AEA Teachers Lead March to Protest Pay

Dennis Evanosky    Alameda public school teachers prepare to march on the school board meeting last Monday. They hoped to make their voices heard at the meeting that discussed next year’s budget.

On Monday, March 19, teachers at Alameda public schools, who are also members of the teachers’ union, Alameda Education Association (AEA), members gathered at the 1400 Bar & Grill. They were preparing for a march down Webster Street and on to Island High School on Pacific Avenue, where the school board was meeting.

On Jan. 23, the teachers’ union launched a community outreach campaign called “AEAnchors Away!” “We are pressing the Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) to bring our pay from the lowest in Alameda County to County average,” said AEA president Judith Klinger. The union is striving to make teachers’ salaries a top priority in the 2018-19 AUSD budget. 

At last Monday’s meeting school board member Gary Lym pointed out that school districts that pay higher salaries to teachers than AUSD have fewer facilities than AUSD does. He also told the board and the audience that AUSD’s average class size is 18. Districts with higher salaries have larger class sizes — 22 on average. He said, however, that there’s an imperative to raise teachers’ salaries. 

School board member Anne  McKereghan pointed out that the state of California put AUSD is in this position by not giving school districts enough money to support salaries and programs that are good for students. 

“This campaign is not meant to be adversarial,” Klinger said. “We simply want to remind the public of the critical importance that public schools and teachers play in the future of our community.”