Teachers quietly underscore salary fight

Parents dropping their children off at San Mateo schools may have noticed that teachers’ parking lots at several schools, including Highlands Elementary, were conspicuously empty, and that many teachers were clad head to toe in black.

To draw attention to the current salary negotiations between the San Mateo Elementary Teachers Association and the San Mateo-Foster City School District, teachers wore black and avoided using the teacher’s lot as a way to get parentsto ask what was going on.

And while parents are generally supportive of the teachers’ positions, some were concerned that the protest tactics were having a negative impact on the school.

“Some folks are irritated, but some seem to feel that any attention to the matter is good, and this seems to be bringing attention,” said Highlands parent Nina Lewis. She added that the efforts were not a concern right now because the end of the year is typically slower.

Other parents have said that because teachers are taking up street parking, parents are having to park farther from school to drop their children off, crowding the streets around schools.

The black clothing and empty lots are a part of the “work-to-rule” days in the teacher’s protest against the district. On select days, San Mateo-Foster City teachers do not offer any after-school or extra help, working only contracted hours.

“Some teachers at the schools have done it to draw attention from the community so that hopefully parents will ask us what is going,” said SMETA President Carole Delgado. The union is currently at an impasse with the district over salary negotiations and has one more meeting before a possible break for the summer.

The teachers are looking for a 15.35 percent salary increase this year, increases over the next two years, full health benefits for their families and an increase to hourly pay for work beyond the contracted daily load. The district is offering a 4 percent increase this year, plus a 2 percent one-time increase and a 0.5 percent stipend for teachers with special credentials or training.

Many parents are planning to appear at the June 7 district board meeting to voice their opinions on the ongoing negotiations.

“It is too bad we have this issue at all in such an affluent area,” said Carol Phillips, another Highlands parent. “As for their tactics, I guess I can only hope more parents gain awareness of the situation and learn to be involved in whatever way they see fit.”

jgoldman@examiner.com

Bay Area NewsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Diners at Teeth, a bar in the Mission District, on July 9, 2021. Teeth began using digital menus based on QR code technology in August. (Ulysses Ortega/The New York Times)
QR codes are changing SF bars, restaurants: Should you be concerned?

By Erin Woo New York Times When people enter Teeth, a bar… Continue reading

The football stadium at UC Berkeley, on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020. George Kliavkoff, a former top executive at MGM Resorts International, took over the conference at the start of the month. (Jim Wilson/The New York Times)
What’s Ahead for the Pac-12? New commissioner weighs in

‘Every decision we make is up for discussion. There are no sacred cows.’

As the world reeled, tech titans supplied the tools that made life and work possible. Now the companies are awash in money and questions about what it means to win amid so much loss. (Nicolas Ortega/The New York Times)
How tech won the pandemic and now may never lose

By David Streitfeld New York Times In April 2020, with 2,000 Americans… Continue reading

Vlad Tenev, Robinhood’s chief executive, is featured on a screen in Times Square in New York on Thursday, July 29, 2021. Robinhood’s stock opened at $38, the same as its IPO price, and then declined in a sign of investor hesitancy over a company that has attracted regulatory scrutiny. (Sasha Maslov/The New York Times)
Robinhood’s shares fall in public trading debut

By Erin Griffith New York Times Robinhood helped propel a “meme stock”… Continue reading

The recall election for California Gov. Gavin Newsom is scheduled for Sept. 14. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
SF could play a big role in overcoming Democrat apathy, driving voter turnout for Newsom

San Francisco voters are not used to swaying elections. Just think of… Continue reading

Most Read