Hundreds of teachers, educators and staff in the Mt. Diablo Unified School District have authorized a strike over class sizes and wages, saying they have been working without a contract for nearly nine months.
Members of the Mt. Diablo Education Association, which represents more than 1,500 teachers, librarians, school nurses and other specialists, set a strike date of March 24 pending the results of contract talks after a fact-finding hearing taking place Friday.
Union leaders said its members haven't had a pay raise since 2017.
"We don’t want to strike, but we will if that is what it takes to ensure that our students get the best education possible," MDEA president Anita Johnson said in a statement. "Educators would much rather focus on teaching their students than prepare for a strike."
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School district leaders released a statement in response to the strike vote Wednesday.
"The MDUSD negotiating team is preparing to participate in the fact finding hearing on Friday morning," district Superintendent Adam Clark said in the statement. "We are still bargaining in good faith to reach an agreement with MDEA."
The union said 92.3% of its members voted in favor of a strike, and many teachers already were assembling picket signs in preparation for a possible walkout.
Union teachers and staff are seeking reduced class sizes and a 12.5% pay increase over six years, among other demands.
Mt. Diablo Unified serves more than 29,000 students at 45 schools across Walnut Creek, Concord, Pleasant Hill, Clayton, Pittsburg and Martinez.