On Friday, for the second time in a week, teachers in Compton failed to show up for work at 10 of the school district’s 37 campuses, according to teachers’ union president Patrick Sullivan. The school district claimed nine campuses were affected, as KPCC reported.
The Friday “sick-out” followed Monday’s massive absentee protest, when 200 teachers called in sick. NBC 4 reported that Friday’s action was the fourth time in the last two years that Compton’s teachers have been accused of staging a “sick-out.”
Teachers in Compton have been fighting with the district over a 5% raise. Sullivan, the president of the Compton Education Association, told a teacher and staff rally on Tuesday, “You need to put money into the classroom, where the students are and that should be the priority.”
School board president Satra Zurita stated, “This is the second time this week that the teachers have chosen to miss work and carry over the issues related to the contract negotiations to our students, schools, and community,”
Prompted by the debacle on Monday, students assumed teachers would not show up for work on Friday, and stayed home from school en masse. Some students at Centennial High School told KPCC that over half of the student body skipped school.
Sullivan said the school district’s 250 classified staff may act next week, as they are in the middle of labor negotiations.
On February 3, Compton Unified School District Superintendent Darin Brawley had posted a letter stating:
We have been negotiating for a year with the teacher’s association to settle on a new collective bargaining agreement. The District has offered an ongoing salary increase of 2% as well as to increase the annual medical benefits cap for teachers by $1,000. This is in addition to the 5% on schedule salary increase the teachers received for the 2013-14 school year.
To put these offers into historical perspective, it is important to remember that unlike other school districts across the state, during the recent recession, Compton Unified School District employees never received a reduction in salaries nor were furlough days implemented.
We were fair to our employees during the difficult times of the recession and we are being fair now.