National City teachers vote to authorize strike - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

National City teachers vote to authorize strike

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NATIONAL CITY (NEWS 8) - Elementary school teachers in the South Bay on Monday said they are ready to walk off the job at the district's ten schools.

On Monday, 88-percent of National City Elementary Teachers Association members approved a strike if a fair contract with the National School District cannot be worked out.

Teachers have been working without a contract since last year, and they say they are being overworked with no support.

In 2011, teachers planned to take the picket lines, but three hours before the strike was set to begin, they were able to strike a deal.

This time, they are hoping to avoid such a close call.

The National City Elementary Teachers Association is made up of 300 members. According to them, their three-year contract has been at an impasse since last August.

Teachers in the South Bay have been fighting for higher wages. According to the group, teachers in the region have the lowest teacher wages in the county.

Teachers are asking for a four percent raise, but the district offered a two percent bonus and 20 minutes of planning.

"It's interesting when people say a strike hurts children but I think it's disappointing of what's going on right now in our classrooms that you have teachers who don't have the materials they need to support our students and they come to work very stressed out and a low moral," said Christina Benson, National City Teachers Association President.

The Superintendent did not return News 8's request for comment.

In the past, the district said it cannot say anything about pending contract negotiations.

Mediation is scheduled for Wednesday, and teachers plan to rally and flood the board meeting that day, too.

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