Tuesday evening the La Habra Education Association issued the following press announcement regarding their ongoing contract dispute with the La Habra City School District.
La Habra School Board stands by imposition â€“ teachers on strike December 8
LA HABRAâ€“ The La Habra Education Associationâ€™s (LHEA) bargaining team was very hopeful that the district might finally be serious about keeping their repeated promises to bargain using the neutral fact finderâ€™s report as the basis for a settlement. â€œOnce again it was only a sham,â€ said LHEA President Danette Brown. â€œLa Habra teachers are on strike and will hit the picket lines beginning at 7:30 a.m. tomorrow morning, December 8.â€
When the two teams met today at 3:30 p.m., LHEAâ€™s team offered a comprehensive proposal, but the district responded with a flat â€œNo.â€ Rejecting the fact finderâ€™s recommendations and continuing to insist on permanent cuts in salaries and benefits, the district offered no room for compromise beyond their imposition. â€œIt was like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic,â€ said Brown. â€œIt was soon obvious that instead of intending to bargain, they were only attempting to provide political cover by making it appear that they had responded to the teachersâ€™ legitimate offer to negotiate.â€
â€œA strike is the last thing La Habraâ€™s teachers want,â€ said LHEA President Danette Brown, â€œbut the average La Habra teacher will lose over $14,000 as a result of the districtâ€™s imposition, and some could lose as much as $20,000. And because the districtâ€™s cuts are permanent â€“ unlike those in any other district in Orange County â€“ the career impact for La Habra teachers is staggering. Many LHEA teachers are single parents and others are supporting elderly relatives. These cuts will force many to consider teaching in another district, leaving the students and community they love. And why would prospective new teachers agree to teach in a district that would force them to lose thousands upon thousands of dollars when they could teacher anywhere else in Orange County and not face similar cuts? The district is sitting on $8.2 million in reserves, so there is no reasonable explanation for the boardâ€™s punitive actions.â€
â€œWe are saddened that it has come to this point, but we are heartened by the hundreds of La Habra parents and community members who are expressing support to their childrenâ€™s teachers in so many ways, including the circulation of support petitions throughout the community and the parent-inspired action of wearing red and white ribbons and â€˜I Support La Habra Teachersâ€™ stickers. While we are not encouraging parents to keep their children at home should there be a strike, we certainly understand the concerns parents have of their children being taught by strangers who were given only one day of training by the district and the security concerns that accompany them.â€
La Habraâ€™s teachers urge the cityâ€™s parents and citizens to contact the board of education: Susan Hango, 562-697-4890, firstname.lastname@example.org; Sharon Brown, 714-272-7456, email@example.com; Linda Navarro Edwards, 562-694-2542, firstname.lastname@example.org; Â Sandi Baltes, 310-560-5271, email@example.com; andÂ Paul Rodriguez, 562-690-2305, firstname.lastname@example.org, telling them to rescind their imposed contract, and fulfill their promises by negotiating a fair contract with La Habraâ€™s teachers.â€