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Teachers: Donut cross the line

By knoceda
Thursday, April 5th, 2007 at 9:56 am in General, Hayward, Schools.

Doughnuts

About 1,200 doughnuts will fuel educators today during the first teacher strike in Hayward since 1994. The California Teachers Association is footing the bill for the sweet treats from Tommy’s Donuts in downtown Hayward. Meanwhile, a community support rally is scheduled for noon today at Birchfield Park. The park is located at the corner of Winton Avenue and Santa Clara Street.

Check back here and pick up Thursday’s edition of The Daily Review for the latest developments.

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  • PH

    I support Hayward teachers, but I have to send my daughter to school. When I dropped her off this morning the demonstrators were wandering around in the street engaging people in conversation in their cars. Please, folks, be safe, and don’t impede those of us who have either made a choice or have no choice.

  • Shannon

    I support the teachers 100% My kids stayed home today. I have no regets either
    The teachers are our kids power of learning. Without them we will we do ?
    Teachers teach our kids not the board !!!!
    SUPPORT OUR HAYWARD !!!!!!

  • http://www.MarkWelch.com/ Mark Welch

    I certainly understand why parents would keep their children home today, after learning that the district was only able to line up 30+ substitute teachers to replace 1,300 striking teachers.

    I’ve seen multiple TV news reports of students who were either encouraged or “allowed” (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) to leave campus after “signing in” — I certainly hope that the state and county Boards of Education take appropriate action so that the district doesn’t pretend that today was a genuine instructional day.

  • Mikey Bhang

    I recognise PH’s need to send her child to school. My fellow teachers who do not admit that school is the daycare needed to fuel a 2-working-parent system have their heads in the sand.
    Teachers should not get upset, neither inwardly nor outwardly, about the one or the other child coming to school. Kids stayed home in such overwhelming droves that our point is totally made. What an amazing place Hayward is!!!
    I will continue to have factual, calm discussions with parents dropping off kids. Safely, I hope.

  • Mikey Bhang

    If I never see another donut, it will be too soon! :)

  • think

    okay, so not to get logical or anything, but isn’t someone allowed to spend time with family? it’s vacation time. spring break. there’s no school so what’s the big deal? the board is around and the negotiator is around. you are stretching to make a deal out of nothing.

  • Lynn Allan

    Perhaps “think” has never experienced the anxiety of being on strike, not being paid, trying to take care of your own family, and having to cancel your family vacation because you don’t know how long you will be out of work. There are many families, of both teachers and parents that are experiencing hardship due to this situation. Of course, Vigil is a human being, and has a right to see his family. But he is also the leader of this district. This district is currently in crisis. As a leader, you don’t leave in the middle of a crisis of this magnitude, and say “give me a call if something happens.”
    His response to the genuine concern of people who want to see this situation resolved, is unfortunately, typical of a person who would give himself a 16.84% RAISE two months before salary negotiations begin.

  • Mark Welch

    I’m curious about what it takes to count a day as
    one of the required 180 instructional days? It seems
    that if administrators are telling high school students
    to “sign in and then leave,” it should not be
    counted as a genuine instructional day.

    I’m also curious about the rules for class-size
    reduction — the district claims that at best,
    elementary classrooms were staffed by subs
    at a ratio of 30-to-1 (actual students in attendance).

    I will admit some frustration at seeing Dr. Vigil on
    TV over and over again, claiming that students who
    come to school are receiving instruction, when in
    fact they are not. This just underscores the trust
    problem that the district has — so many lies, so
    many unfulfilled promises. Teachers must really
    love Hayward to continue to work here.

  • think

    my child went to school both days. it was tough and it was different. i don’t know what went on in other schools, but my child did work. when my children don’t get their way they have learned not to throw temper tantrums, but we talk and keep talking until we figure it out. it is a good lesson for a kid to learn.

    how can my child ever respect a teacher who yells at us and tries to block us from coming in and calls us stupid traitors when we are trying to get to school? (and i am not saying son or daughter because i don’t want somebody to punish my child for going to school and me for posting)

    go back to classes and start teaching and start getting your priorities right. i thought you cared about students. i’m going on vacation for a couple of days like lots of you are. its silly to say someone can’t take a vacation during a school vacation.

  • HighSchoolTeacher

    Dear Think,
    I’m sorry that you & your child were yelled at when trying to enter school. That should not have happened & it did not happen at my school. Strikes are always difficult for all involved and I never in my 16 years of teaching imagined that I would vote to authorize a strike.

