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Teachers Picket in Response to Contract Negotiation – The Eleight

Teachers Picket in Response to Contract Negotiation

Teachers in the Campbell Union High School District have been working without a contract for over 60 days. Their previous contract expired on Aug. 31 but is still in effect. Since March, the board and the negotiation team for the Campbell High School Teacher’s Association (CHSTA) have been working on getting teachers a new contract. For the past month, teachers in the district have been picketing near the schools at which they teach to push for a new, fair contract.

“We have not been able to come to terms with the district negotiation team. We’ve had series of meetings…and they still haven’t resolved,” said Santiago Gomez, CHSTA president.

As a result, teachers picket to raise awareness and gain support from parents and students in the community. Teachers picket in the morning and in the afternoon during pickup and drop-off time when traffic is high. They have been successful–drivers showed their support by honking their car horns and students bought water bottles from a nearby gas station to give to the teachers picketing.

For the contract, there are three main issues that are being addressed. The first issue is class size; teachers desire a smaller class size to provide more attention to their students. The second issue is compensation.

“Teachers haven’t had a cost of living increase in a while and so we want more compensation to match with the extreme cost of living increases in the Bay Area,” said Elizabeth Tanner, CHSTA secretary.

The third issue revolves around time spent during collaboration days. The district sometimes assigns tasks to teachers during collaboration days, but teachers want a say in how collaboration time is used.

“We would like time to work on projects that we choose as professionals,” said Tanner.

From the board’s perspective, members take into account total compensation and future economy when deciding on a contract.

“As a board, we are looking for a fair and fiscally responsible contract,” said Board President Matthew Dean.

Although there are disparities in the goals of the district and the teachers, all parties hope that with the next negotiation meeting set on Nov. 4, there can be a reasonable resolution for the contract.