The Fresno Teachers Association, one of California’s largest teachers’ unions, could go on strike next week if the district does not agree to open high school school parking lots to the homeless, the Washington Free Beacon reported.
In its May contract proposal, the union called for high school parking lots to be used for homeless families to park their vehicles. While the union conceded that such a move would cost the district at least half a million dollars for “paid security,” union president Manuel Bonilla believes it will help to address societal needs.
However, Fresno Unified School District has balked at the union’s demands, and the union is likely to vote for a strike when it meets next week.
Superintendent Robert Nelson dismissed the proposal to open the parking lots to homeless families, saying it isn’t the district’s “area of expertise.”
Unionized teachers in Fresno will be meeting on October 18 to decide whether to authorize a strike.
Ordinarily, a teachers’ strike so soon after California kept public school students locked out of classrooms during the 2020-21 academic year would exacerbate the learning loss that resulted from the pandemic lockdown. But in late September, the Fresno Unified School Board approved a resolution allowing the district to employ emergency substitute teachers to ensure that the schools remain open during a possible strike.
The Fresno Teachers Association isn’t the only teachers union to make outlandish demands during contract negotiations.
In May, teachers in Oakland walked out for two weeks after including reparations for black students as part of their contract proposal. To get the teachers back to work, Oakland Unified School District agreed to provide housing assistance for the district’s homeless students.
In Portland, Oregon, teachers last month threatened to go on strike if the district refused to provide poor students with subsidized housing.