Teachers Vote on SDUSD Tentative Agreement

Voting against the tentative agreement would send leaders back to the negotiating table, opponents say

Since Sunday, teachers have been casting their votes to accept or reject a deal with the San Diego Unified School District.

Those in favor are most concerned with saving over a thousand jobs. However, others say the union is giving up too much.

Oak Park Elementary Teacher Deborah Gold is very clear on where she stands in this San Diego Education Association vote.

"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 nearly 1,500 jobs and current class sizes.

But detractors don't like the terms, and what they say is the poor timing of a hurried vote

"You can't vote if you're not here in person," said Juan Casillas, a teacher at Garfield High School. "A lot of people planned their vacation the first week out of school. A lot of people left town while this has gone really quick."

He and many 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.

But for one teacher whose received a pink slip five years in a row, this year feels different.

"It seems like the older teachers and the newer teachers have been pitted against each other with this vote and that's made it tough to just vote at all," said teacher Mary Sunderland.

Teachers have until 7:30 p.m. Tuesday to cast a ballot at the union's Mission Valley offices. The results will be announced on Wednesday.

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