Alameda teachers demand better pay, salaries among lowest in county

ALAMEDA, Calif. (KGO) -- Alameda teachers marched to the Monday night school board meeting with a single message -- raise their pay.

"We want to be brought up to average," said Judith Klinger, president of the Alameda Education Association.

"We want to be moved from an F to a C. We want to be average which, in and of itself is a little bit sad."

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Employee salaries at the Alameda Unified School District are among the lowest in the county, ten percent below average. Teachers say it's led to high turnover, a point made by their "revolving door", a prop they made to get their message across.

"It's always a teacher shuffle," said librarian/teacher Paizley Spencer.

"You know, we agree. We agree with the teachers," said district spokesperson Susan Davis. She says the board faces a tough choice: teacher pay versus school programs.

"In Alameda, we have beloved small schools and beloved small class sizes and some really, really wonderful and innovated magnet programs and nobody wants to give those up," Davis said.

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In fact, parents and students stood up in solidarity to show their support for those beloved programs.

"The hands-on projects in class allowed me to appreciate and nurture my love for science," said Heidi Manes, a graduate of the Earhart Innovation Program.

If the board can't decide what to cut, one idea is to propose a parcel tax. Board members hope to make some decisions next month.

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