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Sonoma County Gazette
Teachers strike
The school board on which is written in chalk "Teachers strike" and teachers striking. Photos: /

Updates on
West County Teachers Strike & Lawsuit
Op-Ed — North Bay Jobs With Justice

Nov 11, 2019
by Vesta Copestakes


UPDATES on West County Teacher Lawsuit - Latest to initial post - source:

— Monday Nov 11, 5pm

ATTN: while the West County school district has decided to keep the lawsuit against their own teachers, they will NOT be going to a hearing tomorrow morning anymore. Please join us anytime between 7am-3:30pm on the strike-line Wednesday or afterwards at the school board meeting at 6pm Wednesday evening at El Molino high school. Thank you for your support!

— Monday Nov 11, 2pm

We want to make two clarifications from last night's notice regarding low-wage teachers being sued.

When we said that the West County School Board's surplus is nearly three times more than the State requires, that means they can legally and safely spend nearly $2 million on taking care of their students and staff, much more than what the State-appointed Fact Finders and teachers have recommended. The School Board has amassed nearly $3 million in surplus funds from not paying livable wages and shorting other educational needs, but legally they are required to keep around $1 million in reserves.

We also want to clarify that the entire West Sonoma County Superintendent Consortium are part of this lawsuit suing the teachers (see photo below from the teacher served papers Saturday morning). Please join us at the Superior Court tomorrow morning between 8-9am to support the teachers as Judge hears this case.

Thank you for your understanding and your on-going support for workers fighting to make a difference in their jobs and still be able to live off their wages. We will continue to keep you abreast to this issue, follow along with us on


— Sunday Nov 10  at 8:35 PM 

The West County School Board is using funds that would have gone to Special Ed or livable wages for teachers and giving it to a wealthy lawyer who goes from school district to school district helping to sue low-income teachers. They are suing over the teachers taking a legal strike Wed.

Reminder: The school board doesn't provide AC or heat in all the classrooms and it was 90 degrees on the first day of school. Teachers and students went home sick and vomiting. The School board has nearly $2 million in unrestricted surplus funds (and still have the State required reserves left over) but still refused to buy ACs until the teachers fought and won them. Now, with the recommendation of a State appointed Fact Finder they are fighting for 12% raises over 3 years and a fair compromise on health benefits.

Please support the teachers by:

•  A judge on the Superior Court will hear the lawsuit case this Tuesday morning (Nov 12) at 8am. Please meet us at 7:30am to go support, or join us in courtroom 16 or 17 (Info at the front).(see update above - West County school district will NOT be going to a hearing tomorrow morning anymore)

•  Join the strike line Wed morning: 7am at 3 different locations: Analy High School (6950 Analy Ave, Sebastopol) El Molino High School (7050 Covey Road in Forestville) and Laguna High School til 9am (445 Taft St, Sebastopol).

•  Attend the West County School Board meeting Wednesday evening to demand they settle the contract and shame them for suing low-wage teachers.

6pm at El Molino High 

•  Tell the Superintendents (including your own) and the West County School Board president what you think of their inexcusable actions:

Superintendent Toni Beal  (707) 824-6412 

President Diane Landry  (707) 299-6096 


•  SPREAD THE WORD! These teachers are being sued not just by their school board but the entire consortium of Sonoma County Superintendents. Tell your Superintendent it is COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE to bully, intimidate and harass teachers out of taking a lawful strike. We will not live in a community where people in power bully low wage workers and hard-working teachers!!

They make pennies to care for our children, they deserve to work and live with dignity.

ABC7 NewsNBC News | NBC Bay AreaKPIX CBS San Francisco Bay Area  |  Press DemocratKSRO 1350/103.5 Sonoma County’s News Talk KBBF 89.1 FM - kbbf.orgSonoma KTVU Fox 2 

— Monday Nov 9, 10 pm

Rather than just provide livable wages to their teachers living in poverty, the West Sonoma County School Board is suing their own teachers and served a second suit to the Special Ed teachers using school funds and West County taxpayer dollars! They are doing this in response to teachers organizing a LEGAL STRIKE with their OWN UNION. This is beyond shameful. This is harassment and intimidation and bullying of your employees to the farthest degree. The School Board has said they have no money to provide ANY raises, but now they've hired a lawyer to sue teachers who have said repeatedly they've skipped meals to pay bills and been displaced from their homes due to rent increases. What kind of School Board does this? Tell the West County School Board what you think! This will NOT stand in our community!

Superintendent Toni Beal  (707) 824-6412 

President Diane Landry  (707) 299-6096 


Ted Walker 

Lori Bruhner 

Jeanne Fernandez 

Kellie Noe 



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