Faculty show solidarity for Stockton teachers

After more than a year of contract negotiations, Stockton teachers are facing a possible strike in an effort to obtain a fair contract.

The Stockton Teachers Association, an affiliate of the California Teachers Association, is fighting to obtain salary increases and improved working conditions for teachers.

District officials have proposed an economic package that would lead to a loss of income and, for many, an increase in work hours. The district currently is already experiencing a teacher shortage, and many teachers are leaving for better pay.

On Tuesday, Oct. 25, a crowd of supporters, including CSU faculty who had driven hours from their campuses, attended the Stockton Unified School District Board meeting to vocalize support for teachers.

“…We need well-qualified and compensated teachers in Stockton classrooms to prepare their students for the work we need students to do in the CSU,” said Susan Green, an Associate Professor at CSU Chico and CTA Board Member. “In turn, the California State University trains the majority of teachers in the state, including the teacher in the Stockton Unified School District, who are seeking fair compensation for their work. Our plights are interconnected.”

CFA issued a statement of support for Stockton teachers on Monday, Oct. 24, encouraging the district to “re-evaluate their spending to prioritize the students and those who on the front lines of working with students.”

The meeting, which was originally scheduled for 6 pm Oct. 25, was rescheduled to 10 am, a move that many in attendance—including one of the board members—questioned. The new time meant working teachers and community members weren’t able to attend.

Ann Strahm, Vice President of the CFA Chapter at CSU Stanislaus and an Associate Professor of Sociology, was among several faculty members at the meeting Tuesday.

“The board certainly seems divided, but it’s evident what needs to happen—the administrators need to return to the bargaining table in good faith and pay these teachers what they deserve,” she said. “The parents support them, the students support them, the community supports them, and we support them.”

Click here to read the Stockton Record’s meeting coverage.