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Teachers continue the battle over fair pay

An+example+of+how+many+teachers+feel+seeing+their+paycheck.
An example of how many teachers feel seeing their paycheck.

An example of how many teachers feel seeing their paycheck.

Ethan Tarnarider

Ethan Tarnarider

An example of how many teachers feel seeing their paycheck.

Ethan Tarnarider, Staff Writer

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Teachers are not paid enough—that’s already established. But now, many elementary teachers in San Mateo and San Carlos are threatening to go on strike if they do not get their contracts negotiated in their favor.

As of late, teachers who are dissatisfied with their pay and the districts’ position on the bargaining position have staged demonstrations and are even willing to strike.

This strike would significantly affect students, as teachers would not be in school to teach necessary information that is required by the district. In addition, teachers who strike would most likely be doing such with no pay. The teachers may need to give up something to get their point across.

According to the California Department of Education, the estimated average salaries of all teachers in the 2015-2016 school year was $77,179. Many teachers believe they should be paid more as it costs much more to live in the Bay Area compared to many other counties in California.

Union president Julie MacArthur said to the San Mateo Daily Journal, “A majority of our members are ready to do what they need to do to get a fair contract and that includes a strike, no question.”

District spokeswoman, Amber Farinha said in response, “The San Mateo-Foster City School District will continue to work toward a successful conclusion to these negotiations. During this time, as always, the district’s focus remains on the success and well-being of the students, staff, and community we serve.”

Although the teachers are greatly worried about their pay, the district expresses that the main priority is still the students, their happiness, and their success.

Carlmont teachers who are not negotiating about pay or threatening to go on strikes weigh in on the issue.

Maria Robinson, a Spanish teacher at Carlmont said, “I think teacher’s entry-level salary should be higher in order to attract talent. In addition, I believe a teacher’s salary should depend on his/her leadership and responsibilities. Districts should have either levels or steps to encourage and compensate leadership. It should be similar to the private sector where an employee’s is salary depends on the skill and education he/she has at an entry level.

Although some teachers at Carlmont are have satisfaction or lack thereof with their pay, tensions stay high in Baywood elementary school

“Tensions are high at this point. We are very frustrated. Unfortunately, as leadership for teachers, it’s really heartbreaking and demoralizing,” MacArthur said.

While tensions regarding teacher pay stay high in Baywood, the teachers at Carlmont seem more satisfied with their pay and overall, are less money-driven than others.

Carlmont digital media teacher, Joshua Sheridan said, “I am satisfied with my pay. But to switch topics there should be no correlation between standardized test scores and teacher pay. That leads to one of two things, scandals in which answers are openly given out by teachers to students or the students not being prepared to function in the real world. Standardized test answers will not help you in real life.”

While Sheridan seems quite satisfied with his pay and his teaching styles, Robinson feels as if many teachers are qualified to get more money that they currently do.

“Absolutely not. Teachers are highly educated and work very hard and they don’t get compensated as other professions do. For example, engineers and business management,” said Robinson.

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The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.
Teachers continue the battle over fair pay