YUBA CITY (CBS13) — Hundreds of teachers in Yuba City hit the picket lines as negotiations in a longstanding pay dispute have stalled.
About 700 teachers in the Yuba City Unified School District have drawn the line and are now on strike.
“We’re doing what we feel is right to do,” said teacher Jim Stassi. “We’re not asking for the world out here; we’re just asking to be average and try to get us back up to the state average.”
Amelia Davies, a teacher for more than 20 years in the school district is part of the group asking for a 13 percent pay hike.
“We think that this is important enough to do because we do love our students,” she said.
The district is countering with a 3.5 percent raise offer, but teachers say in Yuba City they make 33 percent less than their Sacramento counterparts.
“That’s a lot of money,” said teacher Dianka Milanowski. “That’s retirement; that’s food for some people, and there’s a lack of awareness with the young teachers coming here that have debt from college and the older teachers who are ready to retire.”
Superintendent Nancy Aaberg says a strike isn’t the answer.
“There is an offer on the table that takes the highest teacher’s salary to $95,000, and that would be a total package of benefits and salary to $120,000, we believe that the solution is at the bargaining table,” she said.
It’s a table divided by teachers and the district, which doesn’t sit well with students like senior Danny Munoz.
“It’s our education that’s getting in jeopardized, cause when we’re in here, and they’re out here we’re getting enriched material that’s not actually what we’re supposed to be doing and we lose out on that,” he said.
District officials say they have hired replacement substitute teachers who are covering the classrooms.
The teachers called out a worksheet they say was handed out to students featuring puzzles and mazes as a substitute for classwork.
Teachers have referred to this as “Day 1” of the strike, implying it may continue into Friday.