Rally, march planned for third day of New Haven School District strike

UNION CITY, Calif. (KGO) -- Teachers striking in the New Haven School District, which includes Union City and south Hayward, say they have learned a lot from other teacher strikes from across the country this past year.

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"We have to fight for ourselves. We have to fight for what we want, and for what we know is best for the kids," says Maria Ramirez, a fifth-grade teacher at Hillview Crest Elementary School in Hayward.

Wednesday marks the third day of the strike, and still no change from the last round of negotiations held on Sunday.

RELATED: Teachers in East Bay's New Haven School District on strike

Alameda County Supervisor Richard Valle held a meeting Wednesday morning with both sides to try to restart talks. The outcome was not immediately known.

The strike is over teacher salary. The New Haven Teachers Association wants a 10 percent raise over two years: five percent this year and five percent next year. The district is offering one percent next year with a possible three percent bonus.

The district argues that New Haven teachers are already among the highest paid in the state. That's a claim the teachers' dispute.

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"We have to pay for our own medical, so when you take that out of the salary they are announcing as the average that a teacher makes, we end up being on the lower scale," says Ramirez.

Many parents stand in solidarity with the teachers, saying it's tough to live on a teacher salary in the Bay Area. However, some parents have criticized teachers for striking so close to the end of the school year.

But Cecilia Flores, president of the PTC (similar to the PTA) says the strike is the result of failed talks.

"I don't think it's necessarily the wrong time because it's been months of negotiating, so it's basically this is what they were thrown to," explained Flores.

A big rally is planned for 4:30 p.m. at William Cann Neighborhood Park. At 5:30 p.m., teachers, parents and students will march a mile-and-a-half to the district office, ahead of the school board meeting.

The school district said they were not available for comment.


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