National City Teachers Stage Protest
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Teachers in the National City School District will stage a rally outside of district headquarters this afternoon to protest stalled contract negotiations. KPBS Reporter Ana Tintocalis has the story.
Like many labor disputes, National City teachers want better pay, benefits and working conditions. But the main sticking point is a three-percent pay raise.
Under leaders say National City teacher salaries are at the bottom compared to other South Bay districts.
President Linda Cartwright says teachers will leave if their salaries continue to lag behind. She says teachers deserve this raise because test scores prove their students are outperforming other kids in the state and nation.
Cartwright: Teachers are in the business to help kids and its too bad at the beginning of the school year, with all that we have to be proud of, the great work that we've done, that this cloud has to be hanging over their heads.
The union and the district are at an impasse in their negotiations. Superintendent Dennis Doyle suggests the state's budget cuts prevent him from paying teachers more.
Doyle: The financial problems in the entire state as you know are astronomical. And we agree, we think our teachers are doing a fabulous job, we want to give them everything we can afford to give them. And that's why we before a state mediator right now.
Teachers have been without a contract for more than a year.
Ana Tintocalis, KPBS News.