Sac City Unified School Classified Staff Strike Ends with Tentative Agreement That Will Make Strides Toward Ending the Staffing Crisis
The SEIU 1021 bargaining team signed a tentative agreement Sunday afternoon that makes major improvements in pay and working conditions for the District’s low-wage workers.
**FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE**
Sunday, April 3, 2022
Contact: Jennie Smith-Camejo, (510) 710-0201, email@example.com
Sacramento City Unified School District students will be back in their desks tomorrow. After the strike of SCUSD classified staff and educators–a response to the District’s refusal to negotiate a contract that can address its severe staffing crisis–shut down SCUSD schools for eight days, the District was finally forced to listen to its own workforce, from school bus drivers and nutrition service workers to teachers and school nurses, and settle a fair contract. Both unions reached tentative agreements Sunday evening.
“Our bargaining team is incredibly proud of our members’ determination to win a contract that will allow them to keep doing what they love: working right here in this District with Sac City students,” said SEIU 1021 SCUSD Chapter President Karla Faucett. “They made huge sacrifices during the eight days of this strike. They kept showing up to the picket lines and rallies day after day, even though they were tired, even though they were worried about how they would pay the rent. They understood this was the only way to make our voices heard–the only way we’d be able to get this District back on the right track for our students and our own children. The community heard their stories, stuck with us, and kept pressuring the superintendent and school board to do the right thing by its workers.”
The SEIU 1021 tentative agreement makes strides to address the causes of the classified staff shortage, including through a 4% ongoing cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) retroactive to July 1, 2021; thousands in one-time stipends; and improvements to their dental and vision plans. This is the first COLA classified staff have had in six years. Their last contract expired in June of 2020.
Classified staff at SCUSD include school bus drivers, nutrition service workers, instructional aides, custodians, maintenance workers, clerical staff, occupational therapists, and more. Most are among the District’s lowest-paid employees, often earning minimum wage or little more, even after decades of service transporting, feeding, and providing one-on-one assistance to Sac City students.
“Many of our members live right at or just above the poverty line,” said SEIU 1021 SCUSD Chapter Vice President Dan Schallock, who works in the District’s maintenance and facilities department. “They are working two or three jobs or more to get by. The eight days it took to get District management and the school board to take our concerns seriously and finally show classified staff some respect were filled with worry for these SCUSD workers. April will continue to be a tough month as they feel the impacts of the strike on their upcoming paycheck. We are proud and relieved to be able to let them know real help is finally on the way.”
“Considering the District had pay cuts and health care takeaways on the table when we started negotiating with them in October, this agreement shows that when school workers stand together with educators for what’s right and refuse to back down, we win,” said Faucett. “This kind of investment in Sac City Schools staff and teachers will help retention and recruitment and end this staffing crisis–making SCUSD schools better for students, workers, teachers, and all of our families. This is a win for the entire SCUSD community.”
SEIU Local 1021 represents nearly 60,000 employees in local governments, non-profit agencies, health care programs, and schools throughout Northern California, including seven private colleges and numerous community colleges. SEIU Local 1021 is a diverse, member-driven organization with members who work to make our cities, schools, colleges, counties, and special districts safe and healthy places to live and raise our families.