Teacher strike looms in Alpine: Salary, benefit cuts at issue

ALPINE, Calif. - Barring an eleventh hour agreement, more than 80 teachers in Alpine are prepared to strike Thursday.

"It's been horrible … a horrible 16 months," said Gayle Malone, an elementary school teacher and the head of the teacher's association. "We have gone back and forth for at least that long and this is where things stand."

A strike could affect 1,700 students.  

"We have 122 credentialed and qualified teachers ready to step in," said Alpine Union School District Superintendent Tom Pellegrino.

He said the district has been faced with declining enrollment for years and as a result, equates to millions of dollars lost to the district.

There has not been a teachers' strike in San Diego County since 1996.  

"You know, I had four children go through the Alpine district and while conflicted, I do support the teachers," said Susan Cozart, a parent of a student at McQueen Middle School.

Others like Vito Columbo do not share the same sentiment.

"It's not the adults, it's the kids who will suffer for it and I don't think it's fair to them right now," he said.

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