Teacher union poised to strike


Daniela Wise

Teachers take to the streets before the start of a teacher work day on Feb. 18.

The San Ramon Valley Education Association (SRVEA) is currently at impasse with the San Ramon Valley Unified School District (SRVUSD) after the mediation stage of contract negotiations was unsuccessful. 

In addition to discussing an improved contract, the teacher’s union also continues to push for retaining teachers, increasing support staff, smaller class sizes, especially at the elementary level, and support for students receiving special education services. 

SRVEA members have begun a series of rallies and demonstrations to raise awareness of these issues. The union held a March for Solidarity on Feb. 18 and a rally as well as a Silent Protest at an SRVUSD board meeting on Feb. 11. Moreover, teachers, wearing red and holding signs, crowded all four corners of Bollinger Canyon on the morning of Feb. 18, a teacher workday. 

DV AP Research and RUSH teacher Mr. Johann Sommerville stated, “We are here to support our students.” DV teacher-librarian Mrs. Kerri Knapp emphasized that “our goal is to get a better learning environment for our students — they deserve the best.”

In their press release on Feb. 20, the district cites its strong performance despite low funding, stating that “San Ramon Valley’s demographics leave us funded at or around the base grant level for the great majority of our 32,000 students. In clear numbers, SRVUSD receives approximately $8,500 per student through the LCFF, while school districts comparable in size to ours receive in excess of $10,000 per student.”

SRVEA president Ann Katzburg spoke to the Tribune on Feb. 11, emphasizing that “everything has to be based on democracy. The reason that we are here [on the evening of Feb. 11] is because our members asked for it.” 

Earlier, the union was in mediation with the district, but mediation failed to reach a settlement. 

Despite this, Katzburg stated that “our members said that we had to show up. They need to see us — they can’t forget us, because we’re here — we’re fighting for the kids. We haven’t really been able to achieve anything [productive] … as far as our ability to collaborate [with the district].”