A bargaining dispute between the West Contra Costa school district and teachers could culminate in a strike in the fall if the school board decides to impose its "last, best and final offer," a union official said Monday.
The board is scheduled to decide Wednesday whether to force a contract on the United Teachers of Richmond.
The document calls for hard district caps on current and retiree health benefits and gives the district the right to increase all class sizes to include as many as 33 students. Other stipulations include removing seniority as a primary factor in transfers and keeping pay at the same rate.
Despite deep cuts in everything from adult education to elementary music, as well as hundreds of layoffs, the district still faces a multimillion-dollar deficit next year and is trying to save costs through bargaining. The union and district have been grappling over a contract for more than a year, and negotiations have turned frosty over the past few months.
Union President Pixie Hayward Schickele, who has advocated for shortening the school year to save money, on Monday called the district's offer "outrageous" and said she doubts both sides will be able to come to a resolution. She said teachers will meet in August to figure out whether to consider a strike in time for the start of school.
"They're angry, and they're strike-legal," Schickele said. "All of those cuts they're talking about will devastate education in
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