    As a parent, you have probably not witnessed the internal workings of this school system.
    There is a climate of disrespect toward teachers by district administration that I have never before seen in the 3 districts I have worked for. And there has been tolerance by teachers beyond what is reasonable for too long. This is not a dispute that has suddenly arisen. You could compare it to a pot that boils over, it’s been hot for awhile.

    A year ago, when labor negotiations on this current contract began, the union made a modest request for a 3% cost of living increase. The district countered with offering us a 3% pay cut, citing the district’s financial crisis. We settled for a 0.84% raise, which did not cover the increase in our health insurance costs which we pay ourselves. So, in effect, we did take a pay cut. But, we agreed to do so to maintain the financial integrity of our schools. We also accepted larger class sizes, increased instructional minutes, and reduced classroom budgets. Many of us made up part of the difference by purchasing needed items for our classes such as roach spray and mouse traps (yes, you read that right), kleenex, markers, & paper out of our paychecks.

    To then discover less than one year later that the district now has a surplus 4 times the required amount, has given administrators large raises, & has increased administrative costs as well, is more than disheartening.

    Beyond that, one thing that no one has yet brought to the public’s attention is that Dr. Vigil’s attitude toward us has been something I have also never seen in a superintendent. At the December 22, 2006 district professional development inservice day, Dr. Vigil selected as a text to read aloud to the teachers, an article entitled the “Ludlow Massacre” on how Rockefeller broke a strike by police brutality, and the burning of the strikers’ tents resulting in worker deaths. This reading was witnessed by hundreds of high school teachers at Hayward High that day. It was hardly an appropriate or professionally respectful choice, given that at that point, labor negotiations had already broken down.

    I work many hours of unpaid overtime in this job, because I feel responsible for the 90 students I teach daily. Dr. Vigil’s job involves responsibility for 20,000 students and his 1,300 teacher employees affected by this labor action. It is not unreasonable to ask him to postpone his vacation until a settlement is reached. Further, his statement that his negotiation team is here & he is not necessary is surprising, given that he is the one we have seen speaking to the press, talking with our union leadership, and sending the teachers emails re: the district’s position.

    This strike is not an unpredictable or irresponsible action. We as teachers care deeply about the children of Hayward. We want both a salary & an environment of respect that will encourage our new teachers to stay. Right now, we have neither. To strike, we are temporarily giving up our salaries, our daily routines and the pleasure of working with the children, we are marching outside in the cold at 6:30am until 3:45pm in the hopes of a long-term better work environment for ourselves & the children of Hayward.

    Thank you for your consideration of our views.

  • another tired teacher

    Dear Think,
    I am surprised that you child did “work” during the strike. I question the quality of work however. The handful of students that attended classes at my school during the strike all said that they “colored and played bingo all day”, or worked alone on pages and pages of test prep. which were work sheets with a date of 1983, while the sub sat at a desk and made no attempt to interact with the students. The same thing could be accomlished by buying some work
    books (or coloring books!) at Albertson’s for a couple of bucks and keeping the kids home, or leaving them with a friend or neighbor. All this after parents received phone calls assuring them they would receive “subject matter academic lessons” from the district. I would be
    upset with the district if I were a parent. Basically, they lied to parents about what was going to be happening at school on Thursday and Friday. I heard that some high school kids were actually given Cosmo magazines to read. Again, a trip to Albertson’s would have accomplished the same thing.

    Believe me Think, teachers do have our priorities straight, and the students in mind. If we did not insist on fair salaries, and strike to get them, our colleagues would continue to leave Hayward in droves for an early retirement, better paying districts or administrative positions. This would leave the children in the hands of a majority of new, inexperienced and often uncredentialed teachers who would earn experience, and move on after a few years. This situation creates a revolving door, and ultimately shapes substandard schools with no strong foundation, and no experienced teachers to mentor new teachers. Schools that do not have a strong teacher community of veteran teachers just do not offer children the strong academic program that they deserve. If teachers are not treated fairly, then the children and their communities are the ones that suffer. Teachers are tired of being treated poorly. We are at a point in Hayward where teachers cannot afford health insurance coverage or preschool for ourselves, nor our own children, and we do not qualify for any assistance. We have years of college education behind us. We would not be facing this situation in any other career with this many years of eduaction. This is criminal. The Board and Vigil should be ashamed. It is time for Hayward to stand up and demand that they resolve this in a fair manner. Hayward deserves and should demand schools, children, and teachers as qualified and well cared as Pleasanton! Maybe it is time to recall the board and Vigil. If Vigil were really interested in helping to “not bancrupt the district” as he states on the news, he would offer to give back his fat 16.84% raise. I am still not clear on what he has done to earn his huge salary for Hayward Unified during his tenure so far. Anyone ???

