District: Teachers’ salaries adequate

As more than a hundred teachers and parents marched the streets Tuesday to protest the district’s contract proposal, district officials countered with information that places Burlingame teachers’ salaries near the top of the pay scale.

According to district officials, first-year Burlingame teachers make close to $41,000 a year, which is the most among “revenue-limit” districts, where property tax revenue is provided by the state. Twelve-year teachers with graduate school credits make more than $67,000 a year.

The numbers, however, are 2005-06 statistics, which teachers say are outdated because some “revenue-limit” districts such as Bayshore, San Carlos and Millbrae have since provided at least five-percent pay raises, said Annette DeMaria, president of the Burlingame Education Association. First-year San Carlos teachers were making $39,376 before raises, while Bayshore and Millbrae teachers made slightly less.

“Teachers are just asking for the same respect,” DeMaria said.

Burlingame teachers are seeking a six-percent pay raise while the district is offering three-percent.

District officials believe a six-percent increase would take away $500,000 a year from staffing and education programs. The dispute has reached the fact-finding stage of its contractual impasse, where state moderators work toward a compromise before talks of strike emerge. Superintendent Sonny Da Marto said he is optimistic for a resolution.

Some parents attended Tuesday’s gathering to support teachers, which began at the CTA office on Murchison Drive and went to the district office at Trousdale Drive. Lizi Tabet said salary is what keeps experienced teachers from leaving. “I’m sure it’s a toll on teachers and that’s not what they should be worried about,” said Tabet, whose son is an eighth-grader at Burlingame Intermediate.

“Burlingame’s teachers received an average of $4,432 less in annual salaries … than the San Mateo County averages,” said a flier handed out by teachers Tuesday.

bfoley@examiner.com

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