4:45 p.m. UPDATE: The Sacramento City Teachers Association has set a deadline of Nov. 8 for negotiations. If a decision is not reached, teachers will likely strike for the first time since 1989.
SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Teachers in the Sacramento City Unified School District say it’s not a matter of if but when they will strike.
The Sacramento City Teachers Association says the district has $81 million in reserves but over 100 teaching positions remain unfilled.
A vote happened back in October, the teachers association says. CBS13 has learned that it was a secret vote, and at the end of the meeting they counted all votes in front of everybody; the results turned out to be 97.2 percent voted to authorize a strike should a settlement with the district not happen.
Now the teachers association says they are available to sit down with the district 24 hours a day to work to come to an agreement.
“We’ve had 31 bargaining sessions, over 13 months, we’ve been to impasse twice, we’ve been to fact-finding, and now has come the time where the district needs to come to the table and we can get a fair settlement,” said David Fisher, president of the Sacramento City Teachers Association.
Meanwhile, Sacramento Unified says they don’t agree with everything the teachers association is saying.
“Our priority is to make sure that we have funding available for students and the superintendent announced yesterday a modest investment of $4.6 million in our students. And we have to hold the line to make sure that money is available for them,” said Alex Barrios with the Sacramento City Unified School District.
The last strike in the Sacramento City Unified School District was 28 years ago in 1989.
Around 1,500 people are expected at the Serena Center Thursday at 4 p.m. to make the announcement of when teachers will strike, the association says.
The school district says they are seeking credentialed replacement teachers and offering $500 a day in pay in case the strike happens.