San Diego

National City Elementary School Teachers Vote to Authorize Strike

Elementary school teachers at 10 National City schools voted Monday to authorize a strike after failing to reach a salary agreement with the district. 

The National City Elementary Teachers Association (NCETA), a branch of the California Teachers Association, represents educators at 10 National City schools.

Of the 262 NCETA members that voted, 88 percent cast their vote in favor of authorizing the strike and 88 percent voted to honor the picket line if a strike was enacted.

"Today you showed that we CAN stand together, and that it is important for you to be heard. We are sending a message to the district that we demand that they be respectful, be responsible, and reasonable in their proposals at the table," a statement posted on the NCETA Facebook page read in part.

The National School District (NSD) and NCETA have been negotiating salary and other benefits for the 2017-18 school year for months but an agreement has not been reached as of Monday.

The school district has offered a pay raise just over 5 percent, but the union is seeking 6 percent for the third year of their current contract and better benefits.

The district’s offer would also require 20 minutes of extra working time from teachers each day to compensate the pay raise, according to a negotiation fact sheet released by the district.

Teachers with the National School District say they are overworked and underpaid and have not received the support they need from the district, according to NCETA.

"I'm trying my darndest to be that best educator in the classroom and sometimes I'm not, because I don't have the materials and the support in the classroom, and it really is disappointing," NCETA President and school teacher Christina Benson said.

The district says they do not comment on ongoing negotiations.

NCETA and NSD have been in negotiation for months. Twice in January, elementary school teachers rallied outside district headquarters to bring attention to negotiations. 

The National School District Governing Board will announce its decision at a meeting Wednesday. 

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