Sweetwater is the second largest district in the county operating 26 high schools and middle schools.
The union representing the teachers, the Sweetwater Education Association, has called for a strike vote to take place Thursday and Friday. If teachers approve this drastic negotiating measure, the union could call for a work stoppage at any point in the near future.
“They have yet to make the argument there’s no money at this point, in fact, we know they have money to pay for our proposal and we know they’re getting more money next year,” said Roberto Rodriguez, the union’s president.
Rodriguez said the district also wants teachers to pay a lot more for medical benefits.
“In some cases it could double, families would get hit especially hard,” said Rodriguez.
Rodriguez says teachers have sacrificed a lot during the last six years taking furlough days and agreeing to class-size increases with no pay raises.
Sweetwater School District officials did not return calls for a comment about the negotiations and the looming teacher strike.
If teachers and their leaders decide to strike, it would effect 40,000 students in the south bay.