Education

Compton teachers play hooky to protest slow-moving contract talks

Centennial High School in Compton was one of four district schools where teachers called in sick en masse on Monday, Feb. 22, in an apparent show of dissatisfaction with the progress of contract talks.
Centennial High School in Compton was one of four district schools where teachers called in sick en masse on Monday, Feb. 22, in an apparent show of dissatisfaction with the progress of contract talks.
Image Courtesy of Compton Unified Schools

Listen to story

00:43
Download this story 0MB

A significant number of teachers at four Compton Unified schools have called in sick in an apparent show of frustration with the progress of labor contract talks between their union and the district.

In a statement, district superintendent Darin Brawley said additional staff have been dispatched to Compton High School, Centennial High School, Bursch Elementary and Kelly Elementary, where "many of our teachers called out sick."

"It is unfortunate that these teachers chose to miss work today in relation to what appears to be their dissatisfaction with negotiations," Brawley's statement read.

Teachers in Compton Unified have been working without a collective bargaining agreement since June 2015, when the last contract expired.

In an open letter on Feb. 3 — which acknowledged the possibility that teachers might stage a disruptive protest — Brawley said the district offered teachers a 2 percent increase in salary and a $1,000 increase in the annual medical benefits cap.

But Compton Education Association president Patrick Sullivan responded last week. In a letter in the Compton Herald, he said latest proposal would allow the district to both lengthen the school day and revoke the salary and benefits increases at any time.