(This story come courtesy of California Watch)
By. Corey G. Johnson
After a five-day standoff, teachers in Orange County finally put down their pickets Tuesday and returned to the classroom.
Teachers and school officials at the Capistrano Unified School District forged an agreement around 11:30 p.m. Monday that would keep a hotly contested 10 percent pay cut but allow for salaries to be restored as "revenues increase."
Capistrano is the second largest school district in Orange County, serving approximately 52,000 students. Student attendance dipped as low as 30 percent, as up to 89 percent of Capistrano's 2,200 teachers participated in the strike, according to the Orange County Register. During the strike, after-school sports were canceled and other programs curtailed.
Union president Vicki Soderberg said their strike sends powerful message to all.
We made a statement to every school district in California that we are not going to allow collective bargaining rights to be destroyed and trampled in Capistrano. We're an example across the state. We're a huge school district, and yet we got 90 percent of our members out on the lines for three days. If other school boards try to do this to their teaching associations, this is what is going to happen to them, too.
The negotiations over the cuts had been ongoing since June.
Parents told the Register that they were pleased to see teachers return. At least one school had a classroom ransacked during the teacher walkout. The deal still requires ratification by union members. A final union vote on the issue is expected to be taken today.