National City Teachers Are ‘Prepared to Strike'

Teachers with National School District are preparing for their second mediation session with district officials. They told NBC 7, if negotiations don’t improve, they are prepared to strike. The two parties are currently at an impasse.

“[We] haven't called for the strike yet, but we asked our members about impasse and it was overwhelming that they were ready to go down that road,” said Tamlyn McKean, one of the more than 100 teachers who rallied before a school board meeting Wednesday.

Teachers, parents and students held signs and cheered as drivers went by Rancho De La Nacion Elementary School Wednesday evening. They later filled the school board meeting room.

Their group, the National City Elementary Teachers Association (NCETA), said they are fighting for more tools and time to provide quality Common Core lessons to their students. They’re also fighting for more pay so good teachers don’t leave National City for higher paying teaching jobs elsewhere.

“Yes, there are definitely teachers leaving for that reason. Unfortunately, it’s ripping our hearts out,” said McKean.

School board member Alma Sarmiento said the district is in a difficult position as well.

“It hurts. It hurts to have to withhold money,” said Sarmiento. “We need to make sure the district is fiscally sound. We don’t want to take away from programs in the classroom, take away from the children.”

If the teachers strike, Sarmiento said it would be unfortunate.

"I would be sad if that happened because they don’t need to. I would say talk to their legislators. It’s money that comes from the state or withheld from the state that really hurts us,”  Sarmiento said.

The second mediation between NCETA and district officials is scheduled for Friday. 

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