Fresno’s teachers near-unanimously voted to strike against Fresno Unified School District, marking a hard pivot after 18 months of failed negotiations to extend a contract between the two sides.
Fresno teachers last activated a strike against Fresno Unified in 1978.
Driving the news: FTA President Manuel Bonilla announced that the teacher’s union recorded record participation for its strike authorization vote, which ran from last Wednesday through Monday night.
- 92 percent of eligible union members – or 3,693 of 4,015 members – voted in the strike authorization vote.
- 93.5 percent of members voted to approve the strike authorization.
- FTA’s Executive Board approved two separate strike actions. The first, occurring on Friday, will serve as informational for Fresno Unified families regarding long-term strike operations.
- The second, commencing Wednesday, Nov. 1, will serve as the kick-off to a long-term strike.
What’s next: FTA representatives were slated to meet with Fresno Unified negotiators later on Tuesday to continue contract talks, though neither side appears optimistic of reaching an agreement to avert a strike beginning next week.
- Fresno Unified has prepared for strike by raising substitute pay to $500 daily and issuing an all-call to qualified substitutes across the State of California to fill thousands of would-be vacancies.
What they’re saying: Bonilla characterized his members as being tired of the school district’s status quo and demanding critical change through an equitable contract, while casting aside Superintendent Bob Nelson and appealing directly to Fresno Unified’s board of trustees.
- “During the course of negotiations, it has become clear that [Superintendent] Bob Nelson is out of touch with reality, out of sync with our district’s needs, and now he’s out of time,” Bonilla said. “It’s time for the Fresno Unified Board of Trustees to meet the moment, lead this district, and deliver a deal that values our teachers and puts our school district on the path for a brighter future.”
- “In the meantime, Fresno parents have a clear choice: put your trust in a random stranger to babysit your child or bring this strike to a quick end and keep your kids safe at home or in enrichment programs,” the union chief added.