(Concord, Calif.) It was standing room only at the Dent Center as over 110 Mount Diablo Unified School District Teamsters packed the school board meeting on Wednesday, May 10, demanding board members invest in our students and provide a fair contract for classified workers.
“The classified workers are the backbone of the school district, keeping it running smoothly to create a safe and vibrant environment for students to thrive,” said Alex Zablah, Senior Network/Systems Administrator and Local 856 Shop Steward. “We deserve a good contract with fair wages and benefits for the critical work we do.”
Mt. Diablo Unified has long balanced its books at the expense of its dedicated workers. Classified workers have shouldered the burden of chronic understaffing, uncompetitive wages, and unsafe workloads. This has placed ever-increasing pressure on the employees, leaving them to do more with less resulting in reduced services and substandard learning conditions for students.
“Mt. Diablo’s chronic understaffing is a disservice to our community and compromises the learning experience of our students,” said Peter Finn, Teamsters Local 856 Principal Officer. “Reduced services and poor working conditions have become the unfortunate reality, and it’s time for the district to take responsibility and invest in our children’s future and the workers who provide these critical services.”
Mt. Diablo Unified has presented a series of proposals that are nonstarters for the bargaining team. The district has proposed eliminating compensatory time off when overtime is worked and reducing guaranteed call-back time. Additionally, the district aims to limit the promotion of in-house qualified workers and has even proposed removing job protections in exchange for raises.
“We have been coming to the district with reasonable proposals that support our members and would allow us to retain our talented staff,” said Mark Jones, Teamsters 856 Representative. “Yet, the district continues to disregard our concerns and proposes takeaways that will make it worse for workers. They have to do better.”
Teamsters Local 856 represents nearly 500 classified workers at Mt. Diablo Unified School District, including maintenance & operations, transportation, warehouse, security, and food service workers.