Members of San Diego's teacher union voted overwhelmingly to save the jobs of over 1,400 employees in the San Diego Unified School District Wednesday afternoon.
Teachers in the union have been voting since Sunday on a tentative agreement with the San Diego Unified School District.
The approval was announced Wednesday afternoon in a press conference. Over 3,000 members voted to ratify the agreement. Nearly 1,470 members voted against ratifying the agreement
School officials said more than 4,500 ballots certified. There are approximately 8,000 member of the union eligible to vote.
"Parents and students can be reassured," said President of the San Diego Unified Board of Education John Lee Evans in a statement. "San Diego will continue to be the leader among both public and private schools in protecting small class size in K-3. We will have the teachers, nurses, counselors and graduation coaches to continue with the great results in reducing dropouts announced today."
The agreement calls for teachers to fore-go promised pay raises until more money becomes available to the district. Teachers would also continue to take five days of annual unpaid furlough that they've taken for the past two school years, and class sizes won't rise significantly.
Those in favor of the San Diego Education Association tentative agreement are most concerned with the final layoff notices sent to teachers last month.
Oak Park Elementary Teacher Deborah Gold told NBC 7 in a previous interview that a "yes" vote is her and her colleagues' livelihood.
"I'm here to vote yes, and I am a laid off teacher and of course I do want my job," Gold said. "I want to be able to eat and I want to have my home."
Gold said she also wants the best for the students, who shouldn't have have to deal with overcrowded classrooms.
Others who were not laid off echoed her feelings, agreeing to freeze salaries and increase furlough days in exchange for saving over 1,400 jobs and current class sizes.
The tentative agreement in part depends on the passage of Gov. Jerry Brown's tax measure. Field poll results released Saturday show that 52 percent of those polled support the measure.
But detractors don't like the terms of the tentative agreement, and what they say is the poor timing of a hurried vote. Others say the agreement between the union leaders and the district gives up too much. They voted no and want the union to go back to the negotiating table and ask for more from the district.
Check back for updates on this vote.