UNION CITY, CA — It has been one week since teachers in the San Francisco area walked out of their classrooms in protest for better wages.
This was the scene after a scheduled school board meeting of the New Haven Unified School District dissolved due to what protester say was frustration over the on-going dispute over teachers pay.
The school district serving Union City and Hayward is now enduring the strike, as it enters its second week.
“They need to give us a fair contract. ‘COLA’ is like 3.7 this year and 3.2 next year, and they still want to give us one percent for two years.”
COLA refers to “cost of living allowance” — which they say is more vital especially in the Bay Area.
The teacher’s union originally wanted a 10 percent pay increase over two academic years, but will now agree to a seven percent raise over that period.
Meanwhile, the district is offering a two percent raise starting January, which is up one percent from the original offer, along with a one-time three percent bonus for the current school year.
According to the district, its latest offer costs six million dollars over three years — and would make new haven teachers the highest paid in Alameda County.
However, the teachers and their supporters say this offer will not provide them financial security in the long run.
“If you look at the other districts they’re getting medical benefits and everything else and out teachers aren’t even getting that. And that’s kind of like a slap in the face to our teachers.”
Fil-Am students have not been attending school in support of the teachers.
Some have even joined them in the picket lines.
“I support our teachers for this strike to stop.”
“I want the strike to stop and I want to learn and they deserve the money that they should get.”
And while they remain at odds, both sides are hoping that they reach a deal soon — for the students’ sake.
“Finals are in about a week and a half so we really need to back in the classroom and students to be learning. The community has spoken. It’s up to the board member to learn and to take it to heart and get us back in the classroom.”
Despite no progress in the 30 hours of contract talks over the Memorial Day holiday weekend — negotiations will resume Wednesday afternoon.