Teachers Organize to Protest over Pay

Dennis Evanosky    Members of the Alameda Education Association gather at the Island City Brewery on Tuesday before heading out to make their appeal to businesses on Park Street.

Educators in this city are lowest paid in Alameda County

The Alameda Education Association (AEA), the union that represents teachers in Alameda’s public school system, began reaching out to businesses along Park and Webster streets on Tuesday. Teachers wearing red T-shirts visited shops in the city’s two major business districts. They asked the business owners to post AEA signs in their windows. The signs feature an anchor, the teachers’ campaign logo.

“Alameda educators ‘anchor’ the community, hence the logo and sign with anchor theme” said AEA president Judith Klinger. 

The teachers hope to convince Alameda businesses and their customers to support AEA’s efforts in ongoing salary negotiations with the school district. Alameda Unified School District salaries are the lowest in Alameda County, the teachers point out. AEA also points out that a first-year teacher with family medical coverage takes home just $31,000 in that first year. In addition, teachers with five years’ experience can take home $10 to 20,000 a year more in San Leandro, Castro Valley, Newark, New Haven, Dublin, Hayward, Fremont and Pleasanton.

“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.”