After another meeting between Sweetwater Union High School District and its teachers union failed to yield any agreement on their new contract last week, the union is planning to “work to the rule”: asking teachers to only work as long as their contract requires, instead of putting in time before or after school.

“In order for us to be extremely effective — and I think we are — we put in an enormous amount of time beyond our contract hours,” said Alex Anguiano, president of the teachers union. “So we’ll withdraw those services.”

The two sides have disagreed over whether to trim salaries, assign fewer teachers to schools, and offer different benefits to new employees than to current ones. Anguiano said teachers would begin working to the rule on September 8 unless they see some “meaningful movement” from the school district. Teachers’ contract expired at the end of last June, and Sweetwater was sent back into the “fact finding” stage of impasse for the third time this year after failing to make progress at a meeting last Thursday.

The union has also filed a charge against the school district, alleging that it violated labor law by refusing to bargain and adopting larger class sizes without negotiating them with the union. Lillian Leopold, spokeswoman for the school district, said it was not the first time that teachers had worked to the rule as a protest action.


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