The tentative agreement reached by the San Diego Education Association’s bargaining team and the San Diego Unified School District represents an affirmation of the core union value of solidarity. SDEA’s leadership is demonstrating its solidarity not just with laid-off members, but also with other employees of the district and the community at large. By agreeing to more furlough days and deferring promised raises, the union is acting as a responsible stakeholder, concerned about the quality of our public schools.

By voting to approve this tentative agreement, SDEA members can set a solid foundation for a community-wide campaign to approve the governor’s November tax increase initiative.

Taxpayers will be more likely to make a small sacrifice for the common good, knowing that public school teachers and other employees have shared in that sacrifice.

It is also important for our union’s future to repudiate the narrow, self-interested deviation espoused by Camille Zombro. She recently lost her bid to be re-elected vice president of SDEA, but she didn’t get the message. She is now leading a misguided campaign to defeat the tentative agreement. I urge SDEA members to show the community our maturity and willingness to work together. Be sure to vote at the SDEA office this Sunday, Monday, or Tuesday.

Joe Wainio is a teacher and member of SDEA.

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