UNION CITY (CBS SF) — Teachers from the New Haven Unified School District stood outside the Alameda County Office of Education late into the evening Monday as talks at the bargaining table continued.
They picketed for yet another day on Monday and both the district and the New Haven Teachers Association hoped to move closer to an agreement. But late Monday evening, the school district announced that the 12-hour Memorial Day bargaining session was not able to produce a settlement.
“It’s very heartening, we’ve been here for over 30 hours on this Memorial Day weekend and frankly, up until today we haven’t seen a lot of movement, and to be fair, we haven’t moved a lot either,” said NHUSD Spokesperson John Mattos.
The union announced a new proposal Monday evening. Instead of requesting a 10% raise over the next two years, it will come down to about 7%.
The district is now offering a 2% raise starting in January and a one-time 3% bonus for this current school year.
In response, the union said in a statement: “The district did make an offer and we know that offer is still not ratifiable by our members. Know that your bargaining team is not walking away from the table tonight.”
The strike began last Monday.
“Right now, the sticking point is that we would like a raise to manage the cost of living in this area, we have a lot of teachers who are very hard pressed to make rent payments,” said Brenda Moreno, a teacher at James Logan High School .
Teachers in the district are the highest paid in Alameda County, with an average salary of $96,000, according to the district.
Still, for third year teacher Nikki Moore, she has to work two other jobs to make ends meet. She makes $72,000 a year as a teacher, but she says about $10,000 of that goes to cover healthcare costs.
“I do want a raise, but I also want to make sure that we’re helping the students as well, because if we get that raise, it’ll mean so much more for the students, more quality teachers,” said Moore.
The district serves around 11,000 students at a dozen schools in Union City and South Hayward.
The strike has taken an emotional toll on Special Ed teacher Lana Wallace, who has 20 seniors.
“They’re graduating and I can’t celebrate with them, because we’re doing this and it upsets me, it’s just sad all the way around,” added Wallace.