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BREAKING: ABCUSD Teachers to Conduct Slow-Down, Could Strike Soon

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February 6, 2022

Hews Media Group-Cerritos News has learned that the ABC Federation of Teachers will be staging a work slow down this coming Monday, ahead of a sick-out and possible strike in the coming days.

Negotiations have reportedly stalled due to ABC’s hesitancy to give all union members a raise commensurate with the cost of living.

The teachers have worked two years without a contract and without any COLA raises according to one source, a teacher in ABC, who called in and left a message with HMG-CN, but did not want to leave their name.

“Teachers are fleeing the District because of certain members on the board, we have a teacher shortage and they have no clue, all they want to do is build their $10 million aquatic center. We are among the lowest-paid teachers in the county, something must be done.”

In addition, the latest ABCFT newsletter stated, “if we do not come to a compensation agreement, the ABCFT site representatives will begin training on how to prepare the entire ABCFT membership and how to participate in a limited job action in the form of a “work to rule” campaign which, according to the newsletter, will start this coming Monday, February 7.

Work to rule is a unified occupational action in which teachers do no more than the professional responsibilities required in the Negotiated Agreement and Board of Education policies.

The main problems are that the teachers haven’t had a contract in two years, no raises, this with the ABCUSD having a reserve percentage that is far above the required percentage.

Other school district representatives have told HMG-CN that if a school district does not use the percentage above the required number, the government will eventually take it back.

ABC’s reserve currently sits at a whopping 14%, the cap is 10%, minimum 4%, so they have 10% to play with.

ABCFT’ Ray Gaer told HMG-CN, “You are correct that the members of ABCFT will commence a work to rule campaign starting Monday. We are not entertaining a strike at this time but we are trying to illustrate to the ABCUSD School Board that our work matters and should be valued.

“It is unfortunate that we have not been able to come to a fair compensation package for our members who have not seen a pay increase since July 2019. We have been in negotiations since October 2021 and we have been disappointed by some of the demands proposed by the ABCUSD School Board.

“We have been good-faith partners in this negotiations process and we have not been public about our struggle except at school board meetings. ABCFT believes that we can come to an agreement in a timely manner that will maintain the dignity of all stakeholders. 

“Teachers and nurses have been supporting students and parents in ABC to the best of their ability often spending untold hours outside of school so they can maintain their student’s academic progress. Many of the ABCFT membership feel exhausted by their efforts and are disappointed that their professionalism is not recognized by ABCUSD.

“Everyday teachers, nurses, administrators and staff are asked to do additional duties that take them away from their main jobs.  For example, the impact of COVID quarantine guidelines has added additional unpaid preparation to make sure students who are quarantined have classwork to ensure they don’t fall behind.

“As of mid-January there have been at least six thousand students that have needed supplies and classwork for their quarantine.  There are many examples over the last two years that would illustrate the unique challenges teachers and nurses have faced which have not been recognized by the ABCUSD School Board. 

“Over the work to rule campaign, our members will continue to serve the needs of their student’s academic and mental health because they are committed to their students and are at their core hardworking professionals who will do the right thing. 

“We seek a fair compensation package that will not endanger the financial health of the district. We seek a compensation package that will not negatively impact our students and their families. We seek a compensation package that continues to invest in ABC employees which will continue to maintain the tradition of excellence we have experienced as part of the ABC Community. “

Texts and emails into ABCUSD have gone unanswered.