First Riverside County teachers strike in 39 years
After two years of escalating bad behavior by Superintendent Robert Guillen, Banning teachers will hold an Unfair Labor Practice strike beginning Wednesday, August 8th, and ending on Friday, August 10th.
The final insult for Banning Teachers Association (BTA) members was a unilateral one-hour increase to the workday for every middle school teacher in the Banning Unified School District. (BUSD) Guillen announced the decision despite no negotiations with BTA bargaining team members or communication to every middle school teacher who was affected by this addition in their work hours.
BTA President Anthony Garcia has witnessed the erosion of relations firsthand; “For two years, BTA has attempted to work collaboratively with Superintendent Robert Guillen on decisions affecting teachers, students, and our community. Unfortunately, our professional voice has been continuously ignored by the Banning school board and the climate has turned toxic. How many times must we lose twenty percent of our educator workforce before we hold leaders accountable?”
BTA has spent two years battling BUSD over student resources, contract issues, salary negotiations, and competitive pay to attract and retain great teachers for the Banning community.
Unvetted policy changes hurt students; the decision to approve a school bell schedule at Nicolet Middle without a student nutrition break for nearly five and a half hours would never be recommended by educators-but teachers were never consulted.
An Unfair Labor Practice charge was filed in July of 2017, along with Cease and Desist letters that were summarily ignored by Banning district officials.
BTA President Anthony Garcia explained, “BTA members want an immediate end to Superintendent Guillen’s unilateral policy changes that violate their contract and impact members. He is required by law to negotiate terms of the contract and will be held to that legal standard.”