National City Teachers Plan Strike

By Rory Devine and R. Stickney
|  Wednesday, Feb 2, 2011  |  Updated 7:05 AM PDT
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National City Teachers Plan Strike

Teachers Protest Changes in National City

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More than 350 elementary school teachers in National City are going on strike Friday.

Faced with  such issues as increased furlough days and classroom sizes, the National City Elementary Teachers Association's executive board met Tuesday afternoon to decide whether to call a strike.

In a unanimous vote, they decided to walk off the job. Teachers had already authorized the union to act if necessary.

The union and the district are at odd on issues involving the number of furlough days, class size, and changes in the school calendar.

The teachers have been without a contract since July.

The district says teachers have not been willing to make concessions.

"It's unfortunate it has come down to this," said district spokesperson George Cameron. "After a year of conversations, both sides have had and we hope the decision of teachers union is not to strike, to stay connected and communicate with school district officials to try to resolve this."

Administrators have been rounding up emergency substitutes to keep class in session.

"We're ready to bargain, but the onus is on the (National School District) now," union spokesperson Linda Cartwright said. "If they don't meet us in a timely manner, then we're ready to walk."

Teachers are hopeful a state mediator will come before a scheduled February ninth meeting to find a resolution.

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