Charter school system teachers picket Redwood town office


REDWOOD CITY, CA — Teachers at a network of Bay Area charter schools are threatening to strike as contract talks stall, according to the teachers’ union.

Educators at seven Summit Public Schools sites have scheduled a walk-in Tuesday morning outside the Redwood City headquarters. It is the same day that an inquiry hearing is scheduled between the teachers’ union, Unite Summit, and representatives of the charter network. An investigative hearing is usually the last step before a strike ensues.

Ninety-five percent of teachers who voted on March 31 supported a much-needed strike. Eighty-nine percent of teachers participated in the vote. Contract talks have been ongoing since March 2020.

The teachers’ union is calling on administrators at Summit Public Schools to address teacher turnover and support English language learners.

“Summit’s current model is unsustainable,” said Janine Peñafort, Spanish teacher at Summit Prep in Redwood City and president of Unite Summit, in a press release. “Our CEO and his funders have misplaced priorities. Our students are not getting the support they need, and the level of teacher turnover is simply unacceptable. It is also unacceptable that the professionals closest to the classroom have little or no input to address the needs of our students.”

Diane Tavenner, CEO and co-founder of Summit Public Schools, told Summit News — Summit Public Schools’ student publication — in March that the two sides “have a different understanding of what teachers need.”

“We respect 100% all of our teachers and their views, and we respect the process and their right to have bargaining unit members who negotiate on their behalf and represent their views in contract negotiations. “, said Tavenner. “We have received this petition and we continue to negotiate in good faith.”


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