Teachers Hold Vigil for a Fair Contract

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    NEWSLETTERS

    National City teachers and supporters held a candlelight vigil on Friday, to encourage the school board to give them a "fair contract."

    "Everyone says, it's about money. It's not about the money, we're not asking for a pay raise. We are just asking that our days of work aren't " said a teacher at the vigil.

    The School District has accused the teacher's bargaining team of not brining any concessions to the table.

    The NCETA held the protest in the National City School Board President James Greer's neighborhood around 5:30 p.m.

    On Thursday night, the National City Elementary Teachers Association estimates 375 people packed the school board meeting to discuss an impending teacher's strike over contract woes.

    Teachers and the district are fighting over furlough days, class sizes, the school calendar and the length of the contract. The superintendent says teachers have not been willing to make concessions.

    He says what the district has asked from the teachers is very much in line with what other school districts in the county have done.

    The teachers union says it is ready to go on strike, if necessary.

    "In addition to money issues, the district has decided to take away teachers rights, worsen working conditions. in our opinion, that is not showing us the respect we deserve," said Linda Cartwright with the National City Elementary Teachers Association.

    "Contract talks began in National City last February, but broke down in July after the district refused to follow suit with the teachers in accepting the neutral fact finder's settlement recommendations," according to the NCETA.

    About 350 elementary school teachers have been working without a contract since July.