disappointment in the substitutes’ union, calling the move a sign of “weak leadership” and yielding to to the influence of SEIU non-local leadership.