SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — San Francisco’s public school teachers are planning to take an initial strike vote later this week after the district declared an impasse in contract negotiations last week.

Teachers are seeking a two percent raise and have not received one in several years. The San Francisco Unified School District now wants an outside mediator.

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Dennis Kelly, president of United Educators of San Francisco said it’s time for a raise, noting that the district now has a reserve on the books.

KCBS’ Barbara Taylor Reports:
“When the district ended up with fairly flush reserves this year, we thought that there would be recognition on their part and rewards for people for their faithful service,” Kelly said.

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School district chief labor negotiator Tom Ruiz said the district is still in financial distress and will use that surplus. The district also plans to send final layoff notices to as many as 250 teachers this week.

“We wish we could afford to give a pay raise, but the situation of funding from the state just does not allow for that,” said Ruiz.

While the union wants talks to continue talks, the initial strike vote is planned for Thursday.

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