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Sweetwater Union High School District has filed a legal declaration countering allegations by its teachers union last month that it broke labor law. The two sides have been at odds over a new contract for more than a year.

The union has charged the school district with moving forward with parts of its contract proposal, including higher staffing ratios for teachers, without negotiating them with the union. Sweetwater’s declaration, filed yesterday with the Public Employment Relations Board, states that the union has “systematically delayed negotiations” by repeatedly insisting that the school district meet with them “one more time” to avoid the next step of impasse. It argues that the charge filed by the union is baseless.

Delayed bargaining ended up “backing the District up against the statutory deadline for submitting a budget to the County Office of Education,” the school district wrote, and by asking for the same pay and benefits that it currently has, the union is “conveniently turning a blind eye to the District’s $11.6 million dollar (sic) deficit for the coming fiscal year.” Keep checking back for updates on what becomes of the back-and-forth over the teachers’ contract in Sweetwater.

EMILY ALPERT

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