SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Impassioned pleas on the steps of the San Francisco Unified School District Tuesday night.
A group of teachers from the United Educators of San Francisco gathered ahead of a school board meeting to call on the district to begin negotiations with them.
One of their top demands: a raise in pay.
"This needs to be discussed. We need to get to the table as soon as possible," said Cassondra Curiel.
Curiel is the president of UESF.
She says many teachers in the district aren't paid enough to live in San Francisco.
"In order to compete for the housing market, in order to commute, in order to buy lunch, in order to feed our families, we know what we need and we're looking for serious commitments at the bargaining table," Curiel said.
But lack of pay is only one issue the teachers are worried about.
They also want the district to fill dozens of vacant positions in their schools.
The staffing shortages, they say, are leading to burnouts among educators as many are forced to juggle several jobs.
"I think it's just very anxious for people to not know what their jobs are going to be day-to-day. Not knowing where they're going to be," said teacher, Anthony Arinwine.
In order to pay for their demands, UESF is calling on the district to use newly allocated state funds.
"SFUSD is set to receive $70 million one-time funds this year, and $50 million ongoing," Curiel said.
Saying that in doing so, it wouldn't just be for their benefit, but also for the benefit of the students.
"It's stressful. The education quality becomes really, really difficult to maintain for anyone."
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