Covina-Valley Unified schools avoid teachers' strike by reaching tentative agreement

In the nick of time, classes will resume as normal at Covina-Valley Unified schools Thursday after a potential teachers' strike was adverted.

The district and the teachers union worked around the clock to reach a tentative deal. 

"We are deeply grateful not only for the hard work of the bargaining team," said Covina Unified Education Association President Adam Hampton in a statement. He also thanked CUEA members who "sacrificed their time, showed up at rallies, and participated in organizing actions to help achieve this settlement. I also want to thank the many parents and community members who let us know they support Covina-Valley teachers."

The district wanted to set up a new system that would have put strict caps on health care spending for dependents of new employees, but the union wanted to keep the plan that was already in place, which gives all family members the same benefits. 

On Wednesday, the teachers were seen picketing at the district's headquarters in Covina. FOX 11 received photos of padlocked fences and chairs stacked inside classrooms. As a temporary solution, officials said students would be grouped together in large rooms as the district looked to keep classes going in larger rooms, substitute teachers and modified schedules.

District officials said Wednesday evening they were offering highly competitive salaries but would not comment on camera.