    Thank you for consideration of our views, and please realize that we have been waiting for a decent raise for years now.

  • Proud Hayward Special Ed. Teacher

    On a radion interview this morning, Dr. Vigil proudly stated that he has to pay for his health care benefits himself…just like the teachers. Well…he makes $229,500 per year. Our new teachers make around $47,000. The average Hayward teacher makes around $65,000 per year. Hardly comparable.

  • MzKoala

    I sure hope Dr. Vigil is enjoying his vacation. I know my parents aren’t. Maybe it’s the threat of a longer strike & no paycheck, or the $1000/month they have to pay for health insurance. Maybe it’s concern for their friends & collegues who they respect being treated like dirt. Maybe it’s all of these-all I know is that if I made his $229,500 I wouldn’t worry either! I wonder how HUSD parents feel about someone who has so little respect for their kids’ teachers being responsible for their education.
    I am a product of Hayward schools & proud daughter of a longtime HUSD teacher. When I was in 4th grade I decided I was going to be a teacher thanks to Alwine Fenton. My dad (a HUSD teacher) said “no daughter of mine is going to be a teacher”! I was one of the experimental children of HUSD who missed out on Jr Hi and had to go to high school in 8th grade. It was because of HUSD teachers like Dave Cobble that I survived. I put myself through college because my parents couldn’t (remember my dads a HUSD teacher).
    I remember the 1994 strike only too well -making cookies & bringing water/sodas to my dad’s school when I wasn’t attending classes at CSU HAYWARD. I remember a kindergarten teacher reading to students from a minivan. I remember worrying if my parents were going to lose their house. This time around, it bothers me that so many parents are concerned about daycare during the strike because they work. Don’t they realize that teachers have families, too?
    Well, I’ve always been a bit stubborn, and in 1997 I became a HUSD teacher! I not only survived those 2 years but was well prepared as a result of HUSD teachers like Pete Hokom and Dorothy Mullen. I have since relocated to So. Cal where I am still teaching. I remember our annual father-daughter bonding event of attending the CUE (computer-using educators) conference together in Anaheim where I live. Sadly, since it has moved to Palm Springs, neither of us can afford to attend.
    I have been trying to get my mom & dad to retire & move downto So Cal to be near me ( & their 2 yr old grandson) for 3or 4 years now. My mom is constantly on realtor sites checking out homes in my area. Yet my family still remains in Hayward. Maybe it’s because they are dedicated educators who love what they do and respect who they work with-We sure know it’s not the $$$$.
    Hang in their HUSD teachers-YOU DESERVE MORE!!!!

  • Carla Schick

    TO LOREDO-WELCH: Remember, as I said before, HUSD teachers never had good benefits anyhow. Families were never covered. We wanted the benefits on the pay scale so we would, at very least, get the same adjustment to that benefit as we would to our salary. Previously, as health care costs rose we almost never got an increase in benefits. HUSD teachers always fared poorly in relation to other district’s health plans. Now we are even worse off due to the fact that we never get increases in the salary scale either.

  • Charles Gwa

    another tired teacher Says:

    “If teachers are not treated fairly, then the children and their communities are the ones that suffer.”

    which I agree. Thus, I believe the final agreement will be reached at the extra cost of students and parents. Unfortunately, that’s the way it is happening.

  • another tired teacher

    Dear Mr. Gwa:
    Please call and write the School Board and School District to pressure them come to a
    fair settlement of the contract so that we may all get on with our lives, so we call all stop suffering. We are not receiving any pay at this time I remind you.

  • Ellen

    What Another Tired Teacher said really struck a cord with me. I teach at a
    very large school in Los Angeles that is a revolving door and it is heartbreaking to see
    good teachers who have been there 5 or more years
    leave. Just when the school feels like it is getting its bearings, a whole bunch of teachers
    who have been there 5 years or more leave. Our department of 25 teachers is being
    held together by about 6 veteran teachers and 1 newer but very awesome teacher of
    2 years. Scary. We have tried in the past to implement common writing programs,
    etc, but it is virtually impossible with all the turnover. I myself work a second job due
    to ever escalating rents. Hayward teachers, I am 100% behind you and can you post
    an address where we can donate to a strike fund? Has UTLA been in contact with you?
    I wonder if we can authorize some of our dues for your strike fund.