WHAT DO WE WANT? RESPECT! WHEN DO WE WANT IT? NOW!
This was chanted by the Castro Valley Teachers Association and California School Employees Association Local #52 at Wednesday’s rally on both sides of Castro Valley Boulevard at Santa Maria Avenue.
Parents, students and other school unions joined the rally to support the new contract terms with the Castro Valley Unified School District — which includes a pay raise.
The last pay raise the two groups received was in 2007, and it was a one percent raise, according to Tim Deforest, a classified member of the CVUSD.
The district is offering a 3 percent raise toward salary and benefits, while the union members initially asked for a five percent raise then lowered its request to 3.75 percent.
“We’re not asking to be rich,” said Arlene Cristobal, president of CSEA Local #52. “We’re just asking for a FAIR raise.”
As their health benefits costs are increasing, members are being left with less and less money.
“There are some members that pay $19,000 for medical costs,” said Cristobal. “That leaves them with only $13,000.”
“People are losing their homes. People have to move out of Castro Valley because they can’t afford it. Some classified members are making less than the poverty line,” Cristobal added.
CVUSD holds a reserve of $13.5 million, more than six times the legally mandated withholding, according to a news release.
“The money is there. The district just isn’t giving it to the members,” said vice-president of Alameda Education Association Richard Bunker — who was at the rally to support the two groups.
The school union would also like the district to restore Medicare payments to retired educators hired before 1986. It was discovered that the benefit was deleted from the contract in 1997.
The groups are not planning to go on strike due to this issue. Going on strike would affect many people and nobody wins during a strike, according to Cristobal.
“We’re not getting the respect we deserve,” said CVUSD classified member Randy Benevides. “We just want respect. That’s not asking for a lot.”