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From the Archives: Teachers in the San Diego Unified School District went on strike 45 years ago

In June of 1977 thousands of San Diego teachers walked off their jobs in the city’s first major teachers association strike. The four-day strike idled city schools June 6-9.

In the end, the 5,790 San Diego teachers won a 5.5 percent salary increase following the 1977 strike, plus improved medical benefits.

San Diego City Schools teachers had staged a one-day slowdown in 1972. A four-day teachers strike in the Ramona Unified School district from January 18 to 22, 1977, ended with agreement on a 6 percent salary increase.

From The San Diego Union, Tuesday, June 7, 1977:

City Teachers To Ignore Order To Halt Strike; Hearing Today

2,000 Cheer Decision To Continue Walkout

By Ray Kipp, Staff Writer, The San Diego Union

A decision to ignore a court order to halt the strike against 165 city schools won overwhelming support at a rally of more than 2,000 striking teachers yesterday.

Hugh Boyle, San Diego Teachers Association president, told a late afternoon mass rally in Balboa Park that the SDTA board of directors voted unanimously to continue the strike despite a temporary restraining order issued in Superior Court just four hours earlier.

The majority of the teachers who walked off their jobs in the city’s first major teachers strike yesterday drowned out Boyle’s announcement with a one-minute standing ovation.

Boyle predicted that today’s strike turnout would be even greater tan the 57.5 per cent of the 5,310 classroom teachers that the district reported out yesterday. The STDA claimed 65 per cent out.

Almost immediately Supt. Tom Goodman labeled the decision to ignore the court order regrettable and misguided.

“I would hope the general membership (the 3,600–member SDTA, which represents all the district’s teachers at the bargaining table would comply with the court order and come back to work,” Goodman said.


He said SDTA leaders were risking a contempt of court citation by encouraging teachers to ignore the ruling until after a hearing on the district’s request for an injunction against the strike. That hearing is scheduled at 1:30 p.m. today in Superior court.

Although all teachers are considered parties in the order and legally required to return to their classrooms today, Goodman said it is typical that only the union leadership be subject to penalties for violation such orders.

Boyle said the SDTA board of directors, which called the strike, voted unanimously to continue it because the order gave only one side of the teacher-district dispute. SDTA attorneys were not present at yesterday’s hearing.

However, Boyle said the SDTA would reassess its position after today’s hearing on the injunction petition where attorneys for both sides would present their case.


“We’ll both have our day in court today. Then we’ll decide wat to do,” Boyle said, after telling the teachers tere would be another rally at the Balboa Park Organ Pavilion at 5 p.m. today.

Both Goodman and Boyle were claiming moderate victories yesterday.

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