Sweetwater teachers picket as potential strike looms
CHULA VISTA (CNS) – The Sweetwater Union High School District board
meeting set for Monday was postponed until March 25, officials said, but planned picketing by the teachers union went ahead anyway.
The meeting was postponed due to what the district called the “ongoing
labor situation” and a surgical procedure scheduled for Wednesday for board
President Jim Cartmill, who has an unspecified medical problem.
About 92 percent of the more than 1,400 teachers — who instruct middle
and high school students in Chula Vista, Imperial Beach, National City and San
Diego South Bay neighborhoods — authorized a strike, though such action has
not been taken.
According to a statement from the Sweetwater Education Association, the
district imposed a doubling of health care payments on teachers and has not
negotiated in good faith. They plan to picket at 4 p.m. in front of the
district's Chula Vista offices.
The district said it informed the SEA about the postponement and “will
continue to make efforts to find an immediate resolution that is beneficial to
all and ensures continued student achievement and success.”
Last week, district officials said they believe any strike while
negotiations are underway would be illegal.