Strike Threatens to Upend Reopening of Sac City Schools

Classified employees with the Sacramento City Unified School District will launch a two-day strike on Thursday, April 22 and Friday, April 23. The Sacramento City Teachers Association has said they’ll join them in a sympathy strike.

SEIU 1021 members and district officials have not been able to agree on safe guidelines for the reopening of schools. The union is demanding child care, N95 masks, stipends for employees with children, six-foot distancing between workers, and the ability to work remotely for employees with children under 14. The district has offered $2,850 in stipends and some options for bringing children to work. The district’s offer was widely rejected.

“We recognize that childcare remains a challenge, for parents everywhere,” the district said in a statement. “This is a national and statewide issue that needs to be addressed. But blocking the doors of schools and the access of our students to an in-person education is not the right way to go about it. This is especially true for a district that serves vulnerable students, with 70 percent of Sacramento City Unified students low income, foster youth, homeless and English language learners. They need our schools open; we know they serve as safe havens for so many of our students.”

The district believes the strike violates labor law. It declared an impasse in its negotiations with the union and the Public Employment Relations Board granted a request for mediation.

The strike will commence just as middle and high school students are set to return to classes for the first time since March 2020.