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San Francisco school district reaches deal with trade workers, averting strike

Members of the school system's maintenance group known as Common Crafts will picket outside school district facilities beginning at 6 a.m. on Monday. | Photo by Camille Cohen
Common Crafts employees, including plumbers, carpenters, roofers and other tradespeople, had threatened to picket Monday. | Source: Camille Cohen/The Standard

The San Francisco Unified School District has reached a memorandum of understanding with tradespeople who had pledged to strike Monday to protest what they called unfair labor practices, the school district said Sunday night.

Common Crafts employees include about 80 plumbers, carpenters, roofers and other tradespeople, according to the San Francisco Building and Construction Trades Council, though the school district said it only represents 65 employees.

The council said Friday that the district had failed to pay wages owed and that workers were going to picket on Monday "to voice their exasperation with the school district that has continuously violated state labor law in its recent dealings with them."

Earlier on Sunday evening, SFUSD spokesperson Laura Dudnick said the district had only been made aware of the situation on Friday but continued discussions were being held with the workers.

On Sunday night, the district sent out an email announcing the memorandum of understanding, which it said would avert potential labor activity planned from Common Crafts on Monday.

"SFUSD and Common Crafts agreed to negotiate in good faith to address outstanding grievances, arbitrations, memorandums of understanding and other contract negotiation-related issues," the school district said.

The district has agreed to meet with employees to negotiate salary and resolve outstanding pay issues, convene a task force to work toward completing these negotiations by Feb. 1, and will pay Common Crafts unit members a one-time, off-schedule $3,000 stipend by Friday, SFUSD officials said.

The San Francisco Building and Construction Trades Council could not immediately be reached for comment.