Fremont, California teachers stage sick-out


Fremont, California teachers stage sick-out

Jonathan Burleigh

27 February 2019

On Tuesday, February 19, teachers in Fremont, California, who have been working without a contract for the entire 2018-2019 academic year, staged a sick-out. The wildcat work action, coming just two days before the start of the strike by 3,000 teachers in nearby Oakland, involved 50 out of 92 teachers at Mission San Jose High School.

The sick-out has been blacked out in the local media, reflecting the fear within the ruling class and the political establishment that the renewed wave of teachers’ strikes—already including Los Angeles, Denver, West Virginia and Oakland—will spread further and escape the control of the pro-corporate trade unions.

The only publication to report the work action was the student newspaper at Mission San Jose, the Smoke Signal.

The Fremont Unified District Teachers Association (FUDTA) denounced the sick-out, underscoring its role as an instrument of the state to suppress the resistance of educators to the destruction of their living standards and public education itself.

FUDTA President Victoria Birbeck posted a notice on the Fremont Teachers Facebook page stating: “2/3 of MSJHS teachers were absent today. This action was not a union-authorized nor union-organized event.”

Teachers and other school staff have been kept largely in the dark about contract negotiations between the FUDTA and the Fremont Unified School District (FUSD). However, the school board recently posted an update revealing that the district is offering a paltry two percent raise for the 2018-2019 school year, up from an initial offer of 0.51 percent. Starting in 2019-2020, the FUSD proposes to tie any salary increases to increased employee pension costs, reducing future raises to a…

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