Former FAME teachers picket over unpaid health insurance

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Teachers at an East Bay charter school with several campuses shutting down are picketing Tuesday after they found out their health insurance has been lost. (KGO-TV)

Teachers at an East Bay charter school with several campuses shutting down are picketing Tuesday after they found out their health insurance has been lost.

Outside the FAME Administration Office in Newark, teachers and staff wonder what's next. Money that was supposed to go toward paying their salary for June should have been issued by direct deposit Tuesday morning, but these former employees say they haven't seen a dime.

"Now the doors are closing, it's the 30th, there are no answers. There's no answer to where we can ask for our check if it never shows up in the mail, the handwritten check," former FAME teacher Rebecca Grau said.

Another group stopped by the Alameda County District Attorney's Office to file a complaint.

Some employees say they suspected something was up earlier this year, but held out hoping the administration would pull it together.

"I began in February, trying to communicate with them regarding payment and PO's that were coming in and did not receive any reply," former Fame tutor Marilyn Sarig said.

The teachers say instead they got the run around for months.

"I'm angry because we've been deceived and lied to and manipulated," former FAME teacher Karen Baumann said.

Baumann worked for Fame for 11 years. She says FAME didn't pay the insurance premiums for June, meaning not only does her coverage end Tuesday night but she could be on the hook for any medical expenses incurred in the past month.

"I doubt that if they're going to pay our medical and I doubt if they're going to pay our salary," Baumann said.

Yet these educators aren't going down without a fight. On Monday, some of them filed a report with Newark Police.

Others went to the California Department of Industrial Relations, exhausting all options to pursue the money that they already worked hard to earn.

Related Topics:
educationteacherteachersprotestsalaryhealth insurancecharter schoolschoolschool closuresNewark
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